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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Empire crumbling?

Build a new wing on the castle.

Comments (14)

This made plenty of sense...about 15 years ago, maybe even five years ago. What happened to all that money Development had when building was booming?

Today, the Development office is only open four days a week, and abbreviated hours at that. The Wednesday evening hours for homeowners working on personal projects are gone. The office itself is a shell of what it used to be (I know, I work in the same building). I used to see long lines out of the front door...not anymore, I don't see anyone even waiting in the little waiting area.

Where's this $5.2 million going to come from, when the money that should have been used for this kind of project was squandered for one of Mayor Sam's pet projects???

OK, so lets make the builders pay extra to re-format their plans into Randy's accepted e-format.

How about this - Builder submits multiple copies of plan and several departments work on it at one time.

How about - BDS comes up with a list of stuff to do to get a permit instead of the "fix this and come back and we'll look at it again." Which is a big waste of everyone's time.

Why increase efficiency when you can charge more and take longer?

Randy can take the money from the Bicycle plan of course. This sounds like a good idea, a way to save paper. But the City doesn't have a good track record on dealing with computers.

Not selling enough permits? Not making money off your building permit system? Spend $5.2 million to build a system that fewer and fewer people find a need for.

Maybe Randy has watched 'Field of Dreams' one too many times. Randy the phrase "If you build it they will come" only applies to the movie.

What a pinhead.

New wing on the castle... for the wing nut(s)!

Oh boy. The city cannot manage fairly simple computer projects for the water bureau. One of of those is a case study in project failure. This is far more complex. Can you say FAIL?

I don't understand the logic of electronic plan submission. Generally building a building requires looking at printed plans as a whole and not in parts that electronics would provide. Sure, plans may be submitted electronically, then probably staff would print out whole sheets of a plan. Even on a simple house there are many times 10 to 20 sheets per plan and over a 100 on a large building.

People need to see all the related parts on these sheets as a whole to more quickly and better understand the plans.

Secondly, in the real world all the other major players (bidding staff, construction supers, construction managers, subs, everyone in the field and even in the offices) use paper and not a 8 x10 note pad with 1/20 of the subject matter before their eyes.

Then you come to the problem of "corrections" and comments from staff on plans-how will that be done electronically that is efficient?

Most of the time 3 sets or more are required by the city even for a house and many more sets for a large building. If the city really wants to have more staff working on plans at one time, then ask for more sets-it would be cheaper.

I think this had better be thought out well and the city needs feedback from more than just the big-time developers and architects and planners.

This is stupid, but not sinsiter. Randy doesn't know how construction works. What's new? At least it's only $5.2 million he's talking about this time, not $5.2 billion. We should be thankful for each day only a few million is on the line with some crazy scheme. All I think about when I read about him is his Storm Large video. What a dumbass!

Man , I was all ready to comment on this REALLY stupid idea , but you guys have said it all , and said it well !
There are No builders , there are No architects , we are all out of biz , Hey Randolfo how about handing out the 5.2 to feed us?

And, rumor has it another round of lay-offs at BDS in the near future.

I dunno, this might be one of his better ideas. However, I do think its stupid to spend money on right now when so many other things are messed up around here.

I know its much easier for us when we can send or receive files electronically.
When you have 250 3' by 4' drawings on a project, thats a lot of paper. Not to mention the cost & time of mailing them or using a courier. Much easier to email them or upload to a website.

Steve- OK, so lets make the builders pay extra to re-format their plans into Randy's accepted e-format.

That wouldnt be an issue, all the firms I have worked with use PDF files, created with the click of a mouse right in the CAD software. Its always been the city or state that wants paper copies.

jerry- Then you come to the problem of "corrections" and comments from staff on plans-how will that be done electronically that is efficient?

There is software out there for it. We use a program called Design Review. It works directly with electronic CAD plot files. You can also make corrections with Adobe Acrobat or other PDF creating programs.

It kinda makes sense to not use paper. At least at the design level, when you are sending stuff back and forth multiple times.

Jon, the question then becomes, "what is the total of all submitted projects that use CAD for any kind of permitting?" I suspect that it is less than 50%. So, wouldn't demanding that all plans for any project be submitted in CAD be discriminitory, or at least very cumbersome and costly for many?

This is a very important question that needs to be answered accurately and truthfully.

Rather than copying hand drafted drawings to turn in to the city, they could be scanned as a PDF. As previously mentioned, comments could be made in Adobe Acrobat or whatever they're proposing. Doesn't seem like a big deal and doesn't require CAD.

As a representative of a company that sells electronic plan submission and review systems, when I saw the $5.2M price tag associated with this article I felt I should add a comment.

Even the most expensive ePlan systems that we are aware of are WELL BELOW this price tag, often by a factor of ten and sometimes more. ePlan cost can vary depending on several factors.

The accountants for the city may be figuring in a whole slew of upgrades that happen to include an ePlan system. We have been advising our prospects to consider getting ePlan systems in place while the volume of permits has slowed, in order to make the transition from paper to digital processes less disruptive.

I might suggest that further research be conducted to clarify the actual cost of the proposed ePlan system for the City. The City of Bend has such a system in place and it has been a great success even though construction has slowed significantly and layoffs have occurred.

We're happy to see that ePlan caught the spotlight, but you can be pretty sure the actual cost of the ePlan system itself is not $5.2M.


Bill Gould
Director, Marketing
Avolve Software Corporation

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