How do I submit plans to be reviewed?
Plans may be mailed or sent by courier to:
NC Dept of Insurance – Engineering Division Plan Review Section
116 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Is there an application form required?
No. However, a transmittal (letterhead) from the sender with a contact name and phone number is very helpful.
How many sets of plans do we need?
Normally, just one set of plans and specifications is needed per review. Note that NCDOI keeps the set of drawings submitted for review on file. If an in-house review meeting is held, the designer may wish to bring another set of plans to make notes on that he/she can take after the meeting.
Is there a fee required for the review?
No, NCDOI does not charge a fee for review of plans.
How long does the review process take?
Generally, it depends on the complexity of the plans, the clarity of details and the project scope involved. Although it is our goal to complete review of plans within six weeks of receipt, it may be more or less time than this. The staff in the Plan Review Section perform numerous other duties such as Emergency Response Damage Assessments, serving at Building Code Council meetings and Code revision sessions, teaching code classes and seminars, providing interpretations and answering verbal, phone and e-mail information requests. Normally, plans are reviewed in the order in which they are received. As a general rule, the better the organization, clarity and conformance with Code requirements that the plans have when received, the faster they will be processed through the review cycle.
How can the review process be expedited?
Meetings may be arranged in advance with one of the Plan Reviewers to schedule time in our office (116 West Jones Street) to review plans in person. This may be done at any point in the design process, i.e., at conceptual or schematic phase, design development or final construction document phase. This is usually time well invested for both the designers and reviewers since face-to-face discussion of issues leads to better understanding of scope and code requirements. Often resolutions to potential problems are discovered in these sessions. A meeting may be arranged by calling one of the reviewers on the phone (919-647-0000) and establishing a mutually agreeable date and time for the meeting. Conference rooms are usually available for these meetings.
Can I pay extra for an express review, similar to the City of Raleigh's Express review?
No, since NCDOI has limited staff and does not charge fees for reviews, after-hours express reviews are not available.
Can plans be reviewed at the schematic or conceptual phase?
Due to staffing limitations, drawings in schematic or conceptual phase will only be reviewed if the designer pre-arranges an "in-house" meeting with one of the Code Consultants and brings plans in to be reviewed in person.
What happens after DOI reviews my plans?
A letter will be mailed to your business address that specifies any approvals, or any necessary corrections, clarifications or additional information needed for further review. Depending on the state of completion of the plans, different stages of approvals may be issued. The stages of approval normally would be:
- Approval for footings and foundations only;
- Approval to issue shell permits; or
- Final approval
A foundation approval indicates that the Code Consultant has reviewed the Building Code Summary sheet, the horizontal separations, the load transfer to the soil and the basic life-safety plan. Permits may be issued by the CEO for footings, foundations and slabs including under-slab utilities.
A shell approval indicates that the Code Consultant has reviewed (additionally) the structural system, the complete life-safety plan, the life-safety interface with the plumbing/mechanical/electrical/sprinkler systems and that any remaining review comments are not controversial. Permits may be issued by the CEO for the entire building including interior partitions and rough-in plumbing/mechanical/electrical/sprinkler (except as noted in the review comments).
A final approval indicates that the Code Consultant has received all final plans and that all review comments have been addressed. All permits may be issued and a final Certificate of Compliance/Occupancy may be issued upon completion of all inspections by the CEO. Approval by this office indicates that an overall life-safety review has been completed for general compliance with the North Carolina Building Code. They have not been reviewed for full compliance with all the other NC Codes. The drawings are subject to the review and approval of the local inspection authority having jurisdiction.
Copies of the review letters are also mailed to the local Code Enforcement Official having jurisdiction. When additional information is required, it is the responsibility of the designer of record to whom the letter is addressed to coordinate and provide that information to the reviewer. Revised drawings showing any corrections or changes should be signed, sealed and dated with the most recent date of issue. Drawing re-submittals will be reviewed by the same Code Consultant that performed the initial review. Questions and further correspondence concerning a particular project should be addressed to the initial reviewer assigned to the project.
Building permits are issued by the local Code Enforcement Office having jurisdiction. It is the designer's responsibility to obtain all permits and additional plan reviews required for his/her project.