Our purpose

To serve the City and County of San Francisco and the general public by ensuring that life and property within the City and County are safeguarded, and to provide a public forum for community involvement in that process.

Our mission

Under the direction and management of the seven-member citizen Building Inspection Commission, the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) oversees the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of the City and County of San Francisco's Building, Housing, Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical Codes, along with the Disability Access Regulations.


DBI was created by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. The charter amendment established the body known as the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) which was designed to provide representation for the various communities which interact with the Building Department.


The Building Inspection Commission provides policy direction to the Department of Building Inspection.

DBI is managed by Director Patrick O'Riordan, who reports to the Building Inspection Commission.

Director O'Riordan is supported by Christine Gasparac, Assistant Director; Matthew Green, Acting Deputy Director of Inspection Services; Alex Koskinen, Deputy Director of Administrative Services, and Neville Pereira, Deputy Director of Permit Services.

Download our organizational chart and our staff directory.

Sections and divisions

Permit services

Permit Services is responsible for all steps of permit issuance. Our services ensure that proposed construction meets all safety requirements in a timely professional manner.

Plan Review Services is responsible for review and approval of all permit applications to assure that proposed construction work meets accessibility, life and structural safety requirements of the code.

Technical Services focuses on code interpretation, code and policy review and development, major emergency response planning and representation at the Board of Appeals, the Code Advisory Committee, the Public Advisory Committee, and other official bodies.

Inspection services

Inspection Services inspects buildings for compliance with code requirements, permit scope, and responds to building complaints. Learn more about divisions within Inspection Services.

Code Enforcement investigates complaints of building code violations and compels building owners to fix the violations.

Administration services

Records Management stores, maintains, and makes available records of buildings, including plans, permit applications, and job cards.

Management Information Services's functions are to archive and safeguard DBI's data; to manage network access to files and data; to scan, digitize and store plans, documents and drawings on the network; to develop and maintain an extensive client-server database to support the permitting functions and related complaint and inspection tracking functions; to supply software for common office applications, including: word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, telecommunications, and desktop layout; to install, repair, upgrade and maintain desktop computer equipment and peripherals, including printers, plotters, scanners; to provide daily HelpDesk support for computer-related problems, to assist end-users in graphic projects; provide in-house training; research technical issues; and to provide custom reports both for the public and DBI management.

Finance services provide support to the Department in the areas of fiscal management, purchasing, and business analysis. This consists of budget preparation and reconciliation; revenue management; controlling labor and non-labor expenditures, capital expenditures and work order expenditures; accounts payable; performing internal audits, and employee claims management. In the area of purchasing, the division is involved in procuring materials and supplies; vendor identification and interfacing; and contract administration. The division also provides needs and operations analysis, revenue/expenditure analysis, and develops office policies and procedures.