Department of Building Inspection Customer Communication

DBI Update – DBI Emergency Training Tomorrow Morning and more
October 18, 2023

Dear Customers,

We want to let you know that from 9am to 11am tomorrow, Thursday, October 19, many Department of Building Inspection (DBI) staff will be participating in an emergency response training exercise. While we’ve planned for this event and don’t anticipate any significant service delays, some Over-the-Counter supervisors will be in the training and there may be minor service impacts during the event. Thank you for understanding.

We also want to share some of our efforts to make it easier, faster and less expensive to apply for permits in the City.

After the success of this spring’s online solar permitting pilot program, San Francisco has relaunched and expanded the SolarAPP+ permitting program. Now, you can get an instant online installation permit for many solar / photovoltaic systems and the energy storage systems (batteries).

To learn more about this new process, visit our solar permitting webpage. You can also check to see if the solar system and battery qualifies for SolarAPP+ by using this checklist.

We’ve also streamlined the process for replacing laundromat washers and dryers. Laundromat owners can now submit dimensioned, labeled photos instead of formal plans with their building permit. This will reduce the cost to replace these machines while still ensuring compliance with all safety and disability access requirements. Visit our new laundromat alterations webpage to learn more.

At the same time, the SF Public Utilities Commission is offering rebates to encourage laundromat owners to replace older machines with new, energy efficient washers and dryers. Learn more here.

A big thanks to Supervisor Peskin for his encouragement and leadership on these initiatives.

Next, we want to let you know that DBI will be transitioning to 100% Electronic Plan Review (EPR) for In-House Review projects at the end of this year. EPR is less expensive than submitting paper plans (at $4.00 a page!) and easier to submit than paper permits. We think this change will save you and your clients time and will be another important step forward in modernizing our operations.

Learn more about how to submit plans using Bluebeam Electronic Plan Review here. Additional Electronic Plan Review information is located here, and specific information for how to use Bluebeam on a Mac is here.

Finally, we need your help. To provide better customer service, DBI is developing sample templates of plan submissions for kitchen and bath remodels, single, duplex and multi-unit additions, and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be posted to our website. If you have plan submissions that you feel could be a useful template for others, please consider sending them to

Thank you for your ongoing partnership and support.