The New Normal

June 3, 2020

As we all try to get use to a new normal, I want to start by thanking you for your patience as we process building permits. I just checked our online activity and we are averaging 150 permit applications per day. We can process about 100 per day since our public counter is now open. Since we are taking more applications per day than we can process, we are about 4 days behind in processing permits right now. One thing slowing us down are incomplete applications. We are having to make additional phone calls and/or emails for approximately 1 in 5 permits to get things like affidavits and energy path information. Please slow down and check your applications before submitting.

Many of you know Inspector John Reinking who has been with the ACBD for more than 20 years. I would like to announce he retired April 30th. We wish him well and will host a reception for him once we are back to normal operations.

The HBA inquired with me in May about doing a learning event sometime in August on the new code. Although we are still working out the details and the exact date, we are on board. The ACBD is looking forward to an event where inspectors and contractors can interact on the new code. We will feature a presentation on meeting the energy code requirements that will impact builders and their bottom line, among other things. The code officially went into effect at the end of 2019. However, due to the pandemic, lack of code books until mid-March, and the complexity involved, we’re looking at a date in the last quarter of 2020 where we will focus more on the enforcement of the newly adopted code.

Along the same line, I have approved several different styles of bollards to comply with the new code requirements for the garage. Home Lumber now carries code compliant bollards and several builders have submitted examples that I have approved. If you have questions on what we accept, send me an e-mail with the product in question. I have also approved the use of end-glued lumber for horizontal applications. These are commonly referred to as finger-jointed lumber. Per code, this product must be labelled for use and declared on the engineered wood affidavit as well. Speak with your supplier to ensure the product sold meets the standard. We will fail inspections where lumber manufactured exclusively for vertical use is used improperly.

Thank you,
John Caywood
Allen County Building Commissioner

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