Clean water is the world’s most precious commodity. Even though 70% of the earth is covered in water only 1% is drinkable. Building codes help safeguard this precious resource for future generations by enforcing proper construction and conservation. The International Code Council, along with countless municipalities across the country, work day in and day out to protect our water supply. Because of the work of our inspectors here in Raleigh, you can turn on the tap in your home and draw sufficient, clean water. 

As a homeowner or renter, you need to pay attention to the water supply to your home even if your community offers water and sewage treatment. If there are faulty or no backflow protectors in your home, cross-contamination can happen even while residents are filling their backyard swimming pools, drawing some of the pool’s chlorine into the home.

So, what can you do to ensure our water remains drinkable while also ensuring there is an abundant supply? Try becoming more mindful of your water supply at home. Begin your day by conserving water while brushing your teeth and turn off the water while you brush. Check your toilets, faucets, and pipes for leaks regularly. Although, it may be tempting to spend a super long time in a hot and steamy shower after a hard day of work, it is recommended to help the planet by limiting showers to only five minutes.

Water conservation and efficiency has become increasingly important in recent years due to water scarcity, droughts and water contamination in many areas of the world. Recent events such as the Flint, Michigan water crisis and drought in the western United States are shining the spotlight on a growing global issue.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense Program is a major water efficiency initiative based in the U.S. This important initiative was developed to help consumers identify water efficient products that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. Since its creation in 2006, WaterSense has conserved more than 2.7 trillion gallons of water and saved American families $63.8 billion in water and energy bills, according to the EPA.

Here are some additional tips for conserving water at home:

1. Don’t flush trash down the toilet. Five to seven gallons of water is wasted every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash

2. Install water-saving shower heads and low flow faucet aerators

3. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks

4. Insulate your water pipes

5. Only wash clothes and run the dishwasher when there is a full load

6. Don’t leave the water running when washing dishes by hand

This blog was written by Alicia Thomas. She is a Planner in the Development Services Land Development Division.

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The City of Raleigh is excited to announce the launch of its new Permit and Development Portal. Portal registration will open on July 1, 2019 and phase one of the portal will go live on July 8. This new tool is supported by Tyler Technologies’ Energov software and will be used to manage development review and permitting processes. The portal features many benefits for users, including:

  • A centralized dashboard to monitor all your development projects;
  • More, real-time notifications throughout the review process;
  • View development activity near you;
  • Enhanced, online scheduling for inspections; and
  • The option to pay fees online.

The Permit and Development Portal will be launched in phases to strategically manage the system update and ensure a positive user experience. Future phases will include features such as electronic plan submittal and review.

A webpage has been set up on where all information about the launch will be available. This includes how to register, where you can see a demo of the portal, and when development services will be limited as we move to the new system.

Questions? We’re here to help. Please contact [email protected] or call 919-996-2495

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Beginning June 1, 2019, all revisions to approved plans must be submitted for review prior to the proposed alterations taking place. This applies to both residential and non-residential projects. Revisions should be submitted with a completed Plans Revision Application, which includes a full description of the scope of proposed changes by a design professional.

Due to the nature of Major Projects, the process may be handled differently based on the type of revision:

  • Minor revisions need to be coordinated through you Major Project assigned inspector and may be eligible for batch submittal, which is required at least once a quarter
  • Major revisions should still be submitted for approval prior to those changes taking place

Major and minor revisions to Major Projects should be submitted to the Customer Service Center on the 4th floor of One Exchange Plaza in Downtown Raleigh.

Questions? We’re here to help! Call us at 919-996-2495 or email [email protected]

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Beginning June 1, 2019, customers must submit plans for new one- and-two-family additions and accessory structures. Accessory structures include but are not limited to:

  • Garages;
  • Carports;
  • Storage sheds;
  • Gazebos;
  • Greenhouses; or,
  • Pool houses.

Plans must be drawn to architectural scale and submitted with the permit application. The minimum allowable scale is ¼ inch = 1 foot. The minimum allowable sheet size is 8 ½ x 11.

Application packages for one- and-two-family additions and accessory structures must be submitted in-person at either Development Services location:

  • Customer Service Center (One Exchange Plaza, 4th floor, Downtown Raleigh)
  • Litchford Satellite Office (8320 Litchford Road, Suite 130, Raleigh)

Application packages should include:

  • Permit application;
  • Two paper copies of the plot plan (click here for the residential plot plan checklist); and,
  • Wake County Well & Septic Tank permits (when applicable).

NOTE: When the seal of a design professional is required, the seal must include a dated, wet signature of the design professional.

Questions? We’re here to help! Call us at 919-996-2495 or email [email protected]

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Our world is changing fast. Developing communities are growing and using technology to keep up with the world we live in. We use these technologies to build faster, smarter, and safer. In order to keep up with these changes, building professionals must stay on top of industry advancements by participating in strong continued education programs. These programs help create a consistent foundation for the building industry which strengthens our built environment.

The importance of professional development can’t be stressed enough. According to a survey in 2014 by the National Institute of Building Sciences, the building industry will lose nearly 80% of its skilled workforce over a 15-year period. While this poses challenges, it is also an excellent opportunity for growth, advancement and a possible new career path for new and experienced job seekers. Universities and Technology/Trade schools recognize the importance of these types of education and continue to build aspiring individuals all the time. Each level of experience is critical to the future of our “built” communities.

 Code officials range in age from 20s to 70s and come from diverse backgrounds and industries. These individuals gain experience not only from the work and education they have received, but also from older generations that have shared their knowledge and different experiences. Remember the old adage: those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. We often think of that as it relates to history, politics, and war, but it goes for our building industry as well. The value of our experienced personnel can’t be ignored, we need those individuals to pass on the “lessons of yesterday” to the builders of tomorrow.

Now, we can’t ignore technology either. We know that industry continues to move at a remarkable speed. It only stands to reason that with the electronic age upon us that we can get information faster, respond to questions faster, install faster, do nearly everything faster. Jobsite superintendents, foreman and project management can use tablets to see plans, keep up with changes and recognize challenges while on the jobsite. This technology enables groups and trades to simultaneously track changes and progress from their own devices. They can order material, view specs and quickly find resources online that we used to have to wait days for. Even our code officials use these technologies to have electronic access to codes, interpretations and regulations. No wonder our communities are building so fast. However, with this opportunity, comes the arduous tasks of training (even the individuals that shy away from technology).

So remember, the transferable skills you are learning now can help you and others to use these technologies to build a safer tomorrow.

This blog was written by Jeremiah Weckesser, Senior Mechanical Inspector III.

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Disasters in a local community can range from natural, weather-related event to a man-made event. Planning in advance for devastating events like hurricanes and tornadoes helps individuals and communities increase the health and safety of their population during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports a faster recovery in the aftermath of a disaster. Building to the latest building codes, preparing your family, and protecting your home are all things you can do to help your community.

BUILD STRONG, BUILD SMART. One of the best ways to prepare for a disaster is to build to the most up-to-date, modern building codes. It important that codes are properly applied, which is done in Raleigh by our plan review and inspections staff in the Development Services Department. The development and widespread adoption of building code creates consistency in the design world, and addresses things like structural integrity, lighting, ventialtion, construction materials, safe exits, and fire protection. These codes, while they may differ slightly from region to region, share the same principles throughout, and builders should maintain or exceed these standards.

PREPARATION. The planning and cumulative effort of city planners, developers and businesses helps to facilitate the rapid response efforts that communities need in order to manage a disaster. First responders need secure places to operate. Citizens who are trapped or lose their home need safe places to retreat. Basics such as food and water need to be distributed during mass evacuations, long term power outages, flooding, and road closures. Sanitation services must be maintained even when the power goes out. Having a plan for these types of situations is critical to the speed of community recovery (resiliency) and can help minimize loss to life and property. Being prepared is a great way to serve your community!

Here are some places you can read more on local disaster preparedness for you and your family:

Keeping codes up to date and continuing to make code officials, contractors and designers aware of changes helps build a team with common goals, and keeps our community prepared for disaster of any kind.

This blog was written by Jeremiah Weckesser, Senior Mechanical Inspector III. 

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Get In Touch

  • Development Services
    Customer Service Center
    1 Exchange Plaza
    Raleigh, NC 27602
  • 919-996-2495
  • Litchford Road
    Satellite Office
    8320-130 Litchford Road
    Raleigh, NC 27615
  • 919-996-4200