Question about AHJ

Hi ARE Community,

Can anyone help to clarify when is the proper time for a project to be reviewed by AHJ? (SD, DD, CD, or post occupied)?


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Hi @whuang ,

It depends on the AHJ and circumstance! For instance, if the AHJ in question is a zoning board/official, at least certain aspects of the project likely will be reviewed during SD or prior as a part of a conceptual design package. Zoning approval is often the first step to progressing a project into later phases. Although, it is possible that zoning approval is being sought concurrently with permit approval and the zoning (or entitlements) package is being submitted later in the process. This can be tricky, but beneficial when time is of the essence for a client.

If we are talking about a building department as the AHJ in question… For a simple project, typically the AHJ will review the project after the Construction Documents phase.

If this is a complex, high profile, or otherwise significant project, it may need to, or beneficial for, it to be reviewed by the AHJ earlier in the project. Some AHJ’s require early review, but often it is a voluntary service which allows the design team to get early feedback before the full project documentation is complete. This is to prevent unanticipated comments from the AHJ which might cause major revisions.

Personally, I’ve even submitted DD level drawings for minor projects to the building department and walked them through to receive a full permit. That’s not a situation that’s typical or even advisable though.

If you encounter questions around AHJ review I would use the context of the question to help inform your answer. For example, is does the question or prompt mention that this is a complex project? If so, you may want to submit to the building department sooner rather than later for a preliminary review.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks Darion! Really helpful!

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