FAQs: Peer Review 

What are Expedited Plan Reviews?
Local jurisdictions such as the Counties of Fairfax, Prince George's, Prince William, and Washington DC offer peer review services through accredited private-sector architectural and/or engineering companies. This is done through a strictly managed program in order to reduce the overall permit approval time. 

Why are they useful?
In many jurisdictions, an Expedited Plan Review by an accredited A/E company reduces the overall permit review time drastically. In Fairfax County, that schedule reduction is 50% as shown on their website. Once you apply for this program, the process becomes greatly accelerated. Under the conventional county review process, the total time from submission of permit drawings to completion of the first review is 14 to 16 weeks. Typically, two reviews are required before the permit drawings are approved.

The code requirements became more complex over the last few years, particularly in regard to accessibility.  It is very difficult if not possible for the Design Architects and Engineers to know every nuance of the code and the latest revisions to them. The expert review by  “Peer Reviewers” reduces errors and omissions, thereby saving the Owner money and time during construction.  This correction earlier in the design stage streamlines the coordination effort between disciplines before the Bid and Final Construction Documents are issued. 

What do our services include?
Through our ADCS - Plan Reviews department, we provide these services primarily for projects on the building code conformance aspects with respect to architectural, fire protection, life and safety, ADA, and structural disciplines. Through our extended project team, we also provide such services for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing disciplines. 

For more detailed information on Fairfax County’s Expedited Plan Review process, please visit the County's Expedited Building Plan Review Program page.

What will it cost?
Our high-quality services are generally lower in cost than that of our peers simply because we keep our overhead low.  The cost of our service is dependent on the size and complexity of the project, similar to how costs are estimated for design work.  We estimate this based on the hours required and provide a lump sum fee with options for providing Additional Services. 

What credentials do we have?
In addition to being licensed in our respective disciplines, the reviewers have specific certifications through the International Code Council for the disciplines they review.  This is a very high level of accreditation that requires passing a rigorous set of tests and continuing education.  As an example, Dave Chan is a Fairfax County Designated Peer Reviewer and an Accessibility Inspector.

Please feel free to e-mail us at dchan@adcs-arch.com for any inquiries you may have on Expedited Plan Reviews.