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file or record retention

Discussion in 'Code Administration' started by linnrg, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. linnrg

    linnrg Sawhorse

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    So I would like to open up a discussion about what Rules/Laws/Operating Policies you are under in terms of permanent records that a typical Building Department would be required to keep indefinitely.

    Our City has a decent vault controlled by the City Clerk. That person has some degree of hesitation towards electronic only storage options. The space in that vault is a limiting factor. There is no space for rolled drawings. My huge rolled drawings are not going to be folded and put into file boxes.

    We do have scanners and that type of equipment but no one employed to do that. I do get CD's from larger commercial projects but none for the smaller commercial or residential projects. Do Building Departments usually have their own independent storage systems?

    I can understand keeping the record drawings for the City's projects but I do not think I should permanently store say a S%#way remodel or even its original construction drawings.

    We keep all Certificates of Occupancy electronically in addition to filing them away.
     
    rogerpa likes this.
  2. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    State of California requires plan retention for the life of the building
    We scan them, and charge the builder/owner for the file retention, per state guidelines.
     
  3. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Our State has no guidelines on digital retention of "lifetime" docs....We need to keep the original paper drawings...
     
  4. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    State requires all comm. projects(remodels,additions,alt.,ect.) to be kept for the life off the bldg. We don't have anything saying it can't be digital either.
    Residential is different for each AHJ and some have their own retention policies which are above state requirements. Last AHJ kept res. for 10 years before they where destroyed.
     
  5. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    Building Records: Inspection and Permit Files
    This series consists of commercial and residential building, electrical, mechanical, storage tank/container, and/or plumbing applications; drawings; issued permits; supporting documentation; and inspections.

    SCHEDULED RETENTION PERIOD
    3 Years after event

    DISPOSITION METHOD
    Non-confidential Destruction

    Building Records: Inspection and Permit Files-Confidential
    This series consists of both commercial and residential building, electrical, mechanical, and/or plumbing applications; drawings; issued permits; supporting documentation; and inspections that include confidential or personally identifying information as invoked by Homeland Security or the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    SCHEDULED RETENTION PERIOD
    3 Years after event

    DISPOSITION METHOD
    Confidential Destruction

    Certificate of Occupancy: Permanent
    This series consists of COs and approved code modifications issued upon completion of work in accordance with applicable codes and all approved permits.

    SCHEDULED RETENTION PERIOD
    0 Years after equipment, facility, or property sold or no longer in use

    DISPOSITION METHOD
    Non-confidential Destruction

    Certificate of Occupancy: Temporary
    This series consists of temporary COs granting permission to occupy a space prior to the final inspection.

    SCHEDULED RETENTION PERIOD
    0 Years after end of calendar year

    DISPOSITION METHOD
    Non-confidential Destruction
     
    Pcinspector1 likes this.
  6. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    We are required by provincial law to maintain the records for 20 years after the final inspection is completed. We retain digital copies as a policy for the life of the building.

    Unless you are exempt from tort actions you should also consult your attorney to see if there is a limitation of actions for tort law. You should maintain files for at least this period. In Canada the damages is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing and the official must be able to prove they exercised due care. Kind of hard without records.
     
  7. linnrg

    linnrg Sawhorse

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    I am still working on this. Our problem is older rolled up drawings that do not store well in the cities vault and we have someone that is controlling the vault.
    tmurray I have heard stories about Canadian Governmental officials being in trouble but Building Officials and inspectors? I would not expect that from such a high class of persons!
    Our State does not keep drawings forever, except for "Public Facilities" so I would like to do the same. My boss thinks it is better to keep them forever but we have not yet came up with a solution. I am thinking offsite in a container at the maintenance shop or something to avoid the vault.

    Are most keeping the C of O's readily available at the Building department?
     
  8. north star

    north star Sawhorse

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    # ~ #

    linnrg,

    IMO, ...storing off-site is not a good idea......The cost of the storage
    will be an ongoing expense, when that expense "might" be used to
    scan and store on cd's.......Plus, storing in some type of container
    will bring the problem of mold & mildew, which will effectively
    render the drawings as useless at some point......We cleaned out
    two smaller sized shipping containers that we have onsite at one
    of our facilities, and it all went to the paper recycle facility.......No
    costs to us, only some of our employees spent the better part of
    one day cleaning out old files that were not electronically archived.

    I would recommend scanning all that you can and storing
    electronically......Those scanned documents will store more easily
    and cost less in the long run.......Also, I would not scan and save
    to any Cloud medium.......Too much potential for that information
    to disappear or to be held for ransom against you [ i.e. - ask **ICE**

    about his pictures disappearing from the online storage medium
    that he was using ].

    Also, ...Yes ALL C. of O's should be readily accessible, or able to be
    produced when asked for.......If you are a public entity, that is a
    public service that should be provided at No Cost !


    # ~ #
     
  9. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    We store our old plans flat (unrolled) in a back room at the Public Works garage. They're all scanned first so we have a digital copy, and away they go. They're "supposed" to be organized in that back room into drawer cabinets, by year. In practice, not so much..

    I *think* here in IL, if we require plans and then issue a permit for a building, we're supposed to keep a copy of the plans for the life of that building.
     
  10. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    I think we keep core/shell and new sfd for life (and additions to those buildings). I have encouraged them to keep remodels to those core/shells but only if they change the core elements like the MOE. All others 6 mo. or 1 yr past C/O or C/C depending on what it is. Why keep a remodel for life? It will be supplanted by the next remodel. I have done 2 or even 3 t/i permits for the same space in just a couple of years...why keep them?
     
  11. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    This is a good idea, you'll most likely get an outside request for a copy of the OC by a zoning request company when a property is about to change hands.
     
  12. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    We had all permit information and CO's scanned by a non paid college intern, stored on the cloud. Paper back-up is stored off site in a leaky municipal building with no ultraviolet protection.

    I could be wrong but I thought the building code only requires the commercial plans to be saved and that residential plans can be discarded at some point. Every municipality I have worked for sez "Oh no we have to keep that information in case a citizen wants it or the lawyers need it!"
     

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