• Posted On: September 23, 2014

Just about every community with a rich history has an abundance of buildings that add context to the past. These structures, while offering a glimpse into long-gone eras, also present a risk to the community when they aren’t properly cared for. Anyone who has ever bought an older home knows the maintenance on them is continual; the same is true of historic buildings.

Communities with a history that goes back a century or more often have a thriving historical society that works hard to preserve buildings and save them from being torn down. While these efforts are valiant, they can also be an issue when funding is inadequate to keep these structures from becoming or remaining unsafe. It is therefore the responsibility of the city to make sure these buildings are up to code and pose no threat to the public. For communities with an abundance of historic structures – this can be an added burden to an already overworked city staff.

Philadelphia has no shortage of history, historic buildings and residents living alongside these structures. In some cases, a multi-million dollar loft complex sits alongside a vacant and crumbling structure. A former hosiery mill is one of those structures sitting next to upscale townhomes. Residents say it’s very easy to get into vacant buildings. When squatters try to keep warm during the winter months, they’ll do it with small fires that pose a risk to the entire neighborhood. Obviously, city officials need to be on their toes when it comes to building inspection work.

Municipalities often hamper their building inspection efforts with manual processes that eat up hours a day and limit the amount of time inspectors spend in the field doing what they’re supposed to be doing – keeping communities safe. Instead of using manual processes, they should be acquiring building inspection software that adds automation to the daily tasks, thus limiting the hours they spend behind a desk.

The added benefit of bringing 21 Century technology into the mix is that the amount of paperwork is reduced significantly. In fact, municipalities that have introduced digital processes have reduced paper by up to 90 percent. That means there are 90 percent fewer pages of reports that have to be processed and sent down the line for the next person to review and decide who needs to see it next. Building inspection software eliminates all the middlemen and directs the building inspection reports to only the appropriate parties.

Furthermore, when partnered with the right building inspection software vendor, residents can send in their own reports on properties they suspect pose a threat to the community. City officials can then effectively communicate the progress on that property back to the resident. This communication process drastically improves the satisfaction ratings within the community as a whole.

At Comcate, we’ve established this system in communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. We partner with our clients to build solutions that keep communities safe, buildings up to code, and property owners accountable for their property. Contact us today to find out how we can build a solution for your city’s needs.

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