City of Vancouver

Changes to City of Vancouver TIPS program and permit process

Getting building permits is always a hot topic for members of the building owner, design and construction community here in Vancouver. In the last 18 months things have gotten somewhat more challenging with the enforcement of ASHRAE rules and the removal of pre-1999 building stock from the City's TIPS (expedited TI permit) scheme.

Today I attended a BOMA BC presentation by Patrick Ryan, Chief Building Official, Director of Building Code and Policy and George Fujii, Director Development Services, Planning & Development Services at City of Vancouver. They provided a very informative presentation detailing what they are doing at the City to try to improve the situation. They acknowledged that they could have done better during this time period but with the significant additional investment that they received they are making serious inroads into providing a consistent and predictable service that is more client focused. Currently wait times for Field Review permits are at 6 weeks but they are targeting reducing this to 4 weeks.

Other planned enhancements to include:

  • electronic submissions and online tracking
  • more training for designers and contractors
  • a simplified service

One key piece which I was pleased to hear is that they will be aiming to reward design professionals that provide complete submissions with faster processing timelines and not allow them to get held up by the fly-by-nights that need far too much hand holding. All the more reason for savvy clients to use experienced professionals on their projects. 

If you want your next workplace interior design project to be handled by knowledgeable professionals that understand the City of Vancouver requirements then please contact Space at Work and we'll manage the entire process for you to make your project run smoothly.