City & County of Honolulu Announces Major Changes to Building Permit Process
The City & County of Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting has announced a comprehensive upgrade of its permitting system.
City & County of Honolulu DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna speaks during a press conference at Honolulu Hale on Wednesday. (PHOTO BY JASON GENEGABUS)

The City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting today announced a comprehensive upgrade of its permitting system, setting plans in motion to replace antiquated procedures with cutting-edge technology aimed at streamlining operations and expediting service.

After 26 years of reliance on on-premise system that continues a downward slide into obsolescence, DPP now moves to adopting an all-in-one solution created by software company Clarity and implemented by Sheridan Technologies. The switch aims to boost productivity and increase transparency within the department, according to DPP.

“The Clariti/Speridian project, which commenced this February, is a critical step towards modernizing our permitting process,” said Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, DPP director, in a press release. “In collaboration with trusted partners, we are introducing a future where intuitive and efficient digital solutions replace paper-based legacies.”

Now in its fifth week of implementation, full testing of the new Clariti platform is expected to last approximately 18 months. The software comes with a price tag of $5.6 million, paid for with federal Fiscal Recovery Funds money.

DPP on Wednesday also announced its adoption of Avolve’s ProjectDox software, continuing an effort to transition into only accepting electronic plan submissions for new permit applications. Implemented at a cost of $206,000 and again paid for by federal FRF funds, promises an improvement in efficiency, with the eventual goal of a fully electronic submission and inspection experience for all building permit applicants. 

“By upgrading ProjectDox, Honolulu can provide its citizens with outstanding experiences and fast turnaround for its electronic plan review,” said Todd Jorgensen, Avolve’s chief revenue officer, in a release.

The city is also embracing the shift to incorporating artificial intelligence into everyday business operations with the introduction of CivCheck, an AI-based software platform dedicated to refining the pre-screening phase of permit processing. 

“CivCheck’s AI Plan Review technology is a game changer for permit review, and we are very excited about the promise of this partnership with CivCheck,” Apuna said.

CivCheck utilizes AI to monitor and track compliance and plan reviews, potentially reshaping the landscape of permit processing in the state. 

“Our AI is designed to meet the unique needs of our clients and the communities they serve, ensuring rapid, accurate, and dependable permitting experiences,” said Cyrus Symoom, co-CEO of CivCheck, in a release.

According to Apana, the city is currently testing the technology during a five-month pilot project at no cost to DPP.

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