BEACON MUNICIPAL CENTER RENOVATION PROJECT BY OFFICE OF DESIGN. IMAGE CREDIT: PHILIP SPEARS
Top Issue: Private Reviewers
AIA has been working with ACEC Georgia, AGC Georgia and the Georgia Homebuilders to solve the challenge of local governments suspending services in their building departments, therefore unable to provide important project plan reviews and inspections. Fortunately, current Georgia law already allows licensed engineers and architects to provide private plan review and inspection services.
“Private professional provider” means a professional engineer who holds a certificate of registration issued under Chapter 15 of Title 43 or a professional architect who holds a certificate of registration issued under Chapter 4 of Title 43, who is not an employee of or otherwise affiliated with or financially interested in the person, firm, or corporation engaged in the construction project to be reviewed or inspected.
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Watch the virtual 3rd Party Plan Reviews: Legal and Risk Management Considerations webinar
Search our database of architecture firms qualified and available to do plan reviews and inspections.
Private Provider Insurance Requirements
All private professional providers providing plan review or inspection services pursuant to this subsection shall secure and maintain insurance coverage for professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance. The limits of such insurance shall be not less than $1 million per claim and $1 million in aggregate coverage for any project with a construction cost of $5 million or less and $2 million per claim and $2 million in aggregate coverage for any project with a construction cost of more than $5 million. Such insurance may be a practice policy or project-specific coverage. If the insurance is a practice policy, it shall contain prior acts coverage for the private professional provider. If the insurance is project-specific, it shall continue in effect for two years following the issuance of the certificate of final completion for the project. A local enforcement agency, local building official, or local government may establish, for private professional providers working within that jurisdiction, a system of registration listing the private professional providers within their stated areas of competency. The permit applicant shall verify compliance with the insurance requirements of this subsection.
Local Government May Require Prequalification of Private Plan Reviewers and Inspectors
Local governing authority may provide for the prequalification of private professional providers who may perform plan reviews or inspections pursuant to this subsection. No ordinance implementing prequalification shall become effective until notice of the governing authority’s intent to require prequalification and the specific requirements for prequalification have been advertised in the newspaper in which the sheriff’s advertisements for that locality are published, and by any other methods such local authority ordinarily utilizes for notification of engineering, architecture, or construction-related solicitations. The ordinance implementing prequalification shall provide for evaluation of the qualifications of a private professional provider only on the basis of the private professional provider’s expertise with respect to the objectives of this subsection, as demonstrated by the private professional provider’s experience, education, and training. Such ordinance may require a private professional provider to hold additional certifications, provided that such certifications are required by ordinance for plan review personnel currently directly employed by such local governing authority.
Sign up to be added to the master listing of qualified architects/firms available for plan reviews and inspections.
- Master Listing of qualified and available architects/firms for plan reviews and inspections
- House Bill 493: Private Permitting Review and Inspection Act
- Governor Kemp’s Executive Order: Reducing Regulations to Assist the State’s Response to the Spread of COVID-19
- Case Study: Watson v Ellis
- Affidavit of Plan Review from the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)
- Building Code Compliance Risks – PDF from Carlock Copeland Civil Litigation
- 3rd Party Risk Management – Powerpoint by Jeff Mitchell of Insurance Office of America
- 3rd Party Legal Issues – Powerpoint by Tawny Mack and Kent Stair