Approvals and Entitlements 101 at LPA Inc.
By Guest Blogger Heidi Roseler, LEED AP
Entitlements you say? Let me explain. For any project, there are required agency approvals. It could be the Building Department, the Fire Department, the Division of the State Architect or any number of parties, but someone has to give authorization.
That's where your friendly folks in Entitlements come in -- I capitalize, as we're entitled. We are the liaison between the client, the design and engineering team at LPA, and the governing agency. Pesky applications, checklists, and "please sign the same sheet everyone else did, in triplicate" are our bread and butter. For instance, many K-12 schools are looking to update their campuses for ADA compliance, which is a different process from new construction, which is different from finding funding and the state requirements differ from what each city, county or agency requires. Enter your friends in Entitlements, who work through each separate process and coordinate the J dotting and X crossing, because they are the ones that get missed most often.
It is our responsibility to gather everything upon project completion. Lab reports, DSA 6s, and Notices of Completion, oh my. And nothing makes us happier than that close of file with certification letter. Well, maybe chocolate, but that depends on the day.
The best part about my job is that I'm never doing the same thing two days in a row. A few weeks ago I found a LEED credit that was hiding for an eco-friendly interiors project. Yesterday, I turned in all the required documents to close a file with certification. Tomorrow, I take over the world -- and we will do it one sustainable building at a time.