Message From the Director

It has been a busy summer here at DBI! 
In June, we hosted the Earthquake Safety Fair and Workshops , teaming with colleagues across multiple City agencies and engaging with more than 1,000 San Francisco residents, property owners, contractors and design professionals to educate the public on seismic safety essentials

We've expanded our customer online services to include easy scheduling of a building inspection ; and we've seen the approval of legislation that will make it easier for residents to expedite solar and Electric Vehicle charging station permits, extend staff preparation time for the Accessible Business Entrance Program launch, and install gray water systems that will help our city save precious water. 

We all learned from, and benefitted from, our 18 summer high school Project Pull Interns, who now have an excellent understanding about what building safety entails. 

As we look ahead to the fall, we 'll be hosting our All-Staff Meeting in October to review our ongoing priorities this fiscal year and continue to grow as a team of 280 inspectors, permit technicians, and clerical staff. 

I urge all of you to learn more about DBI's key programs, ask questions, and continue your excellent customer services.


Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.
San Francisco's Top 5 Construction Projects 
Based on Construction Valuation Permitted as of August 2017

Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program

Permit applications and project plans for Tier Three of the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program are due Friday, September 15, to DBI's offices. The Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program is a multiyear effort to ensure the safety and resiliency of San Francisco's older, wood-framed, multi-family buildings housing over 115,000 residents citywide and which are susceptible to strong damage in an earthquake. This year's Tier Three permit deadline includes 3,504 buildings with three stories, five to 15 units, or two stories with a basement. Aggressive outreach continues to bring owners in to compliance before September 15th, thereby protecting tenants and families. Learn more about the program and compliance as a property owner

DBI Earthquake Safety Fair & Workshops

More than 100 exhibitors participated in this year's Earthquake Safety Fair and Workshop, hosted by DBI on June 15 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The event featured breakout sessions on topics ranging from remodeling improvements to fire safety, in addition to seismic retrofitting and the permitting process. The day brought together property owners, contractors, design professionals, and members of various City agencies. Catch up with videos and handouts from the fair by clicking here.
Going Green with New Ordinances
New ordi nances are helping San Francisco become a greener city thr ough amendments to Solar Energy Incentive Program  and expansion of the city's requirements to install electric vehicle charging stations in new or significantly renovated buildings. 

The Building Inspection Commission has adopted, and the Board of Supervisors has approved,  new policy giving the Commission 90-day review for ordinances proposed by the Board.  See our Legislative Update section for more information.

Building inspections can now be scheduled online, with results also available through DBI's website. Licensed contractors may  register  with DBI to be able to complete online scheduling, including rescheduling or cancellation of an inspection. Other inspection services available for online booking include electrical and plumbing. Have a question about building inspections?  Contact us by web, phone, and in person

Learn More
Get to Know Our Team

Shirley Wong
Building Inspection Commission
We've been working hard and hiring more staff to ensure we are providing the highest levels of effective and efficient service s. Please give a big welcome to our newest hires.

Access our staff directory here.

In This Issue


DBI is the regulatory building safety agency responsible for overseeing the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of building , electrical, plumbing, disability access and housing codes for the City and County of San Francisco's more than 200,000 commercial and residential buildings. 


Read up on our most recent code updates:


Stay up to date on the most recent proposed and passed legislation affecting DBI:
Plumbing permit exemption to install simple gray water systems. Former Supervisor Scott Wiener's proposed ordinance to waive the current requirement to obtain a plumbing permit prior to installing a simple gray water system, using recycled water for landscaping and other uses, and thus saving precious water.
Ordinance amending the Green Building Code and the Environment Code to establish requirements for installation of electric vehicle charger infrastructure in new buildings or buildings undergoing major alterations.
Ordinance amending the Building Code to establish a process giving the Building Inspection Commission more review time of often complex legislation proposed by the Board of Supervisors.
Ordinance to exempt mandatory soft story seismic retrofits from the project valuation trigger for fire alarm system upgrades, thereby facilitating issuance of CFCs for completed seismic retrofit projects.  


All-Staff Meeting

We're excited to host our All-Staff Meeting on October 25. We look forward to this opportunity to gather as a team and reflect upon our initiatives, challenges and priorities. DBI services will open at 10:00 a.m. on this day.


Are you interested in having DBI at your street fair or public neighborhood meeting? We would be happy to come present and speak about topics relating to our services. Email and we'll be in touch!




Keep up with the latest DBI news, tips, and contests by following us on Twitter & Facebook!



DBI will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.


View our hours of operation here.