Message From the Director

As we welcome the holidays and look forward to a new year, I would like to take a moment to remember the late Mayor Ed Lee. The sad news of his passing has affected the entire City family. All DBI staff join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to Mayor Lee's family and loved ones. He will be sorely missed, and his legacy of public service will continue to touch all of San Francisco. 

I am deeply proud of the work our Department has accomplished under Mayor Lee's leadership, and 2017 saw us put a strong foundation in place to better serve the residents and visitors of our City.

These key projects will continue into 2018 which include working alongside our partners in Public Works, the Planning Department, the Office of Small Business and the Mayor's Office of Disability to assist building owners in complying with the new Accessible Business Entrance Program. We will also move forward in our important work to improve tall building regulations, including developing a prequalified list of experts who will serve on peer reviews as buildings are in design.

Thank you to all of our dedicated staff who have helped us accomplish so much this year.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share in each other's good cheer at this year's holiday party. We will further reflect on our achievements together and service through key programs with the release of our 2016-17 Annual Report in the new year. 


Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.

Accessible Business Entrance Program

With roughly 27,000 properties estimated to be affected, the recently launched Accessible Business Entrance Program (ABE) is one of the largest  citywide outreach efforts undertaken by DBI. Its scope is greater than the Mandatory Soft Story Program , and the Department is currently hiring additional support and technical staff to assist with the management and implementation of the program.

Approved by the Board of Supervisors in March 2016 under Ordinance 51-16, the Accessible Business Entrance Program is a multi-agency collaboration, with DBI working jointly with Public Works, the Planning Department, the Office of Small Business and the Mayor's Office of Disability to improve the physical access to goods and services offered throughout the City for persons with disabilities. An informational flyer developed by DBI describes the upcoming schedule and steps for building owners to comply. Learn more about how DBI is helping improve the accessibility of business across the City.
Important Tall Building Updates

In November, the Department issued Information Sheet S-18, titled Interim Guidelines and Procedures for Structural, Geotechnical and Seismic Hazard Engineering Design Review for New Tall Buildings. These interim guidelines require developers to monitor and provide DBI with annual data reports on possible building settlement for a period of 10 years following the Department's issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion (CFC) or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO), allowing occupancy, and requires the owner to notify immediately DBI's Inspection Services of settlement exceeding the project's geotechnical engineer's projected estimates. 

The interim guidelines of S-18 have been introduced as the Department awaits feedback of an ongoing review of the City's primary tall buildings regulation, Administrative Bulletins AB-082 and AB-083, by a specially assembled task force at the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC). It is expected that the SEAONC task force will provide its final recommendations for AB-082 in January 2018 and will begin its separate review of AB-083 in early 2018. 
Request for Qualifications January Deadline 
DBI has reissued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for structural, geotechnical, and seismic experts to serve as part of a vetted pool of peer review panelists for tall building projects. While DBI received more than 20 responses after the first posting of the RFQ in July, DBI has extended the deadline for applicants to January 5, 2018, to obtain a greater range of expertise. The Department anticipates releasing its full prequalified list, including submissions in response to the July posting, on February 9, 2018. See our RFQ posting.

Book your next Inspection Online

Save time scheduling your next building, electrical, or plumbing inspection by booking it with our new  online tool. First-time user? Register for an instant online permit by creating an account with us here.  

Be Snug this Winter: Prep for Storms

Last  year's El Niño brought severe storms to California. While this winter's forecast is less clear, be ready for rain. Here are a few helpful tips for staying snug and dry.

For homeowners and residents
  • Double check your roof for potential leaks.
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts of possible debris.
  • Secure or remove patio furniture that could be blown away in high winds.
For contractors
  • Fill trenches and cover up building openings in advance of heavy storms.
  • Secure scaffolding and any other tools, debris, or building materials.
DBI Celebrates the Holidays

On December 6, DBI staff gathered to celebrate the holidays. Thank you to all our team members for their commitment to DBI throughout the year. 

Get to Know Our Team

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 .  

  Monifa Allen                         Angelique Gold
  Housing Inspection                Housing Inspection
  Services                                 Services           
  Wayne Lam                          Karen Liang
  Management Information      Plan Review Services

        Stephen Liu                          Jennie Pham
 Plan Review Services            Code Enforcement                                                              Section                  

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. Here are some listed below:

File No. 170837 Passed

Ordinance amending Chapter 11D of the Building Code to extend the time until May 23, 2018 for compliance with the requirement that an existing building with a place of public accommodation either to have all primary entries and path of travel into the building accessible by persons with disabilities, or to receive from the City a determination of equivalent facilitation, technical infeasibility, or unreasonable hardship, the Department of Building Inspection's report to the Board of Supervisors, and the limitation on granting extensions of time.

File No. 170937 Pending

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to establish the Tenant Assistance Fund for Hazardous Housing and to allow certain eligible tenancies displaced due to administrative emergency orders to vacate issued by the Department of Building Inspection, or the Fire Department, to receive financial assistance from the Fund for up to two years. This ordinance passed its first reading by the Board of Supervisors on December 12, 2017, and is expected to achieve final passage on January 9, 2018.


File No. 171194 30-Day Calendar

Ordinance amending the Building Code to enact an expedited and streamlined permit process for solar energy systems; affirming the Planning Department's determination under the California Environmental Act; and directing the Clerk to forward this Ordinance to the Building Standards Commission upon final passage. Expected to be scheduled for a Land Use Committee hearing in January, 2018.


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!



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DBI's offices will be closed for the following upcoming holidays:


  • Monday, December 25, for Christmas Day
  • Monday, January 1, for New Year's Day   


View our hours of operation here.