Message from the Director
As we enter the new year we have an opportunity to reflect on what we're thankful for as well as we get ready for the year ahead. I remain thankful for my dedicated staff, who come in every day to make San Francisco a safe, world-class place to live, work, and visit. We have been hard at work, carrying out our important role of facilitating timely construction and protecting building safety during this remarkable building boom our City continues to experience. As San Francisco continues to grow, we are also working to preserve existing housing stock and keep the public prepared by ensuring the seismic safety of our buildings and communities. We continue to work hard to meet the City's top priority housing goals through the streamlined ADU program and DBI fee waiver program for construction of ADUs and Affordable Housing. 
2020 is sure to be an important and busy year for DBI, with the department's move to its new home at 49 South Van Ness expected this summer. Preparations are underway for the transition. Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to our move!    
Happy New Year!


Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.
Director and Chief Building Official
Welcome New Building Inspection Commissioners

(Pictured L-R: Commissioner Jonathan Jacobo, Commissioner Jason Tam, Commissioner Alysabeth Alexander-Tut, DBI Director Tom Hui) 

We are pleased to welcome our newest Building Inspection Commissioners - Jason Tam, who serves as the Residential Landlord Seat, Alysabeth Alexander-Tut, serving in the Tenant Seat, and Jonathan Jacobo, serving in the General Public Seat!  We look forward to another year of working together to keep San Francisco's more than 200,000 buildings safe and code compliant. Congratulations and welcome! Read more about the BIC

(Pictured L-R: Commissioner Frank Lee, Commissioner Debra Walker, Commissioner Angus McCarthy, DBI Director Tom Hui)

Of course, we also had to say goodbye to three of our valued Commissioners. The December BIC meeting was the final one for Commissioners John Konstin, James Warshell, and Debra Walker. Commissioners Konstin and Warshell have sat on the BIC since 2016; and Commissioner Walker, who has been one of our longest serving members, is ending a 20 year tenure with the BIC. We at DBI thank you for your service to the people of the San Francisco!

Be Ready for Winter Weather

With winter underway, you should be taking the necessary steps to prepare to deal with possible flooding and addressing any issues involving your roofs and gutters to withstand severe weather and impending storms. It is important to continue to remain vigilant in the storm upkeep of your property and/or construction site. Found below are some tips that we've been sharing.
Tips for Property Owners
  • Check your roof for leaks or missing/damaged tiles and shingles
  • Clear gutters, downspouts and drains of debris and clogs
  • Secure or remove patio furniture, i.e. umbrellas, chairs, tables, tarps and awnings to reduce wind-blown damage
  • Inspect and repair exterior appendages (deck, balcony, stairs) on your property
  • Prepare your emergency kit, have adequate supplies, and review your emergency plan with family members.
Tips for Contractors
  • Fill and/or cover up trenches and building openings to prevent water collection
  • Remove tools, debris or any items from construction sites that can be blown away
  • Protect ceiling and roof work that is in progress
  • Secure scaffolding in anticipation of strong winds
Access additional emergency preparedness tips and information by visiting

Material Reduction and Recovery Plan Requirement

Starting February 3, 2020, applicants for certain permitted projects (list below) will be required to submit an online Material Reduction and Recovery Plan (MRRP) using Green Halo Systems to comply with the State's California Green Building Standards code 4.408 and 5.408.

The following permit types will be subject to the new requirements:
  • Permits for both Commercial and Residential New Construction
  • Permits for Commercial Alterations with a valuation of $200, 000 or more
  • Permits for Commercial Additions with 1,000 square feet or greater
Permit applicants will need to provide a Green Halo tracking number before their permit is issued. They can do this by registering at San Francisco's Debris Tracking system

Applicants will then need to complete and submit their MRRPs to schedule their final inspections.

For more information, please consult our MRRP Information Sheet (GB-02) or email .

Permit Center Update

Come Find Out About the New One-Stop Permit Center
Opening at 49 SVN this summer!
  • New Qless electronic queueing software
  • Electronic Plan Review
  • Printshop and other amenities
You are INVITED to attend a briefing and introduction to the features and improvements you can expect to see when the new Permit Center opens at 49 South Van Ness this summer.
WHEN:                  2pm-3pm on Thursday, January 30th
WHERE:               1660 Mission, 2nd floor, Room 2001
WHAT:                  Permit Center Briefing and Introduction
WHO:                    Melissa Whitehouse, Permit Center

Get to Know Our Team

We continue to hire more staff to ensure we are providing the highest levels of effective and efficient customer services. Please give a big welcome to our newest hires.

Access our staff directory here .
  Joanna Chang                  Pearl Smith                                          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. 


As of January 1, 2020, the 2019 San Francisco and California Codes are in effect. This includes the Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, Energy and Green Building Codes. Lean more at .

Read up on our most recent code updates:
  • GB-02: Material Reduction and Recovery Plan (MRRP)
  • M-03:  2016 Title-24 Energy Forms for Low-rise Residential Buildings
  • M-042016 Title-24 Energy Forms for High-rise Residential, Hotel/Motel and Non-residential Buildings
 Read More


Stay up to date on the most recent proposed and passed legislation affecting DBI. Here are some listed below:

File Nos. 190959-190964 - Triennial Building Code Update. The 6 ordinances updating the SF Building Code were passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors on November 13 and took effect on January 1, 2020.
File No. 191017- Housing Code Heating Requirements. This ordinance, which took effect on January 20, changes section 701 of the City's Housing Code to conform to state law. It will require all residential rental units be provided heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 70 degrees at a point 3 feet above the floor 24 hours a day, thereby ensuring the health and well-being of San Francisco residents.
File No. 190974- Green Building Code - Energy Performance in Newly Constructed Buildings. This ordinance proposes stricter energy efficiency ratings for new mixed-fuel buildings. New mixed-fuel high-rise residential buildings would need to establish that their energy budgets are 90% or less than a standard design building's energy budget. Similarly, new mixed-fuel non-residential buildings, regardless of height, would need to establish that their energy budgets are 90% or less than a standard design building's energy budget. Mayor Breed signed the ordinance into law on January 17, Once implemented, this ordinance will contribute significantly to San Francisco's efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions.


If you would like DBI  to attend your association or organization's meeting to discuss DBI Programs or any other DBI related topics, contact


Chinatown Community Fair
Date: February 8-9, 2020
Location: Portsmouth Square

DBI Holiday Closure
President's Day
Monday, February 17, 2020 


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