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Online permitting and approval process during COVID-19 exceeds in-person performance numbers

Markham, ON, Canada

At a Glance

The COVID-19 stay at home mandate required The City of Markham, Ontario to implement a remote work policy within a 24-hour period. The Building Department executed a seamless transition to review and approve projects electronically, exceeding the team's previous year in-office performance numbers.

Problem Addressed

With the advent of COVID19, jurisdictions have been forced to close the doors of public facilities. This has left many Building Departments with projects in flight at a standstill. Like every other organization, the City of Markham received almost no warning - 24 hours - that it would have to transition its entire workforce to remote work. This raised the essential question in Markham: can the building department continue business as usual, with all of its employees working from home?

City of Markham ON used/is using ProjectDox ePlan Review to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

As the City of Markham Building Department evaluated its preparedness for work from home, it realized that its earlier adoption of ProjectDox electronic plan review software would contribute greatly to the department’s flexibility and resilience in the face of COVID-19. ProjectDox® is an Electronic Plan Review (ePlan) solution that digitally transforms the way localities review and approve projects. In the City of Markham, permit applicants interact safely in a completely online environment with the Building Department team. ProjectDox delivers efficiencies via a proven plan review process thereby accelerating the permit review process which stimulates economic growth - all while assuring building safety compliance.

For those jurisdictions that have implemented ProjectDox electronic plan review software - it's business as usual, with staff members and constituents able to stay safe and do their jobs from home. ProjectDox allows applicants to submit plans - and jurisdictions to review, access and manage building plans and trade permits electronically no matter the challenge, or where you work.

Jurisdictions using ProjectDox have been resilient and able to remain operational under recent pandemic restrictions.


  1. The City of Markham, ON experienced zero process downtime as their staff transitioned to a work at home model over a weekend thanks to the electronic plan review solution they had in place.
  2. An Emergency Business Continuity Plan was quickly created to maintain all essential legislated departmental services and 31 union employees were set up to work remotely.
  3. The Markham Building Department's 19 plan reviewers showed higher productivity in the new work from home online review environment, having processed 200 permits from March 16 - April 9.
  4. The online process allowed building permits to continue, queuing projects for fast economic ramp up when restrictions were lifted.

Something Unique

PaperlessNOW is a new low cost of entry Avolve Cloud Solution with a best in class ProjectDox building plan review workflow. Developed specifically to help jurisdictions get permitting back online during COVID-19 to move projects forward, while keeping employees and citizens safe!

Who Should Consider?

Small and medium-sized jurisdictions in North America that have not yet moved their permitting process online.