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Plan Review

DCRA reviews residential and commercial project plans through accelerated plan review and digital walk-throughs, and our online plan submission and review platform, ProjectDox. These tools and additional resources help us deliver results to you quicker so you can be on your way to a successful project. Learn how different services cater to different projects and permits and submit plans online today.

Getting a construction permit in the District involves different elements based on the scope of your project. You may be required to get approvals or services from agencies in addition to DCRA.

Preliminary Design Review

Do you have a large-scale project, such as construction of a new residential or office building?  Let us help you with a Preliminary Design Review Meeting (PDRM). At a PDRM, we provide a first review of your building plans prior to you filing them. Schedule a PDRM, upload plans and related documents prior to the meeting, and make filing faster and simpler.


Digital Walk-Through

Was your project previously deemed as Walk-Through? Does the scope of work meet these criteria? Your project can now be reviewed using digital walk-through in one business day. No more in-person application or plan submission. However, you can schedule a one-on-one with our plan review team or with the Homeowner’s Center for guidance and support. Use digital walk-through for permit applications, such as:

  • Fence
  • Soil Boring
  • Projects that are less than 1,000 square feet including interior renovations and demolition
  • Signs
  • Retaining Walls
  • Underground Storage Tanks
  • Tents

Digital Walk-Through Step-by-Step Process


Accelerated Plan Review

Streamline your plan review and permitting. If all code requirements are met, plans can be approved in little as one day. All plans will continue to be reviewed for code requirements and compliance. Submit to Accelerated Plan Review for project types, such as:

  • Demolition
  • New Construction
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Interior Alterations
  • Use Changes
  • Revisions
  • Shell, Footing and Foundation

Project X

Project X is a pilot program that harnesses the power of technology to bring project owners and their design professionals together with DCRA plan reviewers to streamline the permit review process. Plan reviews are conducted through WebEx with live audio, video, and screen sharing. The goal is to identify issues and address them in real-time in order to make the permit review process as quick as possible. 

Online plan review for construction projects can be significantly reduced compared to traditional review methods. In ideal cases, if all code requirements are met, plans may be reviewed and approved in as little as one day.

If you have submitted a building permit application and associated construction documents online, you may be invited to Project X. Project X includes reviews for single family and small commercial or residential projects less than 10,000 square feet.

Projects triggering review by DOEE for erosion and sediment control may also be eligible to participate.

Any project that is in an area of contamination or that triggers review by another DOEE permitting program or a Federal permitting program will not be eligible to participate, unless the applicant has already obtained approval for all other applicable permitting programs.

Your design team must upload all design documents for review at least ten (10) business days prior to the online session. A permit will be issued once all DCRA and applicable external agency reviews are completed; and all Project X and permit fees are paid.

Velocity Program

Velocity is an optional fast-track plan review program. For a fee, the speed of plan reviews and permit approvals for construction projects can be accelerated. In many cases, plans will be reviewed and approved in one day. While the speed of plan review is a major benefit, DCRA remains focused on compliance. Therefore, all plans submitted through any fast-track plan review program must meet all District Construction Code requirements.

Velocity accommodates various types of building projects, such as:

  • New Construction
  • Demolition
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Interior Alterations
  • Use Changes
  • Revisions
  • Projects triggering review by the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) for erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, and/or green area ratio.*
  • Shell, Footing and Foundation Work

Any project that is in an area of contamination or that triggers review by another DOEE permitting program or a Federal permitting program will not be eligible to participate, unless the applicant has already obtained approval for all other applicable permitting programs.

For more information, please contact us at dcraacceleratedreview@dc.gov.



ProjectDox is an online plan submission and plan review platform. No need to submit multiple paper copies of project plans or permit applications. Apply to use ProjectDox if you have more complex scopes of work that require more in-depth review. Once your application is "ProjectDox Accepted," you will receive an email to create a username and password and begin uploading your plans. Once uploaded, plans are pre-screened for the basic requirements and assigned to necessary plan review disciplines within DCRA and applicable sister agencies.

Upload Plans to ProjectDox


How to Get a Permit

Find the type of permit you need, view easy-to-follow steps to obtain your permit, and get details on specific requirements for each permit type. Expedite your permit with the Permit Expediter or jump right in and apply for your permit online.

Permit Resources

DCRA has many online tools to make your permitting and plan review process quick and easy. We also offer resources and information to guide you through the process. Still have questions? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you don't find what you're looking for, contact us.