Watch CBS News

City Of Sacramento Using Smart Phones For Virtual Building Inspections

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Big cranes across the Sacramento skyline are proof that construction hasn't stopped during the coronavirus pandemic.

But how Sacramento construction projects are being approved by the city is now being done in a whole new way.

Since March, when social distancing practices were ordered by the state and county, the city of Sacramento is inspecting construction projects virtually.

Sacramento building inspector Brennan Hill is going on three months working from home using live video feeds from his home office where he doubles as dad and still wears his Sacramento city ID.

"I start every day pretending as though I'm going to walk outside get in a vehicle and drive down to our office," Hill said. "It helps me mentally prepare for this."

On this day, Hill is inspecting a Natomas new home under construction and the insulation installed inside. Julie Christopher with Beamer Homes is the builder. She used her smartphone to show Hill the work.

READ: Experts: Construction Work Key To Economic Relief, But Not Immune To Effects Of Pandemic

"I think they prepared us for all this stuff when we watched Star Trek back in the '70s," Christopher said. "We're quite thankful that we were able to continue building, I mean that's huge."

During the pandemic, requests for Sacramento city building inspections has averaged 300 a day. Similar to the number of requests before coronavirus hit the state. Every inspection is done virtually.

"I'm noticing the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words," Hill said.

The North State Building Industry reports the Sacramento area had 450 new home sales in May, nearing levels seen before the coronavirus hit.

"I'm surprised and a little bit shocked at how busy it still is," Hill said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.