THE DEVELOPMENT CENTER FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY
P.O. Box 27513 • Tucson, Arizona 85726-7513, USA • 520-624-6628 • 520-798-3701 (fax) • www.dcat.net
Checklist for Gaining Approval
for Alternative Designs, Materials, and Methods of Construction
Start early – it’s a process.
2. Gather information about the jurisdiction and applicable codes.
3. Gather information about the specific alternatives.
If needed, find and enlist the help of allies and sources of expertise.
5. Maintain a positive attitude and take the high road.
6. Meet and share information with the building officials.
7. Get specific feedback from the building officials – listen carefully, get it in writing.
This is a process of building trust – pay attention to the relationships.
9. Address concerns and objections as directly, factually and reasonably as you can.
10. Demonstrate patience and persistence.
11. Carefully consider all your options – appeals, special agreements, political pressure.
12. Acknowledge and thank those who helped and share your lessons learned.
PLANNING AND PREPARING FOR THE APPROVAL PROCESS
Start early. This is a process, not an event. Identify the alternatives you plan to use as early as you can so
you and the building department have as much time as possible to deal with them.
Gather information about the jurisdiction and applicable codes. Learn what you can about the local
permit process, requirements, and the current codes that will apply to your project.
Gather information about the specific alternatives. For each proposed alternative compile the best
reference materials you can find—technical reports, test results, books, authoritative publications, videos,
and documentation of the successful use (and approval) of the alternative in other places.
Find allies and sources of expertise. Seek out and engage knowledgeable experts and resource people,
especially sympathetic code officials, to support your position. Try to find others who have gone through an
approval process for the alternatives you are pro