Miami County, Ohio: Virtual Inspections


Current building codes require site inspections at several stages throughout the construction process. These can include inspections of concrete slabs, foundation walls, insulation, and roof ice guards, as well as re-inspections of specific or code-required (i.e., welds, masonry, etc.) items. When done in person, these inspections can be time-consuming and costly and may involve more complex issues that require specialized expertise. These costs can be magnified when inspections are spread out in rural areas. Implementing a program where residential, trade, and commercial inspections can be conducted virtually can be a great way to cut costs, save time, and ensure that more areas receive accurate and expedited building code inspections, even in busy construction climates.


In 2019, Ohio’s Miami County launched a pilot program that allowed the county of 410 square miles to conduct virtual inspections on certain projects by utilizing technology to expedite their projects wherever possible.  These virtual inspections save time and gas and cut costs generally. This pilot program was so successful that within months, the Miami County Department of Development fully adopted this new Virtual Inspection Program.

Key Takeaways

  1. There are challenges to traditional site inspections. Traditional site inspections in construction projects involve multiple stages and can be time-consuming, costly, and complex. In rural areas, these challenges are magnified due to longer travel times and the need for specialized expertise. This poses a barrier to efficient and timely inspections, impacting construction timelines and costs.
  2. Virtual Inspections can be a resourceful tool for many counties across the country to ensure that structures are constructed to code. Implementing virtual inspection programs offers significant benefits, including cost savings, time efficiency, and improved accessibility to accurate inspections. Virtual inspections utilize technology to conduct inspections remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits and streamlining the inspection process. This approach can particularly benefit rural areas where travel distances are greater, enabling more expedited and cost-effective inspections.
  3. Virtual inspection programs have proven to be successful. The case of Ohio's Miami County illustrates the success of virtual inspection initiatives. By launching a pilot program in 2019 and subsequently fully adopting the Virtual Inspection Program, Miami County effectively utilized technology to expedite projects, save time and costs, and enhance the overall efficiency of the inspection process. This success highlights the potential of virtual inspections to address challenges associated with traditional site inspections and improve construction practices.


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