BuildFax Contributes Data to Help Launch the First Open Data Standard to Promote More Accessible and Usable Building Permit Information

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BuildFax, the creator of the first automated source for national property condition data, announced today, in collaboration with the nation’s leading real estate and civic tech powerhouses, the release of the first open building permit standard.

“This new data standard offers the opportunity to have more transparency into the nation’s building permit records – an often under-appreciated piece of our public safety infrastructure.” -BuildFax CEO, Holly Tachovsky.

BuildFax, the creator of the first automated source for national property condition data, announced today, in collaboration with the nation’s leading real estate and civic tech powerhouses, the release of the first open building permit standard.

The Building and Land Development Specifications (BLDS, pronounced “builds”) was created in response to the lack of uniform formatting for permit specifications in the residential and commercial real estate sectors. BLDS enables a more structured flow of data from the public sector to the consumer (citizens and software developers). BuildFax’s permit data on over 90 million properties across the country, dating back the past 20 years, helped frame and guide decisions around BLDS. The new standardized format allows software developers to more easily access data, which will increase usability and provide more valuable insights into regional activity to facilitate data-driven decisions.

“This new data standard offers the opportunity to have more transparency into the nation’s building permit records – an often under-appreciated piece of our public safety infrastructure.” -BuildFax CEO, Holly Tachovsky.

Previously referred to as “civic exhaust,” permits serve as a proxy for economic activity, providing intelligence into how economic trends affect the nation at the community level. The data collected illustrates the types of permits that are being issued in different parts of the country, showing gentrification, adoption of solar technology, increases in commercial construction activity, and many other powerful insights to help consumers understand and improve communities.

BLDS v. 1.0 provides a standardized format for jurisdictions to use when releasing information on building permits as open data. The new standard was created by leaders from several organizations with building permit expertise, including Accela, BuildFax, Buildingeye, Civic Insight, DR-i-VE Decisions, SiteCompli, Socrata, and Zillow.

A number of municipalities have already instituted the new BLDS formatting, including San Diego County, CA, the City of Alameda, CA, Deschutes County, Oregon, Bernalillo County, NM, Chattanooga, TN, Tampa, FL, Seattle, WA, Ft. Worth, TX, Boston, MA and several others.

Joe Emison, BuildFax CTO and BLDS collaborator, “BuildFax will be adding BLDS support to its API so that software developers everywhere can more easily integrate permits into their applications. If you’d like a free trial of BuildFax’s national building permit data by API, please sign up using the following link: http://go.buildfax.com/l/74102/2015-07-15/rnm6c

About BuildFax:
BuildFax is the creator of the first automated source for national, historical building permit data. BuildFax provides this intelligence through unrivaled property-level details on relevant property events, such as major remodels, additions, and new roofs. The BuildFax database of permits continues to grow, currently covering more than 8,000 U.S. cities, counties and townships, 90+ million residential and commercial properties, and includes over 10 billion data points on those properties. For more information, visit http://www.buildfax.com.

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Tricia Julian
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