Plan Analyst User Experience: Allen+Pepa Architects

Eric Pepa, along with Lane Allen, are the principals and founders of Allen+Pepa Architects based in Geneva, Illinois (due west of downtown Chicago). Eric and Lane combined the previous companies they ran after realizing that their shared philosophies, complementary abilities, and strong interest in the revitalization of traditional historic downtowns could lead to a successful partnership. 

Eric has been in the architectural business his whole career having switched his major from advertising to architecture because he couldn’t see himself pointing to “Tony the Tiger” commercials as his legacy! Now, almost 30 years on he has amassed broad design experience in commercial, industrial, educational, retail and residential construction.

AllenPepa case study image
Allen+Pepa Historic Preservation (LEED Silver): Holbrook Mill, Aurora IL

Eric has been a user of Plan Analyst for the International Building Code for 10 years.

What are your typical use cases for Plan Analyst?
I have found Plan Analyst to be very useful in establishing the broad constraints of the project, such as determining whether we can design a 20,000sf banquet facility as a Type 5B construction and what separation requirements we have if it is adjacent to a residential use. It is good to have a Plan Analyst report as a backup for when we have discussions with building officials or are reviewing design options with clients.

For what do you find Plan Analyst most helpful?
Being able to play out different code scenarios by simply modifying square footage, construction type, etc.

Can you quantify any productivity gains / cost savings from using the software?
That is difficult to do, but to get a code analysis done by a code consultant could cost $500 to a couple thousand dollars. It is helpful to work with a consultant, but having good code review software is valuable as it does a lot of the tedious calculation work for you.

Are there any other benefits of the software?
The report provides a good list of code sections that need to be taken into account. We have used the report as a basis for documenting the full code study on a set of drawings. It’s also helpful because the code section numbers are constantly changing from code year to code year, so it makes it easy to document the correct code section in the drawings.  

 Thank you, Eric! We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about Plan Analyst.

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About Plan Analyst. The original Plan Review / Code Compliance software since 1986. Products include PA for the IBC, PA for the IRC, Deck Calculator, Beam & Column Calculator, Sign Design and Compliance Calculator. Plan Analyst – Performing the Science for Building Code Compliance.