What to Do with the BOE: Bureau of Engineering

What to Do with the BOE: Bureau of Engineering

Next in our series on restaurant permits is how to navigate Bureau of Engineering submittals and analyze some of the requirements. These submittals work hand-in-hand with a lot of other types of projects, but for our purposes we will be explaining them with respect to restaurants. In addition, we should note requirements differ depending on the region of the country you are in.

Depends on what the meaning of “it” is

Depending on which jurisdiction you are in the Bureau of Engineering may be called something else and may incorporate different departments. For example, in Los Angeles it is called the Burea of Engineering, or BOE for short, and incorporates the following divisions:

  • Sanitation
  • Industrial Waste
  • Public Works
  • Environmental Health
  • Civil Engineering

These departments have their own submittal requirements and must be signed off before the building department will give you the “Ready to Issue” letter.

What Are You Looking At?

At face value it seems BOE is looking at specifications and requirements that the Building Department is also analyzing, however, they are doing an in-depth review looking for specific information as it pertains to their departments. In English, this basically means the department of Sanitation is looking at the plans to find specific requirements as it pertains to the area’s sanitation needs. Building officials won’t be looking at your plans as closely for those requirements because they have a different tasking. Some of the things BOE is looking for can be:

  • Size of equipment (exhaust hoods, grease traps, etc.)
  • Materials used for everything from the floor to the ceiling tiles
  • Calculations for loads (piping, points of connections, mounts, etc.)
  • Spacing between equipment

This is not a comprehensive list but gives a good picture of how reviews with BOE differ from reviews with the Building Department.

What’s This Going to Cost Me?

Whenever we speak about cost Permit Advisors defines the time and money it will cost our clients to get their projects through BOE. If jurisdictions permit, you should try to submit concurrently to BOE so they are conducting their reviews at the same time as the building department is conducting theirs. This process is a curve ball for your project managers as far as keeping project numbers straight, review timelines, plancheck staff, and, of course, tracking budget. However, it does save time, and can, save money. In the event your jurisdiction does not allow for concurrent submittals it’s wise to budget for at least 2 months for the initial review to all BOE. I know, I know, it is a long time to wait for initial comments, however

To round out this section about the BOE, the best way to save on time and money is to get a permitting solutions firm that has worked in the jurisdiction before. They will do more than work the process, they will provide solutions to the complex problems that city submittals require.  For more information on how key things to look for from consultants check out our article “Who You Need in Phase I”.


In conclusion, the BOE process is a complex process requiring critical thinking, technical knowledge, and money from those looking to push their projects through to approval; while it is not for the faint of heart it is not impossible. It is best to get a permit expediting, code consulting, and entitlements solutions firm on your team to provide insight and solutions during the process.

About Us: Permit Advisors Inc is a nationwide permit expediting, entitlement, and consulting firm based out of Beverly HIlls, CA. We have established relationships with municipalities nation-wide and implement time as well as cost saving strategies to efficiently complete projects. We provide a project management team to ensure every aspect of the project is given specific attention while maintaining open communication between the jurisdiction, consultants, and our clients. We serve retailers, architects, landlords, tenant coordinators, contractors and franchisees nationwide in the hotel, retail, restaurant, mixed-use, multifamily, entertainment, grocery, and logistical plant development industries. Contact us today for a consultation at www.permitadvisors.com.


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Jul 31, 2016 By admin