Construction Drawing Review Process

1. Who reviews construction drawings?

The following development review groups review construction drawings for the City of Durham: 

    • Utilities (water, sewer, and stormwater conveyance systems) 
    • Streets
Stormwater Services 
    • Stormwater Control Measures and Stormwater Regulatory Compliance
    • (Shop drawing reviews: reviewed with CDs and are not accepted after CD Approval)
City Transportation 
    • Signage Plans
    • Traffic Plans
Development Services
    • Floodplain (when not approved during Site Plan review)
    • NPAA (hen not approved during Site Plan review)
Water Management 
    • Pump Stations
    • (Shop drawing reviews: reviewed after CDs are approved for Pump Stations-are not accepted at CD Triage)

2. Construction drawing intake process 

A. Triage

Triage is the acceptance or rejection of construction drawing submittals for review. All construction drawing submittals are subject to an initial examination by Development Services to ensure the submittal is complete and that it has all the required information and items contained on submittal checklists for a detailed review by the individual reviewers within the City of Durham. 

B. When is it done?

Plans and accompanying documentation are accepted at all times, but are only logged into LDO (the City’s application tracking software/system) prior to triage by noon on:
      • Monday,
      • Wednesday, and 
      • Friday
No additional items or plans will be accepted after noon for that day’s triage. Anything received after the noon deadline will be logged in for the next triage.

C. Types of construction drawing submittals

i. 1st Review 

The 1st review submittal is the initial submittal to the City. 

ii. Resubmittals

A resubmittal is any submittal after an initial submittal review that has produced redlines or comments from the development review groups that need to be addressed before the project can be approved. 
See section 4. Resubmittals, below, for how to address redlines and comments.

iii. Originals

Originals are the final plan set that is ready for signatures from the development group reviewers.
 All comments must be adequately addressed prior to submitting originals.  

D. How to prepare submittals for triage

All submittals should be prepared as individual packages for each development review group with each package containing the items listed in the Construction Drawing Submittal Checklist.

 Separate packages shall be submitted for:
      • Engineering Development Review,
      • Stormwater Development Review,
      • Transportation Development Review,
      • Water Management Development Review, and
      • Development Services Review.
Each submittal package shall contain:
      • The appropriate color-coded cover sheet (on top and filled out, except for digital reviews; see below for further information)
      • Construction Drawing Submittal Checklist
      • Required items listed in the submittal checklist for that review group
All submittal packages should be secured with a rubber band(s) so that documentation and plans do not become separated or lost during transition from the DSC to the development review groups. All plan sheets shall be bound together by set (i.e., approved site plan, construction plan sets, etc.). All calculations/documentation shall be bound together using binders, clips, staples, etc. Loose paper will not be accepted.

i. Electronic submittal requirements

A compact disc (CD), DVD-ROM disk, or USB drive with folders containing items specifically created for each review group shall be included with each submittal. Electronic submittal shall be marked per development group. An electronic file transfer protocol or other internet cloud-based file sharing website can be used in place of the electronic media with an included email confirming that the submittals by electronic file transfer have been completed prior to triage.

The electronic submittal should include:
  • One copy of all plan sets (approved, previous, concurrent, etc.)
  • PDFs of all Hard Copy Items
  • Excel files of Spreadsheets
  • AutoCAD files as required/requested by each review group

ii. Color-coded cover sheet system 

Non-electronic submittal packages must have a cover sheet color-coded for each applicable development review group, as listed below. The colored sheets are available at the Development Services Center Desk or at the triage submittal meetings. 

E. Triage process 

NOTE: Submittals will be checked for completeness prior to beginning the review.

i. Complete submittals: 

A complete submittal is one that includes all required items noted on the Construction Drawing Submittal Checklist. Once the submittal is determined to be complete:
        • The project will pass the triage process
        • The design professional will be informed via e-mail that their submittal was accepted for review
        • All submittal packages will be distributed to the different review groups
        • The review timeline starts

ii. Incomplete submittals

An incomplete submittal is one that is missing one or more required items noted on the Construction Drawing Submittal Checklist. Should the submittal be determined to be incomplete:
After the missing items are submitted to DSC, the submittal will be logged into LDO for acceptance during the next scheduled triage.    

F. Triage Submittal Meetings (Optional)

i. What are they?

Triage Submittal Meetings are held with Development Services Staff. These optional meetings are designed to give the developer and/or site designer the opportunity to have triage completed by Development Services staff while they are present. The meeting can help determine if the construction drawing submittal or resubmittal is complete, and that all requirements are met, before the developer or site designer leaves City Hall. The meeting does not replace the actual review. 

ii. When are they held?

Triage Submittal Meetings are available by appointment only at the following times. Please understand this schedule is subject to change with the City’s Holiday schedule
        • Monday: 11 a.m., 11:20 a.m, 11:40 a.m.
        • Wednesday: 11 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 11:40 a.m.
        • Friday:           11 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 11:40 a.m.
Limited slots are available each week for meetings and those slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Each meeting lasts 
20 minutes; no additional time will be given due to the LDO login schedule.

Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours (2 working days) in advance of your scheduled meeting. If the meeting is missed without the proper cancellation period, then you may be penalized by not being allowed to schedule another Triage Submittal Meeting for resubmittals or future projects for 90 days. 

Note that reviewers may be available to attend the Triage Submittal Meeting by request for discussion of minor issues, depending on their schedule. If a reviewer's attendance is desired, please include it as part of the emailed request for a triage meeting and as far in advance of the meeting as possible. A reviewer's attendance is not guaranteed and does not replace their actual review of the submittal after it has been accepted via triage.

No additional items or plans will be accepted after noon for that day’s deadline. Anything received after the noon deadline will be logged in on the next triage date.

iii. How do I get a Triage Submittal Meeting?

Email for appointment availability. The DSC staff will consult the Construction Drawing Triage Calendar and notify you of the next available time for your meeting.

G. Triage Process Questions?

Please contact Development Services for guidance and assistance in this process by email at or by calling 919-560-4326.

3. Construction Drawing Review

After acceptance at triage, each development review group will perform a detailed review of the construction drawing submittal.

A. Review timelines

    • 10-business-day review for plans with approved site plans reviews (approved site plan with submitted CDs), or
    • A 15-business-day review for concurrent reviews (non-approved, in-process site plans)
    • (Coming soon - not yet available) A 5-business-day review for plans with reviews or, 
    • (Coming soon - not yet available) A 15 to 20-business-day review for consolidated reviews.

B. Where can I find the review deadline date?

Check LDO (, call 919-560-4326, or email
for  for an update.

C. How will I be notified when the review is complete?

The reviewer will email the design professional that they have completed their review and that either the submittal is approved or comments/redlines are available to be picked up at the DSC. You can also check LDO for status.

D. Where do I pick up reviewed Construction Drawings?

Reviewed construction drawings can be picked up at the Development Services Center Desk. 

4. Resubmittals

Before resubmitting plans for triage the construction drawings shall be revised to address the review groups comments redlined on the plans and documents or emailed to the design professional.
Responses are required to be made to all comments and redlines:

    • Where written comments are provided by email or text file, the design professional shall provide legible, written responses that address the comments and return them with the next resubmittal
    • Where comments are provided directly on plans or calculations, the design professional will highlight each comment and write a brief note as to how it has been addressed in the revised construction drawings, documents, and calculations, and return them with the next resubmittal.

5. Construction drawing approval (Originals (PDF))

Originals will be triaged and routed to the development review groups for signature and final approval. 

    • Originals should be submitted only after all comments and redlines have been addressed for all review groups.
    • It is preferred that the Originals be unbound and secured with a rubber band(s). 
    • If revisions are requested during this final review, coordinate the resubmittal of all originals through the Development Services Center. Slip sheets will not be allowed after originals have been signed.
Signed Originals can be picked up at the Development Services Center Desk. Originals will include a Letter of Transmittal listing permits and fees required prior to starting construction.