By Heather Teter / Special to The Tally Wire
TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Tallahassee’s building industry is booming, and keeping it going is the City of Tallahassee. In a time when many other communities have slowed down due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has overcome obstacles by swiftly implementing health and safety protocols to protect employees and contractors, while ensuring beams go up, plans get reviewed and schedules are met.
At the center of this vibrant construction is Carlos Lyons, a commercial building inspector with the City’s Growth Management department. As one of the City’s building inspectors, Lyons ensures that commercial building projects on the Southside progress safely and in a timely manner.
“Since the beginning of COVID-19, we haven’t missed a beat,” Lyons said. “Of course, we adapted by implementing the new virtual building inspection process and incorporating personal protective equipment, like face masks and rubber gloves, as part of our daily attire, but as the building industry moved forward, so did we—matching it pace for pace.”
Specializing in commercial properties, Lyons inspects everything from apartment buildings and retail stores to office buildings to automobile dealerships. Since March, he and his team of inspectors have performed nearly 5,000 commercial building inspections, averaging around 30 inspections per day.
Maintaining six feet of social distance and donning his personal protective equipment, Lyons meets with contractors and inspects buildings from top to bottom, inside and out. While conducting a building inspection, Carlos looks at everything with a keen eye. He ensures that local and state building codes are adhered to, so the commercial building can eventually be granted its certificate of occupancy, which is typically the final step before a building opens to the public.
“Every inspection that I perform is ultimately for the safety of the public,” he said. “Typically, commercial buildings are bigger and house more people than residential buildings. Knowing that many people will eventually come into a building means that I have to be at the top of my game and make sure rigorous safety standards are met.”
With nearly 70 employees, including Lyons, the City’s Growth Management department is keeping the Tallahassee community building. By working closely with contractors, the City’s building inspectors help developments move from blueprints to construction, to occupancy, ensuring safety and furthering smart growth to add to our physical and economic landscape.
For more information about the City’s Growth Management department, including citywide development, building codes or permitting, visit Talgov.com.