San Diego’s Chu Chang named California’s building official of the year

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California Construction News staff writer

San Diego’s chief building official Chu Chang was named building official of the year for 2022-2023 at the annual business meeting of California Building Officials (CALBO) in San Diego.

Chu was recognized for “standout achievements” that include working with the County of Santa Clara and multiple city departments to streamline restaurant permitting, which shaved months off the process.

He also led the digital transformation of permitting and plan review with SJePlans and SJPermits.org; accelerated efficiency of inspections; and guided operational solutions on numerous complex construction projects, such as the Westfield Valley Fair Mall expansion.

“From the time he joined the City of San José in 2011 Chu has been an innovative problem-solver,” said San José city manager Jennifer Maguire. “He has consistently guided our city on best practices for building safety while also innovating permit programs that help us more efficiently serve our customers and maximize our resources. It’s exciting to see his excellent work honored like this.”

In presenting the award to Chu, CALBO President Brad Wungluck said, “Chu exemplifies the best of our profession by improving technological resources and helping guide future leaders within our industry. CALBO is fortunate to have Chu as a member of our community and we congratulate him on this significant accomplishment.”

Chu holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from TamKang University in Taipei, Taiwan, and a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

“I’m thrilled to see Chu honored with this well-deserved award,” said San José Mayor Matt Mahan. “The work he does promotes building safety while also fueling our economic competitiveness, growing our development tax base so we can fund the programs that make life better for the entire community.”

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