Los Angeles County Building and Safety Permits (New Buildings Only)

Business Problem

Contractors in Los Angeles County have historically relied on referral systems or databases to fill the gap between sourcing suitable projects from a wide variety of residential and commercial listings. One significant, yet often overlooked milestone in the long-run construction and maintenance costs is the prevalence of building and safety permits. A permit “from the Department of Building and Safety is required for private property construction, alteration or repair work on buildings within the City of Los Angeles (Burnham Nationwide, 2016). This Tableau visualization sources the “permits for the construction, remodeling, and repair of buildings and structures in the City of Los Angeles. These are categorized into building permits, electrical permits, and mechanical permits (which include plumbing, HVAC systems, fire sprinklers, elevators, and pressure vessels)” (City of Los Angeles, 2021). Even a cursory glance at the dashboard level will help influence the construction related decisions of real-estate developers, contractors, and subcontractors alike.


The City of Los Angeles regularly maintains this database, filtering it for new buildings only, with periodical updates. There are 3,748 rows and 33 columns at the time of this report. The data has been imported into Google Sheets with the =IMPORTDATA() function in the first cell (A1), and subsequently connected to Tableau as a data source; this is auto-refreshed daily in order to capture any recent updates made by the City Infrastructure & Service Requests.

Preprocessing Steps

Certain columns and/or contents therein have been renamed and/or feature engineered for clarity. For example, “Use Desc” was changed to “Use Description”. Next, “APC” (Area Planning Commission) has been renamed to “Region” since Los Angeles County has several regions within it. Moreover, “Price/ Sq. Ft.” has been created using the following calculated field:

IF [Square Footage] =0 THEN
[Valuation] ELSE
[Valuation]/[Square Footage] END

GPS coordinates have already been provided as longitude and latitude columns, respectively, allowing for mapping coordinates to be carried out with relative ease. The “# of Records” field, a standard with most datasets was introduced as a calculated field based on the count of “Permit Sub Type” values:

COUNT ([Permit Sub Type])

Permit Sub Type is a binary column that contains either “Apartment or Commercial” permit types. No other adjustments have been made.

Tableau Dashboard


Burnham Nationwide (2016, January 27). 5 Things to Know About Building Permits in Los Angeles. Burnham.
City of Los Angeles. (2021, October 24). Building and Safety Permit Issued 2010 to now.
City of Los Angeles. (2021). New Buildings Permit Breakdown [Data file]. Retrieved from