Lynn Underwood named DCRA Chief Building Official
Former International Code Council Board Director brings 30 years of national and international code experience
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) announced the selection of Lynn Underwood as Chief Building Official for the District of Columbia. In his new position, Underwood will oversee permitting and inspections for private construction and non-federal construction across the District.
Underwood brings 30-plus years of building and fire safety experience to the role and has worked in jurisdictions across the country and internationally. Prior to joining DCRA, Underwood served in a variety of high-level building department positions, including Building Code Expert for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Code Official for Norfolk, Va., and Building Official for Arlington County, Va. In addition to leading building departments in Arizona, Washington and New Mexico, he has held a variety of positions, including Permit Technician, Plans Technician, Inspector, Combination Inspector, Plans Examiner, Senior Plans Examiner, Assistant Building Official and Building Official. He has participated in international outreach to El Salvador, Afghanistan and Libya.
A past-President of the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA), Underwood also served on the International Code Council’s Board of Directors and as chair of ICC’s Global Membership Council Governing Committee and as a member of the Codes and Standards Council.
Underwood has authored six non-fiction books on construction and the building code, including books on the International Residential Code, debt-free home building and code enforcement.
“I believe that every service our building department provides from plans review to inspections to simply answering a question should be smooth for our customers,” said Underwood. “I’m focused on training and empowering our staff to ensure that every person who conducts business with us has a predictable, positive experience.”
Underwood has earned more than 10 certifications from the International Code Council, including Certified Building Official and its coveted Master Code Professional. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering Technology and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism from New Mexico State University.