San Jose: : San José’s Chief Building Official Chu Chang Honored as California Building Official of the Year
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Cheryl Wessling, Public Information Manager, Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department

PHOTO: Chu Chang

San José's Chief Building Official Chu Chang Honored as California Building Official of the Year
California Building Officials (CALBO) bestows the 2022-2023 award to Chu Chang for innovations and exemplifying the best of the building official profession

SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 22, 2023) – The City of San José is proudly sharing the news that Chu Chang, the City's Chief Building Official and Assistant Director of the Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement (PBCE) Department, was awarded Building Official of the Year (2022-2023) at the annual business meeting of California Building Officials (CALBO), held in San Diego on March 6-9, 2023.

Chu garnered the award for his 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, thus enabling restaurants and cafes to open their doors more quickly. He also led the digital transformation of permitting and plan review with SJePlans and; accelerated the efficiency of inspections; and — with an eye to public safety — guided operational solutions on numerous complex construction projects, such as the Westfield Valley Fair Mall expansion.

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"From the time he joined the City of San José in 2011 as its Chief Building Official, 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."

"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. We are honored to have such talented people dedicate themselves to making San José a better place to live, work and grow."

"Chu is not only an expert building official who can develop solutions that help us deliver better customer service, he is also a mentor and inspiration to our staff," said PBCE Director Chris Burton. "Many of our staff appreciate Chu's good humor, support, and encouragement in both their daily work and career paths — he has truly helped shape and positively impacted our staff who will be tomorrow's building safety leaders."

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. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, Certified Building Official with the International Code Council, a LEED-accredited professional; and a certified Chief Water Distribution Operator. Through these certifications and ongoing trainings, Chu brings best-in-class building strategies and practices to the City of San José.

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About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About the San José Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (PBCE) Department
PBCE's mission is to guide the physical change of San José to create and maintain a safe, healthy, attractive, and vital place in which to live, work, and play. PBCE is an award-winning department that is responsible for the city's long-range planning; conformance and environmental review of development proposals; issuing permits and inspecting projects for conformance with building codes; and enforcing ordinances that promote the health, safety, and appearance of buildings and neighborhoods. Among other prestigious awards, PBCE was awarded Building Department of the Year by CALBO in 2017. Learn more at

About California Building Officials (CALBO)
CALBO is a nonprofit organization that promotes public health and safety through responsible legislation, education, and building code development. CALBO annually recognizes outstanding performance by building departments, building and fire officials, and industry innovations. Learn more at

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