Masoud Abolhoda and his co-workers won’t run the risk of boredom any time soon.

Abolhoda, who manages the city of Fremont, Calif.’s Building and Safety Division, these days finds himself in a hotbed of Silicon Valley commercial construction. But not only has his department managed to keep its cool — it’s won both state- and nationwide accolades over the past two years.

This year, the California Building Officials Assn. tapped Abolhoda’s division as the top statewide department. And in 1999, the nationwide Insurance Services Office rated the division’s building-code enforcement tops in the country.

“I think part of it had to do with our attention to customer service,” Abolhoda said. “(And) we have a highly effective code enforcement program.”

Commercial projects receive a two-pronged inspection from the department. All buildings receive periodic inspection to ensure conformance to regulations, and new buildings under construction are also subject to inspections throughout the building process.

The upcoming Pacific Commons building complex, in Fremont south of Auto Mall Parkway, will prove a job in and of itself. Santa Clara-based Intel is the first tenant to commit to the campus, which will eventually house 20,000 employees. Construction is expected to last throughout the coming decade, monitored by inspections every step of the way.

But Abolhoda doesn’t forsee longer days in the division’s future. “We don’t believe in necessarily doing overtime,” he said. “We will be adding to our staff if the workload increases to where we cannot provide the proper response time and proper attention to details.”

Next up for the department: technical innovation. Employees already use Tidemark, a specialized computer program, to monitor its activities. The division also has a 24-hour voice-activated inspection request system in place.

And by October, it expects to offer online permit issuance and acceptance. The online offerings will cover electrical and plumbing requests, Abolhoda said.

“Some cities are already issuing permits online, but (their success) depends on how user-friendly and secure it is,” he said. “We are hoping that when our online permitting goes on, it will be both secure and user-friendly.”

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