J. Hal Caton, AIA, CBO


To find creative solutions to code, construction and development problems.


Almost thirty years of experience as an executive in the construction and development industry has developed a wide range of valuable skills:

PROBLEM RESOLUTION–Reducing problems to their simplest form and developing creative solutions for them is my major strength. I can accurately identify both the solution to a problem and the course of action necessary to achieve the desired result. I can also negotiate solutions between differing ideologies.

CUSTOMER SERVICE–The rigors of regulating the development/design/construction industry has made me a strong customer-service-oriented manager.

TEAM BUILDING–Managing organization which have not had supportive customers or constituencies has also developed my “encourager” style of team building, which fosters each team member’s focus on accomplishing one’s personal best.

FINANCE AND BUDGETING–I am experienced in managing both small and large municipal organizations. These organizations were not, however, typical city departments. They were generally known as “enterprise funds” because they were budgeted, financed and operated like private businesses. My experience with developing and controlling multi-faceted budgets includes zero-based program budgets.

COMMUNICATING–I am an effective communicator and expert negotiator. I can present a message that is understandable at all levels.

HI-TECH ORIENTATION–I enjoy learning how to utilize new technology. As a “hands on” user, I have a history of seeking out leading edge technology and successfully adapting it to resolve problems. My experience ranges from large, sophisticated on-line data bases and mobile data terminals to the use of geopositioning to track personnel and fleet movements.



Graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture, five-year professional degree, from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington in June, 1970.


I am a Registered Architect in the States of Texas (#18489) and Washington (#3398), designated as a Certified Building Official by the International Code Council (#529) and designated as a Certified Construction Inspector and Certified Construction Project Manager by the Association of Construction Inspectors (#3908).


I served in the United States Navy from September, 1970, through December, 1973, as an Intelligence Officer with a rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War.


Caton Consulting Inc.

Mr. Caton has been a private-sector building code and land use consultant since June, 1994. He is the President of Caton Management, Inc. His company is the General Partner of Code Doctor, L.P. (which does business as Caton Consulting, Inc.) and specializes in building codes, land use, permit expediting and governmental relations.

Heavenly Homes LLC

CHAIRMAN from May, 2002 to July, 2005. This company specializes in custom home building, and is now owned by his son, Rory Caton.

City of Houston, Texas, Public Works & Engineering Department

CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL from October, 1990, to June, 1994. Responsible for a 15 million dollar enforcement “enterprise” with 250 employees in two major area: Building Inspection and Sign Administration. As manager of these “enterprise” funds, I was responsible for all budgeting, organization and personnel matters as well as the enforcement issues. Activities included in both areas were plan review, permit issuance, construction inspection, deed restriction enforcement, and contractor licensing.

ACTING DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT from October, 1990, to March, 1991. Responsible for city planning, subdivisions, research, and mapping while maintaining responsibility for the Building Inspection and Sign Administration Divisions. Developed and implemented the “Neighborhood Protection” code enforcement concept.

ACTING CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL from June, 1989, to September, 1990.

ASSISTANT BUILDING OFFICIAL from April, 1989, to May, 1989.

City of Plano, Texas, Code Enforcement Department

DIRECTOR AND BUILDING OFFICIAL from October, 1987, to March, 1989.

Responsible for all code enforcement activities, including signs and zoning, with a staff of 35. Developed a cooperative atmosphere with the development community where an adversarial relationship had existed. The department was operated as an “enterprise” so I was also responsible for budgeting, organization and personnel matters.

City of Spokane, Washington, Property Development Services Department

DIRECTOR AND BUILDING OFFICIAL from January, 1984, to September, 1987.

Responsible for all code enforcement activities, including signs and zoning, with a staff of 30. Built a supportive relationship with the development community by implementing the “Cooperative Code Enforcement” program to assist them and encourage voluntary code compliance. Also served as Project Manager for Spokane’s “New” City Hall project. This successful 9 million dollar project converted the historic, seven story, art deco Montgomery Ward mail order distribution warehouse into a modern, energy efficient government headquarters building.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR from February, 1977, to December, 1983. Developed the concept, contracted for the software development and implemented the Integrated Land Management System for tracking all governmental processes dealing with parcels of land. This includes zoning, platting, plan review, permit issuance and inspection tracking. This system is used by 15 cities across the country, including Houston, for tracking permit and inspection operations.

PLAN EXAMINER from February, 1976, to January, 1977.

HOUSING INSPECTOR from February, 1974, to January, 1976.



American Institute of Architects 1990 – Present

National Building Permit Task Force – 2004
National Building Performance & Regulations Steering Group 1993 – 1995
National Building Regulations Task Force 1991 – 1992
AIA Convention Guest Presenter/Educator 1997 – 1998

American Institute of Architects/Houston 1990 – Present

Board of Directors 2000 – 2003
Director for Industry Affairs 2000 – 2003
Building Performance & Regulations Committee 1990 – Present
Chairman 1995 – Present
Chairman – Design Construction Forum – 2003

Association of Major City Building Officials 1989 – 1994

Chairman, Board of Directors 1992 – 1994
Board of Directors 1991 – 1994

Associated General Contractors, Houston Chapter 2002 – Present

AIA-AGC Joint Steering Committee 2002 – 2004

Building Owners and Managers Association 1995 – 1999

Associate Member

City of Houston Mayor’s Task Force on Building Permits – 2004

Steering Committee Member – 2004

Gideons International (North Houston) 1995 – Present

Treasurer 1996 – 1998

Greater Houston Builders Association 1995 – Present

National Director 2004 – Present
Vice Chair, Codes & Standards Committee 1997 – 1998

Houston Construction Industry Council 1991 – Present

Past President – 2002 – 2003
President 1998 – 2001
Vice President 1996 – 1997
Chairman – Building Code Review Committee – 1996 – present

Harris County Fire Code Advisory Board 2003 – Present

Chairman – Code Selection & Amendment Committee

International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) 1983 – 2002

Major Jurisdictions Committee 1990 – 1994
Gulf Coast Chapter 1989 – 1994
Automation Committee 1986

ICBO Evaluation Service, Inc. 1989 – 1994

Board of Directors 1993 – 1994
Evaluation Committee 1989 – 1993

International Code Council 2003 – present

Professional Member

International Fire Code Institute 1992 – 1994

Charter Member

Metropolitan Baptist Church 1990 – Present

Deacon 1994 – Present
Chairman 2000 – 2002
Leadership Team 1996 – 2000
Board of Directors, Met Family Life Center 1993 – 1995

National Fire Protection Association 2002 – Present

Professional Member

Texas Society of Architects 1990 – Present

Construction Codes Legislative Committee – 2004

Code & Standards Committee 1994 – 2002
Chair 2001 – 2002
Vice Chair 1997 – 2000
Accessibility Task Force 1995 – 2000
Chair 1999 – 2000
Vice Chair 1998

Washington Association of Building Officials 1983 – 1987

Past President 1987 – 1988
President 1986 – 1987
Vice President 1985 – 1986

Washington State Building Code Council 1985 – 1987

Vice Chair 1987
Appointed by the Governor (the only Building Official on the Council) 1985