PLI: COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT

Commercial Building Permit

Commercial building permits are required for all work performed on structures other than single or two-family dwellings. This includes multi-family buildings with three or more units and mixed-use buildings with residential units and commercial spaces.

Please refer to list of work not requiring a building permit. If work to be performed is not included on this list, a building permit is required INCLUDING ROOFS AND WINDOWS.

Please note that a building permit is also required for interior demolition of a commercial building.

All work performed under a Commercial Permit shall be performed by a General Contractor registered with the City. Their registration must be up to date in order for a permit to be issued. If their insurance expires within 30 days, we will not issue a building permit.

How to Get a Commercial Building Permit

The Building Permit application process is two-fold.

  1. The first component is review and approval by the Zoning Department for the land use as regulated by the Zoning Code.
  2. The second component is review and approval by PLI for life safety as regulated by the current Building Codes. Fees for both departments are paid at the point of issuance at PLI.

Zoning Review

The property owner, or authorized agent, will need to apply in person at the Zoning Counter located at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. After the work is approved by the Zoning Department, the applicant will proceed to the File Room and then then PLI's Engineering Counter, both located on the 3rd floor of 200 Ross St. Please visit the Zoning website. All questions should be directed to zoning@pittsburghpa.gov or by calling 412-255-2246.

PLI Review

For the PLI review, the following will be required:

  • Two hard copies of drawings prepared and sealed by a Pennsylvania licensed Architect/Engineer.
  • Completed Building Permit Form.

Commercial permit applications are logged in and reviewed in the order in which a completed application is received. Please refer to our Plan Review checklist for overview of items the application will be reviewed for.

After an application is reviewed, the applicant identified on the PLI application form will be contacted in writing to either request revisions or notify of permit approval.

Permit Issuance

After the permit has been approved the following will be required in order to issue the permit:

  • General Contractor's registration (BL) number.
  • A check/money order to pay the permit fee, due when permit is issued. We accept credit card payments at the counter. There will be a 2% + $0.25 convienence fee in addition to the permit fee.

After the permit has been approved, it can be issued. The issued permit will list any additional permits required. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROPERTY OWNER TO APPLY FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PERMITS NEEDED INCLUDING WITH OTHER AGENCIES SUCH AS PWSA OR ALLEGHENY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

Inspection

After all required inspections are completed, including special inspections and thrid party inspections, the building inspector will sign off on the completed permit. Once completed, it may take up to a week to recieve the final Certificate of Occupancy via mail unless the applicant elects to pick it up in person.

The following building inspections will be required:

  • Framing
  • Final

Additional inspections will be required, depending on the scope of work:

  • Footing and foundation
  • Concrete slab and under-floor
  • Lowest floor elevation (in flood hazard areas)
  • Lath and gypsum board
  • Fire and smoke-resistant penetrations
  • Accessibility (depending on project scope)

Partial Occupancy Applications

Applications for partial occupancy of a structure prior to completion of all work under a construction permit requires submission to the City of Pittsburgh under a new Temporary Occupancy permit application. The procedures for this process can be found in the Partial Occupancy Bulletin.

All Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections fees change annually. Please consult the Current Fee Schedule below:

2018 Fee Schedule

2018 Fee Schedule

Note once a permit or license has been issued, refunds are not provided.