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 see below for work not requiring a building permit. 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.

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.

How to Get a Commercial Building Permit

The Building Permit application process is two-fold. The first component is review and approval by the Zoning Department for the land use as regulated by the Zoning Code.

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.

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.

After the permit has been approved, it can be issued. The issued permit will list any additional permits required.


The assigned Building Inspector and their phone number will be printed on the permit. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to arrange for all required inspections by contacting the Building Inspector. Inspectors are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., and are in the field for the remainder of the day. Until the Building Inspector signs off on the Occupancy Permit, a Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued.

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

The permit and license fees for the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections undergo periodic adjustments.

Please consult the current year Fee Schedule.

2018 Fee Schedule

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

The Zoning Department requires a $30 filing fee for most permit types.

  • This fee will now be collected at the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections.

Please contact the Zoning Department at 412-255-2241 for further information.