COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT

Commercial Building Permit

A commercial building permit is required for the following work on a commercial building or structure:

  • Renovate and repair an existing building or structure
  • Construct an addition to an existing building or structure
  • Construct a new structure or accessory structure.

Please see Permit Home for definition of commercial structures and work types.  Please see work not requiring a permit for work that can be performed without a PLI permit.

 

Accessory Structure

An accessory structures are smaller normally un-occupied structures that are associated with a structure that serves as the primary use of the property.  Accessory structures include, but are not limited to fences, pools, decks, sheds, garages, etc.

 

New Construction Work Type:

  • New Building Complete: applies to the complete construction of a new building or structure under a single building permit.
  • New Building Phased: applies to the construction of a new building or structure under separate permits for each phase. 
    • For example, separate permits for each: foundation, superstructure, building shell, building core and fit-out.The scope of each phased permit is up to the applicant to define.
    • Please note that permit holders proceed at their own risk with phased permits with no assurance that PLI will grant a permit for the entire structure.
  • Site Work: applies to modifications to the site beyond those directly associated with the construction of the building.  This would exclude excavation for the foundation.
  • Accessory Structure – applies to the construction of accessory structures in association with the primary building or structure. 

 

Addition / Alteration Work Type:

  • this applies to modifications of an existing structure which either increases the area or the volume of the building or structure.
  • Alterations – Exterior: this applies to any modification to the exterior of the structure which are beyond a level 1 alteration or is associated with the construction of addition or accessory structure.
  • Alterations – Interior: this applies to any modification to the interior of the structure that are beyond a level 1 alteration or is associated with the construction of addition or accessory structure.
  • Accessory Structure: this applies to construction of a new accessory structure or modifications to an existing structure that is accessory to an existing primary building or structure.

 

Minor Work Type:

  • Interior Non-Structural Demolition: applies to interior demolition that is non-structural in nature.  Note a separate building permit with Addition / Alteration Work Type
  • Level 1 Alterations Only - Exterior: applies to modifications of exterior of the structure which are limited to level 1 alterations. 
  • Level 1 Alterations Only - Interior: applies to modifications of interior of the structure which are limited to level 1 alterations. 

 

Level 1 Alterations:

Level 1 alterations are those as defined by the current applicable International Existing Building Code: removal and replacement of the covering of existing materials or elements with new materials or elements that serve the same purpose.  This would include but is not limited to:

  • Exterior: replacement of roofing, replacement in kind (same size and location) of windows and doors, exterior wall covering such as siding.
  • Interior: replacement of interior wall coverings, replacement in kind (same size and location) of existing window and doors.

This would exclude:

  • Reconfiguration of space
  • Elimination or addition of any door or window (interior or exterior)

 

Permit Process

See these webpages for additional information regarding the permitting process:

Please see Other Agency Coordination for processes related to other agencies that may relate to your permit scope.  For commercial building permits:

  • Zoning Development Review application submission is required for the following:
    • New Construction Work Type for all work scopes
    • Addition / Alteration Work Type with these work scopes:
      •  
      • Alterations – Exterior
      • Accessory Structure
      • Work that includes a change in use or certification of a new use.
      • Or any work scope if the property is located in a regulated floodplain.
    • Minor Work Type with this work scope:
      • Level 1 Alterations Only - Exterior
      • Or any work scope if the property is located in a regulated floodplain.
  • Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI)
    • Required for if work includes vehicle access onto the subject site or encroachments into the public right of way such as accessible ramps at building entrances, balconies or decks.
  • PA Department of Health (DOH)
    • Required for a structure regulated by the PA Health Care Facilities Act.
  • Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD)
    • Required for new plumbing systems and may be required for modifications to existing plumbing systems.
  • PA Department of Community and Economic Development
    • Required for any pre-fabricated modules or components used as part of the permit scope for a building or structure that is classified as a Group R occupancy.
  • Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
    • Required for new structures to review: fire apparatus access roads, fire flows, fire command center (if required) and emergency responder radio coverage.