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 the definition of commercial structures and work types.  Please see work not requiring a permit for work that can be performed without a PLI permit. Please visit our Contacts page for Construction Inspector contact information.

Over the counter applications will require a Commercial Building Permit Application.

Accessory Structure

An accessory structure is a smaller normally un-occupied structure that is 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:

  • Addition: applies to modifications of an existing structure which either increases the area or the volume of the building or structure.
  • Alterations – Exterior: applies to any modification to the exterior of the structure which is not a Minor Alteration or is associated with the construction of an addition or accessory structure.
  • Alterations – Interior: applies to any modification to the interior of the structure which is not a Minor Alteration or is associated with the construction of an addition or accessory structure.
  • Accessory Structure: applies to the construction of a new accessory structure or modifications to an existing structure that is accessory to an existing primary building or structure.  

 

Minor Alteration Work Type: 

Interior minor alterations, items 4-6 below, are only applicable to structures with a valid Certificate of Occupancy. Any applications that are not limited to the items listed below shall require an addition/alteration work type permit.

  1. Roofing: applies to repair and/or removal and replacement of roofing and excludes any modifications of roof framing. 
  2. Siding/Single Layer Veneer: applies to repair and/or replacement of siding and/or single layer veneer for structures that are 3 stories or less in height; excludes any modification of framing or structural support.
  3. Window Replacement: applies to window repair and/or replacement for structures that are 3 stories or less in height; excludes storefronts and doors. 
  4. Drywall/Plaster Repair/Replacement: applies to repair and/or replacement of drywall and/or plaster and excludes any modification to framing. 
  5. Ceiling Repair/Replacement: applies to ceiling repair and/or replacement and excludes any modification to framing.
  6. Interior Non-Structural Demo: applies to the interior non-structural demo and excludes installation of any new walls/doors.  An addition/alteration work type permit shall be required for fit-out and/or installation of any new walls/doors.

 

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:
      • Addition 
      • 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 permitted 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.