Special Inspections

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Special Inspections are required for certain construction methods and materials, as prescribed by § 1704 of the 2009 International Building Code.  Additionally, Special Inspections are required, within the City of Pittsburgh, for:

  • Permit applications utilizing the Performance Compliance methods (Section 3412 of the 2009 International Building Code or Chapter 13 of the 2009 International Existing Building Code) to confirm that construction and the building comply with the approved scoring.
  • Landscaping and screening when a condition of Department of City Planning permit approval, see the Landscaping Special Inspections Bulletin.

For Commercial Building Permits it is the responsibility of the Architect or Engineer to submit a statement of special inspections as a condition permit issuance. This statement shall indicate all materials and work requiring special inspections and list all of the individuals, approved agencies, and/or firms intended to be retained for conducting such inspections.

Qualified Special Inspectors: 

  • Are approved by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections Chief. 
  • Are a Pennsylvania registered design professional, with experience in the type of construction to be inspected; OR are an International Code Council certified Special Inspector for the type of  construction to be inspected.
  • Are independent individuals, agencies or firms retained by the owner or the owner's agent.

Special Inspectors are responsible for: 

  • Enforcing the requirements of the Building Code, including stopping noncompliant work.
  • Inspecting all items requiring special inspections as identified by the design professional and/or by the Chief. 
  • Reporting deviations from the approved drawings and/or application.
  • Submitting initial, weekly and final reports to the Chief.
    • Please note that the Special Inspector must sign the final report before the certificate of occupancy will be issued.

Special Inspector reports shall include the following:

  • All information required by Section 1704 of the International Building Code.
  • The permit number(s), property street address and ward to which the report applies.
  • The report number, and the associated period of time to which it refers.

    • For example "Report #1 for the week of September 1st through September 5th."