The Division of Building Safety office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Show All Answers
The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC), established criterias for building permits. In addition to permits for new construction, permits are needed for renovation, demolition, plumbing, gas, mechanical, electrical, fire protection and asbestos removal. Section 108 of the VUSBC specifies when a application and building permits are required.
VUSBC Section 110.5 states, "A permit shall be considered authority to proceed with construction in accordance with this Code, the approved construction documents, the permit application and any approved amendments or modifications. The permit shall not be construed to otherwise authorize the omission or amendment of any provision of this Code.
Building permits are required for most construction activity. VUSBC Section 108 requires a permit to be issued by the building code official when:
All building plans are reviewed by the Division of Building Safety subsequent to Planning & Development Services and Stormwater reviewing and approving their respective requirements.
A building permit can be issued when all the reviews have been completed, approved and all applicable fees been paid. Many projects will also require reviews by Public Works Utilities Operations and the Department of Fire and Life Safety. The reviews ensure that the project can be built within the code requirements and will reduce field inspection delays.
The Department of Fire and Life Safety reviews plans with the Division of Building Safety for fire alarms, commercial kitchen range hoods and sprinkler systems. Although building plans are jointly reviewed, the Department of Fire and Life Safety does not issue building permits. All construction plans should be submitted to the Division of Building Safety who in turn will forward them to Fire and Life Safety for review. Fire and Life Safety can be at (757) 890-3600.
In many cases, the above reviews may not be required or may be completed in a shorter time frame. The larger the projects the greater the impact and more reviews and approvals are required. It is always best to plan ahead for any size projects.
Commercial projects require an approved site plan before building permits can be issued. Building plans can be submitted for review before site plan approval and it is recommended that they are submitted simultaneously.
The plan review also includes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Before a permit is issued all local and Hampton Roads utility connection fees must be paid. Standard fees may be obtained and can be paid through either the Division of Utility Billing in our Finance Department or the Utilities Operations Division of Public Works.
You do not need a permit for ordinary repairs and specific exceptions to the code.Ordinary repairs and Exceptions are:
Ordinary repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load bearing support, change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas or oil, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
One story detached accessory structures not located in a designated flood zone and used as tool and storage shed, playhouse or similar uses provided the floor area does not exceed 256 square feet in size, the building eave height is 10 feet or less and the maximum height from the finished floor level to grade does not exceed 18 inches.
When a permit is required, it must be obtained before work begins. Only in emergency situations will work be allowed to start before obtaining a permit. These situations would include needs for emergency heat, hot water or replacement safety glass. Permits, notification and inspections must be obtained the next working day.
Garage doors shall be tested in accordance with either ASTM E330 or ANSI/DASMA 108, and shall meet the pass/fail criteria of ANSI/DASMA 108.
Garage doors shall be labeled with a permanent label affixed to the garage door by the manufacturer. The label shall identify the garage door manufacturer, the garage door model/series number, the positive and negative design wind pressure rating, the installation instruction drawing reference number, and the applicable test standard.
One layer of No. 15 asphalt felt, free from holes and breaks, complying with ASTM D226 for Type 1 felt or other approved water-resistive barrier shall be applied over studs or sheathing of all exterior walls. No.15 asphalt felt shall be applied horizontally, with the upper layer lapped over the lower layer not less than 2 inches (51 mm). Where joints occur, felt shall be lapped not less than 6 inches (152 mm). Other approved materials shall be installed in accordance with the water-resistive barrier manufacturer's installation instructions. The No. 15 asphalt felt or other approved water-resistive barrier material shall be continuous to the top of walls and terminated at penetrations and building appendages in a manner to meet the requirements of the exterior wall envelope as described in Section R703.1.
In addition to the labels required by Section 802.1.1 for sawn lumber and Section 803.2.1 for wood structural panels, each piece of fire-retardant-treated lumber and wood structural panel shall be labeled. The label shall contain:
Where factory-built chimneys pass through insulated assemblies, an insulation shield constructed of steel having a thickness of not less than 0.0187 inch (0.4712 mm) (No. 26 gage) shall be installed to provide clearance between the chimney and the insulation material. The clearance shall be not less than the clearance to combustibles specified by the chimney manufacturer's installation instructions. Where chimneys pass through attic space, the shield shall terminate not less than 2 inches (51 mm) above the insulation materials and shall be secured in place to prevent displacement. Insulation shields provided as part of a listed chimney system shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Projects shall comply with all provisions of Chapter 11 labeled “Mandatory” and one of the following:
The building thermal envelope shall meet the requirements of Table N1102.1.2 based on the climate zone specified in Section N1101.7.
TABLE N1102.1.2 (R402.1.2)INSULATION AND FENESTRATION REQUIREMENTS BY COMPONENT
The building or dwelling unit shall be tested and verified as having an air leakage rate not exceeding five air changes per hour in Climate Zone 4. Testing shall be conducted in accordance with RESNET/ICC 380, ASTM E779, or ASTM E1827 and reported at a pressure of 0.2 inches w.g. (50 Pa). A written report of the results of the test shall be signed by the party conducting the test and provided to the building official. Testing shall be conducted by a Virginia licensed general contractor, a Virginia licensed HVAC contractor, a Virginia licensed home inspector, a Virginia registered design professional, a certified BPI Envelope Professional, a certified HERS rater, or a certified duct and envelope tightness rater. The party conducting the test shall have been trained on the equipment used to perform the test. Testing shall be performed at any time after creation of all penetrations of the building thermal envelope.
Note: Should additional sealing be required as a result of the test, consideration may be given to the issuance of temporary certificate of occupancy in accordance with Section 116.1.1.
Not less than 90 percent of the permanently installed lighting fixtures shall contain only high-efficacy lamps.
The passageway of dryer exhaust duct terminals shall be undiminished in size and shall provide an open area of not less than 12.5 square inches (8065 mm2).
Exhaust ducts shall be supported at 4-foot (1219 mm) intervals and shall be secured in place. The insert end of the duct shall extend into the adjoining duct or fitting in the direction of airflow. Ducts shall not be joined with screws or similar fasteners that protrude into the inside of the duct. Where dryer exhaust ducts are enclosed in wall or ceiling cavities, such cavities shall allow the installation of the duct without deformation.
The indoor space equal to the width and depth of the panelboard and extending from the floor to a height of 6 feet (1829 mm) above the panelboard, or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, shall be dedicated to the electrical installation. Piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus and other equipment foreign to the electrical installation shall not be installed in such dedicated space. The area above the dedicated space shall be permitted to contain foreign systems, provided that protection is installed to avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation, leaks and breaks in such foreign systems (see Figure E3405.1).
Exception: Suspended ceilings with removable panels shall be permitted within the 6-foot (1829 mm) dedicated space.
The outdoor space equal to the width and depth of the panelboard, and extending from grade to a height of 6 feet (1829 mm) above the panelboard, shall be dedicated to the electrical installation. Piping and other equipment foreign to the electrical installation shall not be located in this zone.
Where a tightening torque is indicated as a numeric value on equipment or in installation instructions provided by the manufacturer, a calibrated torque tool shall be used to achieve the indicated torque value, except where the equipment manufacturer has provided installation instructions for an alternative method of achieving the required torque. [110.14 (D)]
Where a grounding electrode conductor or bonding jumper is connected to a rebar extended from the location of a rebar-type concrete-encased electrode installed in accordance with Section E3608.1.2, the point of connection to the rebar extension shall be in an accessible location that is not subject to corrosion of the rebar. The rebar extension shall not be exposed to contact with the earth without corrosion protection. [250.68 (C) (3)]
In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, not less than one 120-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit shall be installed to supply receptacle outlets in attached garages and in detached garages with electric power. This circuit shall not have other outlets.
Exception: This circuit shall be permitted to supply readily accessible outdoor receptacle outlets.
Where Type SE or NM cable is run at angles with joists in unfinished basements, cable assemblies containing two or more conductors of sizes 6 AWG and larger and assemblies containing three or more conductors of sizes 8 AWG and larger shall not require additional protection where attached directly to the bottom of the joists. Smaller cables shall be run either through bored holes in joists or on running boards. Type NM or SE cable installed on the wall of an unfinished basement shall be permitted to be installed in a listed conduit or tubing or shall be protected in accordance with Table E3802.1. Conduit or tubing shall be provided with a suitable insulating bushing or adapter at the point where the cable enters the raceway. The sheath of the Type NM or SE cable shall extend through the conduit or tubing and into the outlet or device box not less than ¼ inch (6.4 mm). The cable shall be secured within 12 inches (305 mm) of the point where the cable enters the conduit or tubing. Metal conduit, tubing, and metal outlet boxes shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor complying with Section E3908.13.
Not less than one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop long dimension space having a long dimension of 24 inches (610 mm) or greater and a short dimension of 12 inches (305 mm) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connected perpendicular wall. [210.52(C)(3)]
Not less than one receptacle outlet, in addition to any provided for specific equipment, shall be installed in each separate unfinished portion of a basement; in each vehicle bay not more than 5.5 feet (1676 mm) above the floor in attached garages; in each vehicle bay not more than 5.5 feet (1676 mm) above the floor in detached garages that are provided with electric power and in accessory buildings that are provided with electric power. [210.52(G)(1), (2), and (3)]
Where a crawl space is at or below grade level, 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in such spaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. Lighting outlets not exceeding 120 volts shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection. [210.8(A)(4), 2108(E)]
Branch circuits that supply 120-volt, single phase, 15-ampere and 20-ampere outlets installed in kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas and similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the following:
Wiring methods installed in the corrosive environment described in Section E4202.2.1 shall comply with Section E4202.2.2 or shall be Type MC cable listed for that location. Wiring methods installed in corrosive environments described in Section E4202.2.1 shall contain an insulated copper equipment conductor sized in accordance with Table E3908.12 but not smaller than 12 AWG.
Where installed in noncorrosive environments, branch circuit wiring methods shall comply with Chapter 38. [680.21(A)(1)].
These provisions shall apply to any feeder on the supply side of panelboards supplying branch circuits for pool equipment covered in this chapter and on the load side of the service equipment. Where feeders are installed in corrosive environments as described in Section E4202.2, the wiring method of that portion of the feeder shall comply with Section E4202.2.1 or shall be liquid-tight flexible nonmetallic conduit (LFNMC). Wiring methods installed in corrosive environments as described in Section E4202.2.1 shall contain an insulated copper equipment grounding conductor sized in accordance with Table E3908.12, but not smaller than 12 AWG.
Where installed in noncorrosive environments, feeder wiring methods shall comply with Chapter 38. [680.25(A)].
Grounding and bonding terminals shall be identified for use in wet and corrosive environments. Field-installed grounding and bonding connections in a damp, wet or corrosive environment shall be composed of copper, copper alloy or stainless steel and shall be listed for direct burial use. (680.7)