Everything you need to know to construct a new commercial, industrial or multi-family residential building
All new buildings and any substantial changes or additions to existing commercial, industrial and multi-residential buildings require a building permit. Detailed information, including definitions, is available in our Building Bylaw.
How to apply
Carefully review the application requirements to submit a complete application. Applications are considered incomplete if documents are missing or do not include information required, and will result in increased application timelines.
Additional information may be requested when your application is under review.
A building permit application can only be made with the requisite planning permit in place. The building permit application will not be taken in until after the Third Reading for rezoning applications, and will not be issued before the Preliminary Plan Approval is complete.
The following webpages and guides may assist in preparing your application:
Applications can be submitted in person at the Building Division front counter (2nd floor of City Hall).
How to pay
Full payment of fees must be made at the time of application. Fees can be paid directly in My Permits Portal, or you can pay invoices online with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) or in-person with cash, cheque or debit card. Per the City's Fee Recovery Bylaw 13640, we'll charge a fee of 1.75% on payments made with a credit card
City staff teams will review all complete development applications and building plans and will:
- circulate to electrical, plumbing and gas inspections, the Fire and Engineering Departments, and Fraser Health as required for comment
- provide applicants with a list of any deficiencies, conditions and items to be addressed before a permit can be issued
- advise you of any payments related to deposits, development cost charges and engineering servicing fees
Permits will only be issued when all necessary City requirements have been met, and all fees (including Engineering Department fees) have been paid.
When your building permit is ready to be issued, staff will notify you by email with instructions to pick up, download and print your permit(s) and approved drawings.
Additional permits for electrical, plumbing, gas or fire protection work are to be applied for by a sub-trades contractor licenced to do work in the City. Upon completion of the appropriate permit application and fee payment, a sub-trade permit is issued, provided that a Building Permit has been issued where required. Permit fee schedules are available below.
As the project proceeds through the various states of construction, inspections are conducted by the Building Division. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to contact the Building Division to request an inspection.
Ensure the building inspection requirements are met before scheduling an inspection. Inspections can be booked by calling 604-294-7130 weekdays between 8:30 am-3 pm at least one day prior to the required inspection.
Please have the following information ready at time of booking:
- contact name and phone number
- date of inspection
- permit number
- site address
- type of inspection
Booking inspections when work is complete, including the final inspections for all sub-trade permits, ensures that the project is completed in an efficient manner, and allows staff to address any potential issues that may impact the occupancy timeline.
The requirements and procedures for obtaining occupancy certificates for new buildings is outlined in the guide below.
Occupancy permits ensure that buildings comply with relevant bylaws and codes, are safe for people to use and are required for all commercial or multi-family residential buildings.
The building inspector will conduct the final occupancy inspection after receiving the complete Occupancy Certificate application (or Occupancy Binder). It is the responsibility of the Coordinating Registered Professional (CRP) to ensure that the project is completed, all the fire and life systems tested and there is no further construction activity before submitting an application to the building inspector for an occupancy certificate.
Once all the final inspections have been completed, including inspections by other authorities such as the Fire Division for the Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, the Building Inspector will carry out the final occupancy inspection (“trip test” or “Coordinated final AHJ Review”). The “trip test” will not be conducted prior to the submission and review of the Occupancy Binder. It should be the final process before the issuance of the Occupancy Certificate. Pending the successful trip test, the Building Inspector will issue an Occupancy Certificate.
The Building Inspector may grant provisional occupancy with a condition that some minor deficiencies not related to fire and life safety can be corrected within a specified time frame.