Richmond VA > Planning and Development Review > Permits and Inspections Bureau

Last Updated: 2010-05-05

The Bureau of Permits and Inspections reviews applications and construction documents for the construction, alterations and improvements to all new and existing structures in the city of Richmond. After permits are issued, the bureau inspects the work at specific stages through the completion of the job. This process is to ensure the life safety and code compliance of buildings. The process provides safe buildings for citizens, whether they live in, work or are visiting the city of Richmond.

Our staff and department is dedicated to helping you build a better, code-compliant city of Richmond.

Building Permit Process

A building permit must be obtained prior to commencing any new construction or alterations to a building. In the city of Richmond, a building permit only covers the building and structural portion of a project. The permit is only reviewed for compliance with the building code. Any electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work for a project will be done under a separate trade permit. Reviews for code-compliance will be done as those permits are submitted.

Building permits are typically reviewed by multiple agencies. In addition to the Building Code review, permits may be forwarded to some or all of the following departments.

These agencies would review a specific aspect of the proposed construction to verify compliance with their regulations.

Building Codes for Richmond, Virginia
(Adoption Date: March 1, 2011)

One and Two Family Building Codes

CodesDocumentYear
Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code Virginia Edition2009
International Residential Building CodeVirginia Edition2009
Elevator CodeASME17.12007 with 2008 & 2009 Addenda

Commercial Building Codes

CodesDocumentYear
Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code 2009
International Building CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Plumbing CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Fuel Gas CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Mechanical CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Energy Conservation CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Fire Prevention CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Rehabilitation CodeVirginia Edition2009
International Property Maintenance CodeVirginia Edition2009
National Electrical Code2008
Elevator CodeASME17.12007 with 2008 & 2009 Addenda
Fire Sprinkler Code2007
National Fire Alarm Code2007
Accessible and Useable Buildings and FacilitiesANSI A117.12003
Flood Resistant Design and ConstructionASCE 24-052005
Standard for Single & Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide AlarmsUL20542008

Structural Design Requirements

The following are Structural Design Requirements specific to Richmond, Virginia

  • Frost Depth - 18 inches
  • Design Wind Speed - 90 mph, 3-second gust
  • Snow Load - 20 psf
  • Seismic Design Category - B

Construction Document Submission Requirements

Forms & Permit Applications

Fee Schedule

Submitting a Building Permit

There are a number of ways to submit for a building permit, such as in person or by mail. If submitting your application by mail, please include a completed application, construction documents, and payment. You may not submit your request by fax if the permit requires plans. Be sure to include a Credit Card Payment Form along with your completed Permit Application.

You can bring in your completed application, construction documents, and payment. Contractors should have copies of their contractor's license and business license.

Bureau of Permits and Inspections City Hall, Room 110
900 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Fax: (804)646-1569

You will need a city of Richmond Business License if the value of the work is more than $25,000 or if the total value from permits exceeds $25,000 during the calendar year.

Checking Permit Status

The easiest way to check the status of a permit is through the city's Permit Web Inquiry System. When you arrive at the main screen choose "Search Existing Permits". You can look up permits by the permit number, address, contractor's license number or city tax parcel id number. When you have selected a permit choose "Permit Approvals". This will allow you to see what agencies are reviewing your permit, who the reviewers are and the status of their review. In most instances there will be a phone number for the reviewer so that you can contact them directly with any questions that you might have.

You can also check the status of a permit by calling the city's 311 Call Center. Your inquiry will be routed to the appropriate reviewer and they will contact you.

Policies and Procedures Handouts

Arts and Cultural District

The Arts and Cultural District is a targeted area within and around the downtown Broad Street corridor. It seeks to leverage the key assets and momentum generated by arts, culture and entertainment to continue economic development and revitalization in the area. The ordinance establishes the boundaries of the district, a special incentive area within the district for targeting certain financial and regulatory incentives permitted by state law, including (1) a rebate of the encroachment application fee for entities pursuing outdoor dining, (2) building permit review within 10 days of complete submittal, (3) rebate of rezoning fee, and (4) full or partial rebate of certain building permit fees upon completion of construction. To learn more about the district boundaries or the available incentives, please visit the Arts and Cultural District webpage.

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