Different Types of Construction Permits: Building, Occupancy & Development Permits
Different Types of Construction Permits: Building, Occupancy & Development Permits
If you are going to construct something, it is important to satisfy the local rules and get the right permit. It will be best to do this at the earliest, as you don't want to be building without a permit. The relevant rules can be different based on whether you are building a new facility, changing existing facility, changing the looks, or changing its application. This guide addresses the different types of permits required for a commercial construction project.

Building projects are regulated mostly under municipality laws and building codes apply to all aspects of construction including the structure’s stability, fire safety, and occupant well-being and health. In fact, new codes also address energy efficiency and accessibility concerns for the handicapped.

Building Permit The Building Permit is regulated under the Safety Codes Act, Alberta Building Code, National Plumbing Code, Canadian Electrical Code and the City’s Land Use Bylaw. It is designed to address the safety concerns of both the building occupants and users. Construction plan reviews, site inspections and approvals are also provided based on the relevant codes. Some of the key aspects of Building Permit in Calgary are as following:
  • It applies to new structures/buildings that also includes walls of more than 1 meter height, hot tubs, and pools
  • Building permit is required for alterations, relocations, demolitions and repairs to existing facilities
  • A building permit is issued granted only for projects that already have Business Use Confirmation/Development Permit
Occupancy Permit Occupancy Permit is provided as a sign that the building/structure complies with the province’s building code. If a building is to be permitted, it should adhere to all the minimal requirements within the building code. This permit is issued after all the inspectors have signed on the project.

The contractor is required to call the inspectors as and when required to review the work progress. It begins with the building inspector and follows up with city and fire inspectors. When all the inspectors have signed the application for occupancy form, the building inspector issues the occupancy permit. If you are a new business, you will have to apply for a business license after receiving this permit.

Development Permit This is another type of permit required for different aspects of a construction project including:
  • New projects
  • Additions to an existing structure
  • Change in use of the structure
How is it different from the building permit? Development permit is different from building permit in that it addresses the following points:
  • Community planning
  • Land use
  • Bylaws
  • Compatibility
It is recommended to check with the Development Office to determine the kinds of permits your project will need. If your project involves change in land use, the process will involve a lot of steps. Development Permit is regulated under the local municipal laws, including land-use bylaw.

So if you have a construction project, make sure to get all the different permits to ensure a smooth process. It is best to choose a commercial contractor who is experienced and can help you at each stage to get the right permits.