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Based on the Order by the City of Austin and Travis County to “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe”, all in-person customer services remain suspended. Most of our services are still available by phone, video conference, email and our online portal, Austin Build + Connect (AB+C). For information on our modified services, please visit our DSD-COVID-19 page.
The Building Inspection Division (BID) performs inspections on new construction, remodels, and trades (electrical, mechanical, plumbing) to ensure compliance with applicable building codes. Building codes are designed to ensure the health and safety of structures for the benefit of everyone.
Inspections, which may occur during construction or upon completion of the permitted work, are the final steps in the development and permitting process. Depending on the scope of work, a final inspection may lead to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, which ensures a structure is safe for occupancy.
A building that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy may request an Amnesty Certificate of Occupancy by providing proof that the current building use existed on March 1, 1986, and that no change of use has occurred since March 1, 1986. For further requirements and information, refer to the Amnesty Certificate of Occupancy Application.
Scheduling a Building Inspection
It is the responsibility of the permit holder and owner-general contractor to ensure the proper sequence of inspections. Anyone associated with the permit can schedule an inspection: the general contractor, the homeowner (if listed as the general contractor on the permit), the trade contractor, or their official agents.
- How to schedule a building inspection
- Austin Build + Connect - obtain permits, pay for permits, and schedule inspections online
- Find Your Inspector
- Building Inspector Phone List
- Top 10 Tips for a Successful Inspection
Obtaining Approved Plan Sets
It is the responsibility of the permit holder and owner-general contractor to ensure that a paper copy of the approved plan set is available on-site for review by the City inspections staff. Failure to provide the City-approved set of plans may result in failed inspections and/or delays in receiving a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Occupancy.
Permits Issued PRIOR TO COVID Operations (before March 16, 2020)
- An approved plan set was provided to the individual who picked up and paid for the permits.
- If the plan set has been misplaced, please contact DSD inspections staff. They will coordinate with DSD staff to attempt to locate the city archive set and have it scanned as an electronic file.
- The electronic plans will then be scanned into our database and will be available to download using the Austin Build + Connect (AB+C) Portal.
- Instructions on how to download plans from the AB+C Portal are listed below under “Permits Issued during COVID operations”.
Permits Issued DURING COVID Operations (after March 16, 2020)
- Plans that were approved during COVID operations can be downloaded from the AB+C Portal using the original Plan Review number (PR#) or address:
- Visit: Austin Build + Connect: Public Search
- In the Search by Permit number, please enter your PR number, as shown below:
- Select the applicable Permit/Case number associated with your scope of work:
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the item you would like to download in the Folder Attachment section:
- Visit: Austin Build + Connect: Public Search
- If you are unable to locate the plans, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff will verify that plans are available for download on the AB+C portal.
Permits that have expired under City Orders
- Please reference the latest City Order. Permits which have expired during an extension of development deadline dates, may be reactivated.
- Contact email@example.com. The Service Center will reactivate permits that fall within the deadline extension range.
Local amendments to the International Building Codes are included in the City's Building Technical Codes View the Technical Codes and code interpretations for each discipline.
Building Inspection is the approval authority for all inspections regulated by the following Technical Codes:
- Commercial Building Code (International Building Code)
Applies to all structures other than one-and-two-family-dwellings and townhomes, and applicable to construction when a building is remodeled or there is a change of occupancy.
- Residential One-and-Two-Family Dwelling Code (International Residential Code)
Applies to all one-and-two-family-dwellings and townhouses, and includes mechanical, plumbing and energy system requirements.
- Plumbing Code (Uniform Plumbing Code)
Applies to all plumbing system installations. Natural gas installations are also regulated by the plumbing code.
- Commercial Mechanical Code (Uniform Mechanical Code)
Applies to all mechanical systems regulated by the Commercial Building Code.
- Electrical Code (National Electrical Code)
Applies to all electrical systems installed in the jurisdiction.
- The Energy Code (International Energy Conservation Code)
Applies to all commercial and residential projects.
New Policies and Procedures
Fire Protection Systems Program
New Fire safety requirements have been added to the inspection process. Non-compliance with these requirements may delay your final inspection and Certificate of Occupancy. Learn more about the Fire Protection Systems Program (FPS).
Special Inspections Process
Effective February 13, 2017, a new process will be implemented for commercial projects requiring special inspections. Under the new process, a "Statement of Special Inspections" form must be completed for projects submitted on or after February 13, 2017. When a special inspection is required, a field folder will be issued with the permit. The field folder must be kept on-site at all times and will include a special inspections log and other forms to be completed by the special inspector/testing agency.
View the Special Inspection process.
View the Special Inspection forms.
Standing Room Occupancy (SRO) Policy for A-2 and A-3 (Assembly) Venues
This new policy allows venues to make certain changes to an approved Standing Room Occupancy (SRO) Load Card without requiring submittal of the changes to the Development Services Department. SRO Load Cards establish maximum level occupancy of a venue and are issued upon commercial building plan approval. For A-2 and A-3 (assembly) venues, the new policy provides that tables/bars with chairs/stools may be added, but the addition of each table/bar will reduce the occupancy level by 6 occupants per table/bar. This policy will allow venue owners/management to make changes for specific or temporary events without having to resubmit for approval. The Occupant load Card must be posted during a final building inspection, and compliance with approved occupancy levels is subject to verification by the Fire Department.