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Development and Building Professionals Hub

New buildings and additions to existing buildings

New buildings and additions to existing buildings

Before You apply


New buildings and additions to existing commercial, multi-residential, and industrial buildings, including mezzanines and temporary structures such as office trailers, storage sheds, and sea cans.

Do you need a permit?


All new buildings and additions to existing buildings, including mezzanines, require planning approval through a development permit, as well as building safety approval through a building permit. A building permit application can only be made once the related development permit is approved. In addition, other trade permits (i.e Electrical, Plumbing and Gas, and HVAC) may be required.

What are the rules and regulations?


Deposit process

Online submissions

For online submissions with large permit costs, there is a deposit process in place that limits the amount paid online. For building permit fees over $10,000, only 25% of the base permit fee will be charged as an initial deposit, up to a maximum of $10,000. If 25% of the building permit base fee exceeds $10,000, you will be contacted to make payment for the remaining permit fee balance and any applicable additional fees (i.e. partial permit, lot grades, SCC, etc.) For example, if 25% of the permit fee is $25,000, you will pay a $10,000 deposit online and our cash office will contact you the next business day to make the payment for the remaining $15,000 of the deposit.

Please note, the remaining permit fees must be paid prior to a partial permit or the full permit being issued. In order to pay the remaining total, please choose one of the following payment methods and reference your permit number: 

By phone (only available by credit card):

In order to make payment over the phone by credit card please call 403-268-5311.

By mail (only available for cheques):

The City of Calgary 
Attention: Planning Cashiers- 8108 
PO BOX 2100 STN M 
Calgary, AB  T2P 2M5 

By electronic funds transfer (EFT): 

If you would like to pay by electronic funds transfer you will select the payment option upon application. No fees will be processed at the time of the application intake. The Planning Cash Office will contact you the next business day and provide you with instructions to complete the EFT payment.

In person submissions

There are two payment options to choose from when applying for your permit in person:

Option 1: Submit payment for 100% of the permit fees up front.

Option 2: Pay 25% of the permit fees up front. Please note, the remaining permit fees must be paid prior to a partial or the full permit being issued. 

* This option is only available until October 31st, 2020.

In order to pay the remaining total, please choose one of the following payment methods and reference your permit number: 

By phone (only available by credit card):

In order to make payment over the phone by credit card please call 403-268-5311.

By mail (only available for cheques):

The City of Calgary 
Attention: Planning Cashiers- 8108 
PO BOX 2100 STN M 
Calgary, AB  T2P 2M5 

By Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): 

If you would like to pay by Electronic Funds Transfer you will select the payment option upon application. No fees will be processed at the time of the application intake. The Planning Cash Office will contact you the next business day and provide you with instructions to complete the EFT payment. 

Alberta Building Code information

This information assists business owners and contractors understand and implementing general Alberta Building Code requirements for commercial building permits. Commercial spaces must comply with the Land Use Bylaw as well as minimum requirements established in the 2019 National Building Code (Alberta Edition), including applicable standards for safety of the public and building occupants, health, accessibility, energy, fire, and structural integrity. Commercial spaces must also comply with the Alberta Fire Code also known as the 2019 National Fire Code (Alberta Edition). Businesses are responsible for following the rules and regulations of all applicable governing bodies prior to using the space.

Business owners and contractors should consult a design professional before financially committing to a location. The cost to make necessary upgrades or changes may be expensive. The City of Calgary does not determine who should coordinate or pay for upgrades.

Some activities have very specific code requirements, including restaurants.

Building code classifcation

Business activities are associated with a type of occupancy and governing building classification in the Alberta Building Code. Classification is determined by building size (footprint area and number of storeys), construction type (wood or concrete and steel), the need for a sprinkler and fire alarm system, and type of occupancy.

Depending on how the building is classified, changes and upgrades may be necessary to accommodate the proposed activity. For example, a building without sprinklers may be suitable for a retail store, but not suitable for a restaurant when taking into consideration the size, construction type, and mechanical ventilation.

Knowing the building classification will assist with design and construction, by helping to determine:

  • Fire ratings of walls, floors, mezzanines and roofs
  • Construction type (combustible, non-combustible or combination of both)
  • If sprinkler and fire alarm systems are required


The Alberta Building Code also determines:

  • Maximum occupant load
  • Barrier free accessibility and washroom design
  • Required exiting
  • Fire alarm and detection requirements

Due to the complexity of interpreting the classification, you may need to engage with a consultant that can conduct a building code analysis in order to identify the building classification and the rules related to that class before preparing your plans and documents.

Ensure your building classification is clearly indicated on your plans. Providing this information reduces delays in your application review.

Code classification descriptions

On your building permit application, you must indicate one of the following building occupancies:

Assembly: a space (e.g. arena, theatre, restaurant, day care) where people gather for civic, political, travel, religious, social, educational, recreational or similar purposes, including consumption of food or drink

Detention: a space where people are held under restraint or are not self-sufficient due to security measures

Care: a space (e.g. hospital, assisted living, nursing home) where medical treatments occur, including surgery, intensive care, and emergency medical intervention; OR a space where daily patient/resident monitoring and support occurs to assess daily functioning and cognitive awareness; the facility may also book appointments for residents, provide reminders of those appointments, provide supervision pertaining to medications and nutrition, and intervene in the event of an emergency

Residential: a space that includes sleeping accommodations such as an apartment or hotel; please note this category excludes sleeping accommodations for the purpose of care, treatment and/or involuntary detention

Personal service/office/business: a space (e.g. banks, beauty salons, dental offices, medical offices) used for business transactions, including provision of professional or personal services

Mercantile/retail: a space including, but not limited to, exhibition halls, department stores and markets that are used to display or sell retail goods

Industrial: a space used for the assembly, fabrication, manufacture, processing, repair or storage of goods and materials


Please see the Alberta Building Code for exact wording of each category. The above information is intended to provide a general summary.

 

 

Barrier free design

Codes addressing accessibility, or barrier-free design, allow safe access to buildings and facilities for all people. Reasonable access to facilities is required to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to be active, independent and safe within the community.

The rules for barrier-free design are in section 3.8 of the National Building Code (Alberta Edition). 

Access Design Standard - is required to be applied ONLY on City of Calgary owned / operated facilities – please speak with the project manager for the City owned project you are working on for details

If the physical layout of the building makes it difficult to provide barrier-free access and/or facilities, you can apply for a relaxation with Alberta Municipal Affairs.

National Energy Code of Canada for buildings

If you are constructing a new building or an addition (including second floors and mezzanines), your design will need to comply with the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) or the Alberta Building Code section 9.36.

Buildings that were constructed to meet the National Energy Code still require compliance when undergoing renovations or improvements. This may include:

  • Building envelope: requirements for roofs, walls and windows to control heat loss and air leaks.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): efficiency of heating and cooling equipment
  • Water heating: efficiency of equipment and controls
  • Lighting: number and type of lighting fixtures and controls

Visit National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings for more information about how it may affect your business.

How much will it cost?


Fees

​Building safety approval - Building perm​it​ ​
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit : ​New buildings and additions to existing buildings​ ​Please use one of the calculators below to estimate your fee.

Building permit fee calculator - commercial
Building permit fee calculator - multi-family high rise
Building permit fee calculator - multi-family low rise
Building permit fee calculator - warehouses
Building permit fee calculator - hotels
Building permit fee calculator - care facilities​

See the planning application fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees..

There’s an easier way to find planning information.

We’ve curated the best development and building information from The City and put it one place.

From submitting applications to development tools, like fee calculators and the Development Map, we’ve got what you need to make planning or building with us a little easier.

Visit the Development and Building Professionals Hub today

calgary.ca/buildwithus

How long will it take?


Timelines indicated are not a guarantee and depend on volumes, application completeness, and the applicant’s timely replies to additional information requests from the City.

Review information on timelines and the approvals process

How to prepare your application

For a smooth application, make sure you know the following information:

Apply


Tips for a smooth application process

Before you apply

Download the checklist and check each application requirement as you prepare to submit your application. Items listed on the checklist are the minimum requirements. We might need more information after we review your application.

Provide all required documents on the checklist, including drawings, supporting material, and any additional forms. If you are not sure if something is required, contact the Planning Services Centre

Use sample drawings to review what you need to include on your plans

Double check your documents are completed and make sure you have all required items on your plans before you upload them

After you apply

The Planning Services Centre may contact you for more information required for your application. Follow-up on requests for more information as quickly as possible. 

Use the Job Access Code (JAC) to check status updates for your application on calgary.ca/vista

  • You’ll get a JAC by e-mail after you’ve submitted your application. If you did not receive a JAC number, contact the Planning Services Centre.
  • Checking your application’s status using your JAC will provide you with timely updates about the status of your application

What is a complete application?

A complete application means that you have provided all the necessary requirements for our teams to complete their reviews. You should provide everything listed on the Complete Application Requirement List and the Guide to a Complete Application (if applicable), including plans, supporting documents and payment.

An application for a permit may be refused  if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt,  if adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal, the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building advisory A19-002 building permit complete application.

Apply online

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in-person

Complete the application form.

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre.

After you apply


How to check the status of your permit

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning Services Centre

Inspections and managing your permit application


  • Visit Inspections for information about inspection bookings, inspection outcomes, inspection types and more.
  • Visit Manage your permit application for information on how to revise, cancel, and alter your permit. ​

Planning Services Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person: 
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca

Click before you dig

Always contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. Submit a locate request online or call 1-800-242-3447 for more information.

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