Commercial Building Permit Requirements

Commercial building permit application must be submitted with (3) three complete sets of plans, which include the following:

1. Site plan - Scaled drawing, which shows the size and location of all new construction as well as all existing structures on the site. Distances from structure(s) to lot lines and to other structures on site. Impervious and building coverage. Utilities including fire hydrants, landscaping, easements, curbs and gutters, curb cuts, walkways, slope of driveways, and grading (including retaining walls, drainage, and a north arrow). Include parking areas, setbacks, and etc. to be included.

2. Specifications - Requirements for submittal may vary on how much information is shown on construction drawings.

3. Architectural - Dimensioned plans for each floor that shows room layouts and use of space. Also include elevation views, wall sections, windows, doors and finishes, stair dimensions and details (such as riser height, tread width, guard / handrail height, and headroom dimensions). Include all information used for building height or size increases. Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional responsible for this work. 

4. Foundation - Included on the dimensioned plan is the allowable soil bearing pressure, the depth of the foundation, and the proposed materials to construct the foundation. Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional responsible for this work. 

5. Accessibility - Provide a plan that shows all accessible features of the building, including routes (both interior and exterior), entrances and means of egress, areas of refuge, facilities and elevations, hardware, handrail ramps, and other requirements for an accessible building per the IBC and ICC / ANSI A 117.1.

6. Life Safety - Provide a plan that shows egress calculations, occupancy loads and uses for each room, travel distance, exit widths, emergency lighting and exit signs.

7. Structural - Typical floor and roof framing plans. The plan(s) size of member to be used, allowable stresses and all information to erect the joints, beams, rafters, columns, or girders within the structure (include all calculations). A registered engineer must seal all structural plans.

8. Mechanical - Location, size, and listed / labeled information for all equipment and appliances that comprise parts of the buildings mechanical system. Ventilation and exhaust calculations, schedules, supply and exhaust duct work, chimney termination, materials and any other information required to complete the buildings HVAC system. Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional responsible for this work. 

9. Plumbing - Include isometric riser diagrams for potable water supply and the drain waste as well as vest systems with the locations and materials specified for all the piping and fixtures within the plumbing system. Details of special devices (i.e. backflow preventer, grease traps, etc.), in addition to storm water drainage calculations and devices shall be included in the submission. Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional responsible for this work. 

10. Electrical - Drawn to scale upon suitable material and shall include the location, nature and extent of work proposed, including and shown in detail that it will conform to the provisions of the electrical code and relevant laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations as determined by the code official. Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional responsible for this work. 

11. Fire protection - When required, the construction documents may include a submission for the suppression system, the fire alarm system, the smoke control system, single / multiple stations detectors, standpipes, fire department connections, as well as fire extinguisher(s) size and location. All plans MUST meet a minimum NISET Level III Certification. A registered engineer must sign and seal all Fire Alarm, Sprinkler, and Kitchen Extinguishment plans.

12. Energy - All plan submissions must include energy calculations, specifications, and details based on the International Energy Code.

13. Use & Occupancy - A change in the Use and Occupancy of any commercial space requires the issuance of a Use and Occupancy Permit from Whitemarsh Township. 


Existing spaces undergoing a change in tenant only, without any new work / alterations to the space, are required to submit an application with (2) two sets of drawings showing the layout of the space, emergency lighting and exit signs, locations of means of egress, occupancy loads and egress calculations.

Changes in Use and Occupancy requiring construction or changes in the Use Group of the building shall be subject to all provisions of the applicable codes.

***Click here to obtain a copy of the Whitemarsh Commercial Building Permit Checklist.