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.
To request a Certificate of Occupancy (CO), submit a Public Information Request to Public.Information@austintexas.gov. Be sure to include the address and unit number (if applicable) in your request. Under the Public Information Act, governmental entities have 10 business days to provide responsive information.
A building which 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.
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.
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 Inspections process. View the Special Inspections 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 final building inspection, and compliance with approved occupancy levels is subject to verification by the Fire Department.