Building Permit Process in Calgary

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is a document that reviews the life and safety of a structure. It is a required document that is expected by the City of Calgary Planning Department. It gives you permission to erect, demolish, relocate, alter, repair a structure. You can also use a Building Permit to change the use or occupancy of space.

The building permit process for commercial buildings in Calgary is based on several legal bodies: the Safety Codes Act, Permit Regulation and the Alberta Building Code.

In order to receive your Building Permit you must follow specific guidelines

Who needs to apply?

Looking to build, construct, repair s building structure? A permit is required for these three kind of buildings: Residential, Commercial and Industrial.

Without this building permit, your construction is illegal.

Where to apply?

You can apply for a Building Permit online or in person at City Hall

Contact the Planning Services Centre

Live chat:

Call: 403-268-5311

Web: Planning Services Centre

When to apply?

The best time to apply for a building permit is once you decide that construction is needed.

Planning to build a new commercial project, new buildings, and additions? You will need a development permit because a building permit can be issued.

What’s a Development Permit?

This is used for the City to review a development and see if it meets the Land Use Bylaw requirements and other city plans under the Municipal Government Act. It is also used for new projects and changes to existing structures. They are used to address community planning, bylaws, land use and whether your structure is suited for the area.

Timeline to obtain a building permit:

Minor tenant improvement: within 21 calendar days (assuming all your required documents and code information is given in the application). The timeline will increase if there are more changes and resubmissions are needed from the applicant.

Larger projects: within 56 calendar days (assuming that all key documents are given during time of the application).

Why is it important to have a Building Permit?

- protect the interests of individuals and the community. Parts of the city are pre-designed and determined for certain purposes.

- It ensure that the city is on the same page for you to build your structure in that area. Each section of the city is reserved for special uses. Building permits make sure your project aligns with the objectives of the city.

- A building permit also makes sure that your space is safe for everyone that enters your building (safe from fires and faulty construction) and that your building meets the City’s requirements for health, fire, safety accessibility and resource conservation.

How do you apply for a Building Permit?


Visit this website. Click the Residential section


The following documentation is required when applying for a Commercial building permit. Note: not all these documents are required, they are only needed if the scope of work on your site applies

For a commercial building permit you will need:

  1. Application Form

  2. An approved Development Permit (if required)

  3. Plans such as Key Site Plans (exact location of tenant space in the building, includes tenant unit number, floor space and adjacent units)

  4. Architectural Drawings

  5. Structural Drawings

  6. Mechanical Drawings

  7. Plumbing & Gas Drawings

  8. Electrical Drawings

  9. Asbestos Abatement Form

  10. Sustainable Development Inventory Form

  11. Confirmation of Development Site Servicing Plan submission and payment

  12. Completed Request for Specific Variance Form

  13. Soils Report

  14. Public Protection Site Safety Plan (If construction is on building 5 storeys or higher or for unusual structures).

  15. Proof of registration

  16. If your application is for a restaurant or drinking establishment, complete the Restaurant and Food Establishment Requirement List

  17. Fees

Your commercial real estate agent can guide you through the process.

Based on the scope of work needed

- A professional review may be required

- National Energy Code for Building (NECB) Project Summary of Compliance (as applicable to scope) This is to make sure your building is energy efficient.

- Submit all document to City of Calgary Planning.

Excerpt from an article from the Pircon Group (Calgary)

Kevin Padillo PIRCON GROUP, Calgary

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