Building Code, Policies, and Guides

The building code for the City and County of Denver is based on the 2014 National Electrical Code, NFPA code 72 (National Fire Protection Association) and the 2009 Series of I-Codes. 

Building code policies provide detailed descriptions of how to handle certain situations that are not clearly addressed within the Denver amendments or within the current codes.

The current Denver Building Code (PDF) (Revised September 2012) contains all amendments to the adopted building codes and fire codes.   The codes are amended to address the specific needs within the City and County of Denver.   

You may purchase a copy of the codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC).  For more information please visit the ICC site. Please note that this site is not a part of Denvergov.org.   

The following archived Denver Building Code Amendments are available for download:

Referenced Code Section Key Words
ADMIN 120A Classification of Licenses, Registrations and Certificates
ADMIN 120B Modular Cold Storage Room Contractors
ADMIN 130.2A Residential Excavation and Shoring
ADMIN 130.2B Third Party Roofing Inspections
ADMIN 131 Permit Application and Issuance
ADMIN 131.3 Owner Occupier (Homeowner) Permits
ADMIN 132A

Permitting Construction Completed Without Permits

ADMIN 132B Temporary Outdoor Stages
Temporary Occupancies
Groundwater Remediation  Equipment Shelters
ADMIN 132.2 Mail and Fax Procedures
ADMIN 133 Electrical Plan Review Requirements
ADMIN 133.3 Setback Verification
ADMIN 134 Building Permit Application Requirements for Temporary Buildings
ADMIN 138 Permit and Inspection Fees
ADMIN 142.2 Home Occupation
IBC 310.3 Residential and Personal Care, Assisted Living

IBC 709.9

Gas Fired Heating in R-1 and R-2
IBC 1004.1a    Maximum Floor Area Allowances Per Occupant Within Marijuana Plant Husbandry Operations
IBC1008.1.9  Locking and Securing of Egress Doors
IBC 1014.3 Tenant Finish of Existing Office Buildings
IBC 1507 Porch, Patio and Group U Roofing
IBC 1704 Special Inspector Qualification
IBC 3003.2 Pressurized Hoistways
IBC 3103 Temporary Fabric Structures - Tents, canopies and Air Inflated Structures
IBC 3303 Demolition or Building Moving Permits
IBC 3307.1.1     Notification Prior to Excavation, Demolition or Relocation
IBC 3408A Occupancy Conformance - Change in Use Within the Same Occupancy Group or Change in Occupancy
IBC 3408B Change in Occupancy or Use - Procedures for Obtaining a New Certificate of Occupancy
IBC H106 Permitting Procedures for Electric and Neon Signs
IECC 505 Lighting and Metering Requirements
IMC 301.4 Waste Oil Heaters
IMC 507 Commercial Hoods and Ventilation Requirements
IRC 305 Basement Remodeling in Single Family Homes
IRC 401.4   Residential Soils Tests and Geotechnical Investigation Reports
IRC405.1 Subsoil Drainage Systems
IRC M2301 Solar Energy System Permits
IRC H101 Patio Covers
IRC N101.2.1 Residential Energy Rating Program
NEC 590    NEC 590 Temporary Power
NEC 705 Distributed Resources Generating Systems
The following guides are available for download in PDF format:

Commercial Permitting Handbook Guideline of requirements for commercial projects
Administrative Modification Request Application information and supplemental guidelines
Restaurant Guide  An overview of Denver's approval process for new restaurants (includes Restaurant Plan Review Application Template)
Concept Phase Overview A brief overview of the Concept Phase of Plan Review
Concept Phase Submittal Requirements Submittal requirements for the Concept Phase
Formal Phase Overview A brief overview of the Formal Phase of Plan Review
Formal Phase Submittal Requirements for Site Plans Submittal Requirements for the Formal Phase
Final Recordation Phase Overview A brief overview of the Final Recordation Phase of Plan Review
Plan Amendments Guide How to apply for an amendment to an approved plan 
PUD/PBG Site Plan Rules and Regulations The process and requirements for site plan review of Planned Unit Developments Planned Building Groups
Total Demolition Guide Step-by step procedures for demolition of residential and commercial structures. 

Building Code Appeals

To appeal a decision made regarding the building code, you must apply to the Board of Appeals.
The Board of Appeals is responsible for reviewing:

  • Appeals of administrative decisions
  • New methods or products
  • Plan correction notices
  • Written orders and opinions of a building code official regarding the building code

Learn more about the Board of Appeals.


NEW! 2015 Code Adoption

As part of Denver’s upcoming adoption of the 2015 international codes for building and fire safety, city officials are kicking off a public engagement process to identify any potential Denver-specific amendments to the codes. Adoption of the codes in mid-2015 will bring Denver regulations in line with the latest building safety standards worldwide. 

Learn more about code review committees and what you need to know if you're planning a project in Denver:

Code Amendment Proposals

UPDATED: Proposals for any code amendments by the general public, stakeholder groups, contractors, architects, engineers, etc. must be received by January 9, 2015 at the close of business.

  • Download the Code amendment proposal form (Word) and follow the instructions in it to recommend a Denver-specific change to one of the 2015 I-Codes.
     

Amendment Proposal Submitted by
New Section 142.9 Posting Certificates of Occupancy (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Section 133, Replace 133.1(2) and Revise 133.1(6) (PDF)  Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
2011 Denver Amendments for Chapter 1, Administrative Section of the Denver Building Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise Section 105 Unsafe Buildings, Structures, or Utilities; Paragraph 105.1 Buildings or Structures (PDF) Jerry Maly, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Revise 141.2 (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
IBC Chapter 15, Add Section 1503 on Curbing for Mechanical Equiment, Roof (PDF)  Paul Schaffer, Denver Community Planning and Development
New Section 406.9 Electric Vehicle Charging Options (PDF) Mike Salisbury, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Revise Chapter 30 Elevators and Conveying Systems, Sections 3001, 3002, 3004, 3006, 3007 and 3008 (PDF) Jill Jennings, Denver Community Planning and Development
Section 915 Carbon monoxide detection (PDF) Jill Jennings, Denver Community Planning and Development
 2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Building Code (PDF) Jill Jennings, Denver Community Planning and Development
New text, 1607.15 (previously 1607.14 in 2011 Denver amendments) (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Delete and substitute text, 1608.2 (2011 Denver amendments) and 1608.4 (previously 1608.3 in 2011 Denver amendments) (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Delete text, 1608.5 (previously 1608.4 in 2011 Denver amendments) (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Delete text, 1608.6 (previously 1608.5 in 2011 Denver amendments) (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Revise 1810.3.5.2.2 (as revised in the 2011 Denver amendments) (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Add text, IBC 717.5.2, Exception 3 (PDF) Mark Jelinske; Cator, Ruma, and Associates
Revise IBC 1203, IMC 401, IMC 402 (PDF) Mark Jelinske; Cator, Ruma, and Associates
Add text, IBC Section 2902.2, IPC Section 403.2 (PDF) Mark Jelinske; Cator, Ruma, and Associates
Add text, 2303.2.2.1 (PDF) Manny Muniz
Delete and substitute, 1025.4 (PDF) Manny Muniz
Delete Chapter 10 Section 1009.6.4 (PDF) Keith Peetz, Denver Community Planning and Development
Add text, 307.1.1, Uses Other than Group H (PDF) Scott Moore
Amendment Proposal Submitted by 
ICC400 Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures (PDF)  Rob Pickett, on behalf of the Log and Timber Homes Council, NAHB
Incorporate Appendix RB into Residential Provisions of IECC (PDF) Jim Meyers, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (PDF)  Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise C402.3 (PDF) Patti Mason and Amy Dickie, U.S. Green Building Council – Colorado Chapter, Global Cool Cities Alliance
Amend C403.1 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
Amend C403.2.4.1 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
Amend C403.2.7 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
New section C408 (PDF) Linda Morrison, Ambient Energy
Amend R402.4 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
Amend Table C402.2 and C402.1.2 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
Amend Table R402.1.1 and R402.1.3 (PDF) Luke Miller / Sean Maley, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
2015 IECC section R402.4.1.2 Testing (PDF) Robby Schwarz, EnergyLogic. inc.
Revise Section C406 (PDF) Cindy Bosco, Denver Department of Environmental Health
Add text, C408.2.5.2 Manuals (PDF) Cindy Bosco, Denver Department of Environmental Health
Revise C503.1 General (PDF) Cindy Bosco, Denver Department of Environmental Health
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
Revision to 'Existing Building' Definition in Chapter 2, Section 202 (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Building Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise 202, Existing Building Definition (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Revise 202, Substantial Structural Damage Definition (PDF)  David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Add text, Section 202, General Definitions (PDF) Jerry Maly, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Revise 404.3 (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Revise 606.2.3 (PDF) David Renn, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado (SEAC)
Chapter 5, new section (PDF) Cindy Bosco, Denver Department of Environmental Health
Amendment Proposal  Submitted by 
Add text, 5001.1, Exceptions (PDF) Scott Moore
Delete and Substitute, 1025.4 (PDF) Manny Muniz
New text 1031.10 (PDF) Manny Muniz
Add text, 5701.2 Nonapplicability (PDF)  Scott Moore
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Fuel & Gas Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Add text, 503.6.4 (PDF) Bret Pica
Add text, 503.8 (PDF) Bret Pica
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Mechanical Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise IBC 1203, IMC 401, IMC 402 (PDF) Mark Jelinske; Cator, Ruma, and Associates
New Text, Section 505.2 (PDF) Keith Fox, City and County of Denver
New Text, Section 505.5 Group R (PDF) Keith Fox, City and County of Denver
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Plumbing Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
Add text, IBC Section 2902.2, IPC Section 403.2 (PDF)  Mark Jelinske; Cator, Ruma, and Associates
Delete and Substitute, Chapter 13, 14 (PDF) Charles Bartel, Denver Community Planning and Development
Amendment Proposal Submitted by
ICC400 Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures (PDF) Rob Pickett, on behalf of the Log and Timber Homes Council, NAHB
Incorporate Appendix U into Residential Provisions of IRC (PDF) Jim Meyers, Southwest Energy Efficiency (SWEEP)
Delete and Substitute Section R313 on Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development
New Section R324 on Electric Vehicle Charging Options (PDF) Mike Salisbury, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project 
2011 Denver Amendments to the 2009 International Residential Code (PDF) Jill Jennings Golich, Denver Community Planning and Development 
New Appendix AS (Light Straw-Clay Construction) (PDF) Ben Waldman, on behalf of Common Earth: Colorado's Natural Building Collaborative
New Appendix R (Strawbale Construction) (PDF) Ben Waldman, on behalf of Common Earth: Colorado's Natural Building Collaborative
Revise Section P2716, P2716.1 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Delete Section P2801, P2801.6.1 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Add new exception, Section P2903, P2903.9.5 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development 
Revise Section P2906, P2906.4 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise Section P3003, P3003.9.2 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise Section P3005, P3005.2.3 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Delete and Substitute, Section P3005, P3005.2.4 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Delete and Substitute, Section P3103, P3103.1 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Delete and Substitute, Section P3114, P3114.8 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Delete and Substitute, Section P2503, 2503.5.1 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
Revise Section P2603, P2603.5.1 (PDF) Frank Gonzalez Jr., Denver Community Planning and Development
No amendment proposals submitted yet.

Planning a Project? What You Need to Know

Please note that the effective date for the new codes shall be four months after the date of the City Council ordinance in which they are adopted.

For any projects submitted to Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) after the passage of the adopting ordinance, and before the effective date of this code, the continued use of the 2011 Denver Building Code (2009 international codes and 2011 Denver amendments) shall be allowed.

Major projects in design during the drafting of the new code, and which will be submitted to CPD after the effective date of the new code, may be reviewed and permitted under the 2011 Denver Building Code, with the approval of Denver’s director of Development Services. To request that your project proceed under the 2011 Denver Building Code, the owner or owner’s agent must submit a letter before the effective date of the 2015 code, addressing the following seven items.

  1. Request to proceed under the 2011 Denver Building code;
  2. Address of the project;
  3. Description, number of stores, floor area, occupancy, etc. of the project;
  4. Date design drawings were commenced;
  5. Intended date of construction drawing submission to CPD;
  6. Commitment that permits will be obtained and construction of the project will
  7. commence within 180 days of the effective date of the 2015 code;
  8. Commitment that the project will be completed within 24 months of the effective date of this code.

Submit letters via email to Development Services Director Steve Ferris at steven.ferris@denvergov.org. He will review all written requests and issue a determination within five business days. 

Type-approved structures approved by Denver’s building official under the previously adopted code and prior to the effective date of the new code may continue to be permitted and constructed under the 2011 Denver Building Code for 180 days after the effective date of the new code.

Electrical Code Notice

On September 22, the Colorado State Electrical Board decided to delay enforcement of NEC 690.12, Rapid Shutdown for PV systems on Buildings until April 1, 2015.  The City and County of Denver will likewise follow the state’s lead on this and will delay enforcement of NEC 690.12 until April 1, 2015. Additional questions on this may be directed to Carol Pafford (carol.pafford@denvergov.org).

2015 Code Adoption Meetings

The city will convene stakeholders from the design and construction industry to advise on building and fire code amendments and to review public amendment submittals through the Building Code Review Committee and the Fire Code Review Committee. Later, a task force of industry representatives will make a final determination on the package of Denver amendments to forward to Denver City Council for their review and adoption.  All of these meetings are open to the public.

Building Code Review Committee – Meeting 2 
January 29, 2015, 2 - 5 p.m.
Wellington Webb Building, 201 W. Colfax, rooms 4.F.6 and 4.G.2

Agenda: TBD

IECC Forum

Denver Community Planning and Development, along with Denver Environmental Health, the Colorado Energy Office and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project hosted Eric Makela of the Britt/Makela group on December 3, 2014, to provide a forum for the development community to learn and ask questions about the provisions of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). View the forum's presentations here:

2015 Code Adoption Meeting Archive

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