Denver Building and Fire Code

Building Codes, Policies and Guides 

The Denver Building and Fire Code establishes the minimum, mandatory standards for building construction in Denver. Denver's code is based on international standards for safe, habitable structures.


Denver has adopted the 2018 ICC (International Code Council) codes listed below. You are responsible for ensuring that your project complies with ICC codes as well as Denver's amendments to the ICC codes, which are located in the Denver Building and Fire Code.

The links below will take you to an external site hosted by the ICC.

Denver also abides by the 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is adopted at the state level.

Building code policies

The policies listed below clarify existing codes and detail how to handle certain situations that are not clearly addressed within current codes.

Referenced 2019 Code Section Description Last updated
DBC Section 103.10(PDF, 145KB) Transition Rules 7/12/21
ADMIN 120A(PDF, 225KB) Classifications of Licenses, Registrations and Certificates 12/17/20
ADMIN 131B(PDF, 709KB) Alternative Permitting for Expedited Construction 2/8/21
ADMIN 131.5(PDF, 333KB) Plan Review and Permit Cancellation  3/9/21
ADMIN 133B(PDF, 397KB) Submittal Requirements for Residential Projects that Include Structural Work 3/2/20
ADMIN 134C(PDF, 160KB) Temporary Emergency Residential Shelters 10/20/20
ADMIN 134D(PDF, 147KB) Temporary Daycare Occupancies  1/14/21
ADMIN 138(PDF, 180KB)
Permit and Inspection Fees
6/17/21
IBC 302.1(PDF, 110KB) Occupancy Classification for Marijuana Uses 8/22/20
IBC 603.1(PDF, 109KB) Limited Combustible Pedestals on Roofs of Type I and II Buildings 9/17/20
IBC 1004.5(PDF, 410KB) Calculating Business Office Occupant Load 4/1/20
IBC 1507.19(PDF, 189KB) Use of Foam Plastics with Reinforced Rubberized Asphalt Roofing 9/15/20
IECCC 401.2 and R401.2(PDF, 167KB) Residential and Commercial Project Submittal Requirements for IECC and ASHRAE Prescriptive Paths 6/25/20
IECC and IMC Clarification(PDF, 130KB) IECC, IMC Clarification on R-2 Ventilation Requirements 1/15/20
IRC 401.4(PDF, 109KB) IRC Geotechnical Investigation Reports 12/28/20

 

Building code policies for the 2016 code are available for download below:

Referenced 2016 Code Section Description Last updated
DBC Section 103.10(PDF, 145KB) Transition Rules 7/12/21
ADMIN 120A(PDF, 225KB) Classification of Licenses, Registrations and Certificates 12/17/20
ADMIN 120B(PDF, 17KB) Modular Cold Storage Room Contractors 10/17/11
ADMIN 126.4(PDF, 222KB) Demolition or Building Moving Permits 6/09/17
ADMIN 130(PDF, 148KB) Residential (Single-Family and Duplex) Submittals 3/1/16
ADMIN 130.2A(PDF, 179KB) Residential Excavation and Shoring 1/26/18
ADMIN 130.2B(PDF, 399KB) Third Party Roofing Inspections 4/7/20
ADMIN 131(PDF, 220KB) Permit Application and Issuance 12/29/17
ADMIN 131B(PDF, 709KB) Alternative Permitting for Expedited Construction 2/8/21
ADMIN 131.3(PDF, 261KB) Owner Occupier (Homeowner) Permits 2/7/17
ADMIN 131.5(PDF, 333KB) Plan Review and Permit Cancellation 3/9/21
ADMIN 132.9(PDF, 212KB) Compliance Plan and Conditional Certificate of Occupancy 7/21/17
ADMIN 132A(PDF, 21KB) Groundwater Remediation Equipment Shelters 3/21/16
ADMIN 132B(PDF, 20KB) Temporary Outdoor Stages 3/21/16
ADMIN 133(PDF, 22KB) Electrical Plan Review Requirements 4/11/16
ADMIN 133.3(PDF, 196KB) Setback Verification 1/25/18
ADMIN 133.5, 135 and 136(PDF, 61KB) Foundation Only, Phased Construction and Deferred Submittal Permits 10/11/16
ADMIN 134(PDF, 126KB)
Building Permit Application Requirements for Temporary Buildings 9/5/18
ADMIN 134B(PDF, 818KB)
Temporary Sales Office Within a Model Home 10/2/19
ADMIN 138(PDF, 180KB) Permit and Inspection Fees 3/19/21
ADMIN 140.4(PDF, 98KB) Home Inspections Containing Weyerhaeuser Flak Jacket TJI Joists 10/4/17
ADMIN 142A(PDF, 24KB) Temporary Occupancies 3/21/16
ADMIN 603.1(PDF, 109KB) Limited Combustible Pedestals on Roofs of Type I and II Buildings 9/17/20
IBC 302.1(PDF, 110KB) Occupancy Classification for Marijuana Uses 8/22/20
IBC 310.3(PDF, 227KB) Residential and Personal Care, Assisted Living 10/14/11
IBC 709.9(PDF, 18KB) Gas Fired Heating in R-1 and R-2 10/14/11
IBC 1008.1.9(PDF, 34KB) Locking and Securing of Egress Doors 10/14/11
IBC 1014.3(PDF, 17KB) Tenant Finish of Existing Office Buildings 10/14/11
IBC 1507(PDF, 18KB) Porch, Patio and Group U Roofing 10/14/11
IBC 1704(PDF, 42KB) Special Inspector Qualification 10/17/11
IBC 1705(PDF, 342KB) High-rise Building Exterior Wall Special Inspection Requirements 2/14/19
IBC 3103(PDF, 18KB) Temporary Fabric Structures - Tents, canopies and Air Inflated Structures 10/17/11
IBC 3303(PDF, 222KB) Demolition or Building Moving Permits 6/09/17
IBC 3307.1.1(PDF, 126KB) Notification Prior to Excavation, Demolition or Relocation 9/9/13
IBC 3408B(PDF, 26KB) Change in Occupancy or Use - Procedures for Obtaining a New Certificate of Occupancy 10/14/11
IBC H106(PDF, 18KB) Permitting Procedures for Electric and Neon Signs 10/17/11
IECC R101, R103 and IRC Chapter 11(PDF, 403KB) Submittal Requirements to Document Compliance with the IECC's Residential Provisions 11/7/17
IECC C101, C103, C202, C408(PDF, 1MB) Submittal Requirements to Document Compliance with the IECC's Commercial Provisions 2/13/19
IECC C202(PDF, 1MB) Approved Agency Determination RE: System Commissioning 9/11/18
IECC C405(PDF, 17KB) Lighting and Metering Requirements 4/11/16
IECC C408.2.4(PDF, 1MB) Commissioning Compliance Checklist 9/11/18
IMC 301.4(PDF, 18KB) Waste Oil Heaters 10/17/11
IMC 506, 507, 508(PDF, 150KB) IMC Kitchen Hood Exhaust System Submittal Requirements 11/21/16
IMC 507(PDF, 112KB) Kitchen Hoods and Ventilation Requirements 12/21/16
IPC Chapters 13 and 14(PDF, 374KB) Graywater Treatment Works Systems 3/20/18
IRC 101, 202, 302.3, 311(PDF, 310KB) Residential Structures Containing a Second Complete and Independent Dwelling Unit 11/16/18
IRC 401.4(PDF, 109KB) IRC Geotechnical Investigation Reports 12/28/20
IRC 405.1(PDF, 18KB) Subsoil Drainage Systems 10/17/11
IRC M2301(PDF, 187KB) Solar Energy System Permits 3/14/18
IRC N1105 & N1106 & IECC 405 & 406(PDF, 120KB) Energy Rating Program Procedures 11/7/17
IRC R302.1(PDF, 808KB) Exterior Wall Requirements for IRC Buildings 1/16/18
IRC R302.2(PDF, 768KB) Extending Stories in IRC Townhouses 1/16/18
NEC 590(PDF, 64KB) NEC 590 Temporary Power 7/29/14
NEC 590.4(PDF, 36KB) Cable installation for temporary special events
5/6/15
NEC 705(PDF, 21KB) Distributed Resources Generating Systems 10/17/11

Building guides

The following guides are available for download in PDF format:

Commercial Building Permit Guide(PDF, 1MB) UPDATED FEBRUARY 2021.Guideline of requirements for commercial projects, information on related permits, and collection of required forms.
Electronic Signatures Guide(PDF, 1023KB) A how-to guide with screenshots for creating a valid electronic signature using Adobe Acrobat or BlueBeam Revu. (All building plans submitted to CPD electronically must include a valid electronic signature.)
Commercial Permitting Presentation 

Presentation and panel discussion from December 9, 2020. 

YouTube recordingSlide deck(PDF, 9MB)
IECC Checklists
Required for all new commercial and multi-family residential construction projects; commercial tenant finish projects over 10,000 square feet; and single-family/duplex projects with new conditioned space or additions over 30% square feet. 
 

Commercial IECC Performance Checklist(XLSX, 147KB)
Commercial ASHRAE Prescriptive Checklist(XLSX, 151KB)
Commercial ASHRAE Performance Checklist(XLSX, 143KB)
Commercial Energy Code Modeling Report(PDF, 312KB)

Residential IECC Prescriptive Checklist(XLSX, 82KB) 
Residential IECC Performance Checklist(XLSX, 78KB)
Residential ERI Checklist(XLSX, 78KB)

Learn how to fill out and submit the correct IECC checklist:
Commercial checklist webinar (opens in YouTube), View slide deck(PDF, 5MB)
Residential checklist webinar (opens in YouTube), View slide deck(PDF, 4MB)
IECC Training Sessions

March 2020: Slide decks available for the following focused sessions: Homebuilders(PDF, 13MB) and electrical engineers(PDF, 8MB)

June 2020: YouTube videos available for the following focused sessions: Residents and home designersContractorsMechanical and plumbing engineers, and Architects.
Expanded Prep Demo Overview Permit path enabling an expedited construction start for certain commercial tenant-finish projects.
Administrative Modification Request(PDF, 266KB) UPDATED OCTOBER 2020. Application information and supplemental guidelines.
Master/TA guide for production homebuilders(PDF, 651KB) UPDATED OCTOBER 2020. Submittal instructions and checklists for Master plan and Type-Approved (TA) single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes built under the International Residential Code (IRC).
Residential Permitting Guide(PDF, 2MB) UPDATED JULY 2020. Additional project guides for specific types of work in single-family homes and duplexes are available on the Inside the HomeOutside the HomeBuilding/Expanding a Home, and Homeowner Permits webpages.
Slide Deck: Navigating Residential Permitting(PDF, 7MB) Presentation from March 1, 2020. Navigating the permitting process for Single-Family and Duplex projects.
DEH Plan Review Application(PDF, 570KB) UPDATED DECEMBER 2019. This application is used to conduct an Environmental Health and building permit review of proposed new and extensively remodeled retail food establishments/commercial kitchens, marijuana-infused product (MIP) kitchens, and marijuana dispensaries.
Restaurant Guide Visit the online guide for Restaurant Permits.
Concept Phase Overview(PDF, 138KB) A brief overview of the Concept Phase of Plan Review.
Concept Phase Submittal Checklist(PDF, 88KB) Submittal checklist for the Concept Phase.
Formal Phase Overview(PDF, 78KB) A brief overview of the Formal Phase of Plan Review.
Formal Phase Submittal Checklist for Site Plans(PDF, 396KB) Submittal checklist for the Formal Phase.
Final Recordation Phase Overview(PDF, 78KB) A brief overview of the Final Recordation Phase of Plan Review.
Plan Amendments Guide(PDF, 95KB) How to apply for an amendment to an approved plan.
Pool Permitting Guide(PDF, 249KB) Permitting guide for residential and commercial pools, spas and water features.
PUD/PBG Site Plan Rules and Regulations(PDF, 4MB) The process and requirements for site plan review of Planned Unit Developments/Planned Building Groups.
Total Demolition Guide(PDF, 253KB) Step-by step procedures for demolition of residential and commercial structure.

Recent amendments to the Denver Building and Fire Code

On July 12, 2021, City Council voted to approve the proposed amendments to the 2019 Denver Building and Fire Code and 2019 Denver Green Code – which also included the following floor amendment. 

The previous building code in effect required major projects to start construction before July 31, 2021, in order to use the 2016 Denver Building and Fire Code. The approved floor amendment extended the July 31 deadline to April 22, 2022. This will allow projects that were already underway before the pandemic more time to begin construction without requiring them to redesign their project according to the 2019 Building and Fire Code and reapply for city reviews.

There is no action required for major projects to use the April 22, 2022, extension date. Please ensure your existing approvals do not expire before the permits are obtained and construction starts. For building permits, please email planreview@denvergov.org to request an extension. For Site Development Plans (SDP), please email your project coordinator to request an extension.

Resources:

Archived Denver building codes and policies

Archived Denver Building Code Amendments are available for download below.

Archived building code policies for the 2011 code are available for download below:

Referenced 2011 Code Section Description
DBC Section 103.10 Transition Rules
ADMIN 120A Classification of Licenses, Registrations and Certificates
ADMIN 120B Modular Cold Storage Room Contractors
ADMIN 126.4 Demolition or Building Moving Permits
ADMIN 130 Residential (Single-Family and Duplex) Submittals
ADMIN 130.2A Residential Excavation and Shoring
ADMIN 130.2B Third Party Roofing Inspections
ADMIN 131 Permit Application and Issuance
ADMIN 131.2 Alternative Permitting for Expedited Construction
ADMIN 131.3 Owner Occupier (Homeowner) Permits
ADMIN 131.5 Plan Review and Permit Cancellation
ADMIN 132A

Permitting Construction Completed Without Permits

ADMIN 132B Temporary Outdoor Stages
ADMIN 132C Temporary Occupancies
ADMIN 132D Groundwater Remediation Equipment Shelters
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 302.1 Occupancy Classification for Marijuana Uses
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 506, 507, 508 IMC Kitchen Hood Exhaust System Submittal Requirements
IMC 507 Kitchen 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
IRC R302.2 Extending Stories in IRC Townhouses
NEC 590 NEC 590 Temporary Power
NEC 590.4 Cable installation for temporary special events
NEC 705 Distributed Resources Generating Systems

New IECC Checklists

Working hand in hand with the Denver community, the city has defined and adopted bold climate goals. Adoption of more stringent building codes to achieve higher building performance is integral to attaining these goals. CPD's new International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) checklist is designed to support project teams in navigating complexities of the IECC section of Denver’s 2019 Building and Fire Code, and succeeding in delivering projects that support our community’s expressed priorities.

Starting on January 4, 2021, this checklist will be required for all new commercial and multi-family residential construction projects; commercial tenant finish projects over 10,000 square feet; and single-family/duplex projects with new conditioned space or additions over 30% square feet.

Download the appropriate checklist based on your project type (all files open in Excel):

Commercial IECC Prescriptive Checklist(XLSX, 153KB)
Commercial IECC Performance Checklist(XLSX, 147KB)
Commercial ASHRAE Prescriptive Checklist(XLSX, 151KB)
Commercial ASHRAE Performance Checklist(XLSX, 143KB)
Commercial Energy Code Modeling Report(PDF, 312KB)

Residential IECC Prescriptive Checklist(XLSX, 82KB)
Residential IECC Performance Checklist(XLSX, 78KB)
Residential ERI Checklist(XLSX, 78KB)

Learn how to fill out and submit the correct IECC checklist:

Commercial checklist webinar (opens in YouTube), View slide deck(PDF, 5MB)
Residential checklist webinar (opens in YouTube), View slide deck(PDF, 4MB)

2022 Building and Fire Code and Denver Green Code Adoption Process

The City and County of Denver is adopting a new building and fire code, which will incorporate the 2021 series of International Codes, as well as advance the voluntary 2019 Denver Green Code. The city will consider amendments to the 2021 International Codes to ensure they work for Denver’s specific climate and context. We will also take a hard look at our existing Denver amendments with the goal of eliminating unnecessary sections, jargon, and complexity.

Learn more about the process and get involved

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 an independent body that reviews:

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

Board of Appeals