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Building Code, Policies, and Guides

Construction in Denver must comply with the latest version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) adopted by the State of Colorado, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 72, international codes for building and fire safety developed by the International Code Council (2015 ICC Codes), and the 2016 Denver Building and Fire Code (DBC). 

For extra clarity on code requirements, Denver's building code policies (located below) provide detailed descriptions of how to handle certain situations that are not clearly addressed within current codes.

Denver has adopted the 2015 ICC 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 found in the 2016 Denver Building and Fire Code).

The links below will take you to an external site hosted by the International Code Council (ICC).

Referenced 2016 Code Section Description Last updated
DBC Section 103.10 Transition Rules 6/7/16
ADMIN 120A Classification of Licenses, Registrations and Certificates 4/17/18
ADMIN 120B Modular Cold Storage Room Contractors 10/17/11
ADMIN 126.4 Demolition or Building Moving Permits 6/09/17
ADMIN 130 Residential (Single-Family and Duplex) Submittals 3/1/16
ADMIN 130.2A Residential Excavation and Shoring 1/26/18
ADMIN 130.2B Third Party Roofing Inspections 1/24/17
ADMIN 131 Permit Application and Issuance 12/29/17
ADMIN 131.2 Alternative Permitting for Expedited Construction 12/10/18
ADMIN 131.3 Owner Occupier (Homeowner) Permits 2/7/17
ADMIN 131.5 Plan Review and Permit Cancellation 3/13/17
ADMIN 132.9 Compliance Plan and Conditional Certificate of Occupancy  7/21/2017
ADMIN 132A Groundwater Remediation  Equipment Shelters 3/21/16
ADMIN 132B Temporary Outdoor Stages 3/21/16
ADMIN 133 Electrical Plan Review Requirements 4/11/16
ADMIN 133.3 Setback Verification 1/25/18
ADMIN 133.5, 135, & 136
Foundation Only, Phased Construction, & Deferred Submittal Permits 10/11/16
ADMIN 134

Building Permit Application Requirements for Temporary Buildings 9/5/18
ADMIN 138 Permit and Inspection Fees 6/21/18
ADMIN 140.4 Home Inspections Containing Weyerhaeuser Flak Jacket TJI Joists 10/4/17
ADMIN 142A Temporary Occupancies 3/21/16
ADMIN 142.2 Home Occupation 10/17/11
ADMIN 603.1 Limited Combustible Pedestals on Roofs of Type I and II Buildings 10/31/16
IBC 302.1 Occupancy Classification for Marijuana Uses 6/7/17
IBC 310.3 Residential and Personal Care, Assisted Living 10/14/11
IBC 709.9 Gas Fired Heating in R-1 and R-2 10/14/11
IBC1008.1.9 Locking and Securing of Egress Doors 10/14/11
IBC 1014.3 Tenant Finish of Existing Office Buildings 10/14/11
IBC 1507 Porch, Patio and Group U Roofing 10/14/11
IBC 1704 Special Inspector Qualification 10/17/11
IBC 3103 Temporary Fabric Structures - Tents, canopies and Air Inflated Structures 10/17/11
IBC 3303 Demolition or Building Moving Permits 6/09/17
IBC 3307.1.1   Notification Prior to Excavation, Demolition or Relocation 9/9/13
IBC 3408A Occupancy Conformance - Change in Use Within the Same Occupancy Group or Change in Occupancy 10/14/11
IBC 3408B Change in Occupancy or Use - Procedures for Obtaining a New Certificate of Occupancy 10/14/11
IBC H106 Permitting Procedures for Electric and Neon Signs 10/17/11
IECC R101, R103 and IRC Chapter 11 Submittal Requirements to Document Compliance with the IECC's Residential Provisions 11/7/17
IECC C101, C103, C202, C408 Submittal Requirements to Document Compliance with the IECC's Commercial Provisions 9/11/18
IECC C202 Approved Agency Determination RE: System Commissioning 9/11/18
IECC C405 Lighting and Metering Requirements 4/11/16
IECC C408.2.4 Commissioning Compliance Checklist 9/11/18
IMC 301.4 Waste Oil Heaters 10/17/11
IMC 506, 507, 508 IMC Kitchen Hood Exhaust System Submittal Requirements 11/21/16
IMC 507 Kitchen Hoods and Ventilation Requirements 12/21/16
IPC Chapters 13 & 14 Graywater Treatment Works Systems 3/20/18
IRC 101, 202, 302.3, 311 Residential Structures Containing a Second Complete and Independent Dwelling Unit 11/16/18
IRC 401.4 Residential Soils Tests and Geotechnical Investigation Reports 8/17/12
IRC405.1 Subsoil Drainage Systems 10/17/11
IRC M2301 Solar Energy System Permits 3/14/18
IRC H101 Patio Covers 10/17/11
IRC N1105 & N1106 & IECC 405 & 406 Energy Rating Program Procedures 11/7/17
IRC R302.1 Exterior Wall Requirements for IRC Buildings 1/16/18
IRC R302.2 Extending Stories in IRC Townhouses 1/16/18
NEC 590 NEC 590 Temporary Power 7/29/14
NEC 590.4 Cable installation for temporary special events
5/6/15
NEC 705 Distributed Resources Generating Systems 10/17/11

The following guides are available for download in PDF format:

Commercial Building Permit Guide UPDATED AUGUST 2018. Guideline of requirements for commercial projects, information on related permits, and collection of required forms. August 2018 update includes instructions for submitting SUDP plans at time of building permit application.
Electronic Signatures Guide 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.)
Slide Deck: Navigating Commercial Permitting Presentation from September 20, 2018. Navigating the permitting process for commercial and multifamily projects.
Expanded Prep Demo Overview Permit path enabling an expedited construction start for certain commercial tenant-finish projects
Administrative Modification Request "Admin mod" application form and instructions

Master/TA guide for production homebuilders

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 Additional project guides for specific types of work in single-family homes and duplexes are available on the Inside the Home, Outside the Home, Building/Expanding a Home, and Homeowner Permits webpages. 
Restaurant Guide / DEH Plan Review Application UPDATED AUGUST 2018. This is a streamlined, combined application for building, health, and sewer use/drainage permit (SUDP) reviews of restaurants, other commercial kitchens, marijuana-infused product (MIP) kitchens, and marijuana dispensaries. 
Concept Phase Overview A brief overview of the Concept Phase of Plan Review
Concept Phase Submittal Checklist Submittal checklist for the Concept Phase
Formal Phase Overview A brief overview of the Formal Phase of Plan Review
Formal Phase Submittal Checklist for Site Plans Submittal checklist 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 
Pool Permitting Guide Permitting guide for residential and commercial pools, spas and water features
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. 

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
Temporary Occupancies
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

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.

 

Gender-neutral Restroom Signage

All single-occupant, family or assisted-use restrooms in Denver must have signage indicating that they are open for use to all persons, regardless of gender. 

Learn more and view examples here.

Per the DBC, as amended 12/19/16