May 2019
Register for an Upcoming L&I Focus Group Session

If you’d like to be part of improving how L&I does business, you’re invited to participate in an upcoming focus group session. These sessions are a way for you to give feedback on how we’re doing and what you’d like to see done better. Sessions are open to anyone who has previously applied for a license or permit, including but not limited to: home-, business-, or property-owners, property managers, contractors, architects/engineers, attorneys, or expeditors.

  • L&I Focus Group: Thurs., June 20th, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Register

  • L&I Focus Group: Thurs., June 20th, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Register

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email prior to the session with the topics that will be discussed. Each session will be held on the 16 th floor of the Municipal Services Building (1401 JFK Blvd). 
eCLIPSE Professional Registration is Open

Permitting is moving to eCLIPSE, L&I’s online platform. Attorneys and Design Professionals need to complete a free, one-time registration (that never expires) to file permit applications in their name.

If you haven’t already registered — use the  Quick Guide to start the registration process now.

Unconvinced? Review the top 5 reasons you should register early!
Updated EZ Alteration Permit Guidelines

Recently, excessive amounts of work have been conducted beyond the scope of the EZ Alteration Permit. To address this, the following EZ Alteration Permit guidelines have been updated:

  • Basement renovations will no longer be permitted under an EZ Alteration Permit unless it can be demonstrated that the existing basement is habitable, with code compliant ceiling height and egress. Acceptable forms of documentation include a sealed letter from a design professional describing conditions or sketches/photos demonstrating compliance.
  • A new condition statement added in April 2019: structural alteration or repair is expressly prohibited under this permit. Prohibited structural work includes any modification to exterior walls, party walls, floor/roof framing or foundations; including underpinning, excavation, and removal of foundation slab. 
Updated Code Bulletin on Excavations

Code Bulletin 0503: Excavations and the Protection of Adjacent Property – Public and Private details the changes that have been put in place to combat the failures associated with unpermitted or excessive excavations. It also sets forth construction document and inspection requirements to aid in enforcing the code sections that address concerns with excavation and their impact on adjoining public and private property.

Highlighted changes include:

  • Where excavations of twelve (12) feet or less below the adjacent grade are proposed, the soils investigation report prepared by a licensed professional engineer.
  • Engineers shall design sheeting and shoring plans.
  • Where the protection of footways and other public rights-of-way includes protections other than sheeting and shoring (such as tie-backs, soil nailing, etc.) or includes encroachments into the right-of-way, the method and plans shall be approved by the Streets Department.
  • The Code Bulletin has been modified to clarify when a special inspector must be on-site during an excavation. The new requirement added to Part B of the Bulletin shall apply to all permit applications filed on or after August 1, 2019.

For full details, review the Code Bulletin.
Special Inspections

Per 2018 International Building Codes (IBC), new Special Inspections regulations have been drafted and sent to the Records Department for public inspection. Anticipated adoption of new regulations on June 28, 2019.

Highlights of the new regulations include:

  • License requirements for the inspection of modular buildings or components installed for commercial use. These requirements are intended as an interim measure and will be superseded by any regulations established by PA DCED.
  • Modification of the qualifications for smoke control systems inspector.
  • Two new qualifications categories were added: commercial modular buildings and components and fire-resistant penetrations and joints.

As part of the adoption of the 2018 IBC, L&I has updated the following forms that should accompany permit applications for proposed construction:

To learn more about the program, refer to the Special Inspections publication .
Structural Design Criteria

Per the updated 2018 Philadelphia Building Code, the Structural Design Criteria Form has been updated to reflect the new calculations/requirements. These requirements establish and identify the minimum structural design criteria necessary to safely support loads, including snow, wind, seismic, and flood loads, live loads, dead loads, and roof loads.

The Structural Design Criteria Form must be completed and signed by a Pennsylvania Certified Engineer and submitted along with a permit application.
Updated Energy Code Compliance Information

Based on updated energy code requirements, L&I has issued new documents to help inform permit holders (including contractors and design professionals) of the new processes and documentation standards. These documents also highlight the new certifications required by professionals retained to conduct the necessary system testing and commissioning.

To get started, refer to either the Commercial Energy Code Compliance Fact Sheet or the Residential Energy Compliance Fact Sheet to determine the specific requirements and the necessary supplemental documents. 
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