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Building - Commercial

Building - Commercial

In accordance with the City of Chattanooga City Code, no building or structure regulated by this Code shall be erected, constructed, altered, moved, enlarged, replaced, repaired, removed, converted or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has been first obtained from the Land Development Office.  All building permit plans must meet the Adopted Codes of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  To apply for a permit, click here.

We require in .pdf format a narrative, site plan, recorded plat, building plans, MEP, fire and sprinkler drawings. The plan review fee is in addition to the building permit fee.  Fees are calculated based on the valuation of the project.  Civil plans submittals require a  PDF copy as we are now doing civil reviews electronically.

Only plans providing all required information will be eligible for review.  All others will be returned without review at the submitter's expense.  Architectural, structural, mechanical, gas, electrical, plumbing, and life safety plans may be submitted later.  If submitted separately from the site plan, delays in the review may occur.  (Click here for  Building Drawings RequirementsElectrical Drawings Requirements, Plumbing Drawing Requirements, or HVAC Drawing Requirements.) All site plans (civil drawings) must be submitted in PDF format.  Building plans review will accept larger architectural, structural, mechanical, gas, electrical, plumbing, and life safety plans.  Sprinkler plans should be submitted directly to Fire Marshal's office. Other requirements may be needed based on zoning and the impact of properties. 

If all information is provided, the review should take an average of 30 working days from submittal to land-disturbing permit.  Incomplete plans or incorrect designs will cause delays.  Civil plans and architectural, structural, mechanical, gas, electrical, plumbing and life safety plans submitted separately could result in delays.




Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work on the site authorized by such permit is commenced within thirty (30) days from the date of issuance.  Work authorized by that permit shall be completed within the time frame set forth in the following paragraphs: For Building Permits in the Amount of:

$0.01 - $250,000.00 - twelve (12) months
$250,000.01 - $500,000.00 - eighteen (18) months
$500,000.01 - $1,000,000.00 - twenty-four (24) months
$1,000,000.01 and up - thirty-six (36) months.



The City of Chattanooga Building Code requires that a Design Professional shall be an architect or engineer legally registered under the laws of this state regulating the practice of architecture or engineering and shall affix his official seal to said drawings, specifications and accompanying date, for the following:

  1. All Group A, E and I occupancies.  This includes but is not limited to restaurants or bars with applicable area per IBC to seat more than 50 people, churches, theaters, schools, hospitals, etc. 
  2. Buildings and structures two stories or more high.
  3. Buildings and structures 5,000 sq ft (465 m2) or more in total area.





The granting of permits does not affect any rights third parties may have pursuant to deed restrictions, covenants running with the land, or other private arrangements.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea