Commercial, industrial & multi-family building permits

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Building permits are required for:

  • the design and construction of a new building
  • all parts of any building affected by a change in occupancy
  • an alteration of any building, structural or non-structural
  • an addition to any building
  • the demolition of any building
  • the reconstruction of any building that has been damaged
  • the correction of an unsafe condition in or about any building
  • the alteration, rehabilitation and change of occupancy of heritage buildings
  • construction of all accessory buildings 10 sq. metres (108 square feet) and larger
  • placement of buildings and structures (ie: mobile homes)
  • construction of retaining walls greater than 1.2 m in height
  • construction of swimming pools
  • construction of parking lots
  • installation of building canopies, marquees and awnings
  • installation of solid fuel burning appliances
  • installation of extinguishing equipment over cooking appliances
  • installation of canopies over cooking appliances

You can submit a property information request, with the property owner's authorization, if you require floor plans or past permit information to assist with planning your project.

Let's get started

There are numerous laws and regulations that relate to construction and renovation work – the City of Kelowna Building Bylaw & Zoning Bylaw along with the Provincial Code(s) for Building, Plumbing and Mechanical systems. The permitting system works in conjunction with field inspections to confirm that the proposed design work was constructed according to the City reviewed drawings. Furthermore, this process ensures compliance to the regulations for health and safety defined by the Province.

New commercial, industrial & multi-family buildings

Requirements for a new commercial or industrial building include (but aren't limited to):

  • Building Permit Application Form
  • Complex Building Checklist
  • Owner's Authorization Form
  • Owner's Acknowledgement Form
  • State of Title, current within last 30 days, including copies of all covenants, easements and right-of-ways
  • Two (2) full sets of scaled and sealed drawings. (These drawings must be the "For Construction Drawings" (architectural, landscape, structural, plumbing, mechanical, civil, electrical, etc.)
  • Two (2) sealed copies of alternative solutions (if applicable)
  • Two (2) sealed Geotechnical Reports
  • All Architectural Drawings are to be sealed by an Architect registered in BC in accordance with the Architects Act.
  • All Professional Engineers are to be registered in BC and Drawings and Letters are to be sealed originals.
  • Submit a detailed sealed original Building Code Analysis
  • Roof truss package
  • Letters of "Assurance of Field Review" (Schedule A & B) from all disciplines involved (these are to be sealed originals and include the Coordinating Registered Professional, Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing, Civil, Electrical, Geotechnical, Fire Suppression, and any Code Consultants involved in alternative solutions. A Schedule D is also required from each professional as well as a copy of their insurance certificate).
  • Provide Construction Fire Safety plan
  • Water letter from irrigation district, if applicable
  • Septic approval, if applicable
  • Interior Health approval may be required when the building involves food, commercial or public pools and hot tubs, tattooing, spas, tanning and hair salons.

For more permit information see the Complex Building Checklist and refer to the Pedestrian Protection bulletin for additional information on safety requirements during construction.

Tenant Improvements

A tenant improvement is new construction or alteration proposed within an existing building for more information click here.

The following items are required for a complete application:

  • Building Permit Application Form
  • Owner's Authorization Form signed by the property owner
  • Owner's Acknowledgement Form
  • The Legal Description & civic address of the property along with current zoning.
  • Building permit fees are to be paid prior to issuance of the permit.  Building permit fees are based on the total value of construction as defined by the City of Kelowna Building Bylaw.
  • Two (2) copies of a dimensioned key plan showing the location of the proposed improvements on your property including:
    • The location of the building on the property,
    • The other buildings on the property,
    • Identify the use of each adjacent tenant space
    • Identify the location of the tenant space in the building.
  • Two (2) copies of dimensioned architectural construction drawings at a scale of ¼” = 1’-0” showing the layout and dimensions of all proposed construction including:
    • All new beam sizes and lengths, door and window openings with sizes, should be clearly marked,
    • Floor plan of mezzanines (if applicable),
    • Overall dimensions for all floors,
    • Use of all rooms,
    • Interior dimensions of all rooms,
    • Walls separating this tenant space from adjacent tenant space,
    • Washroom and washroom fixture,
    • Existing and new partition walls,
    • Construction of all walls (stud size, spacing, and thickness of interior finish (Fire Separations and Fire Walls); including the wall finish material for new and existing walls.  Doors, hallways and stairs.  Including size and direction of door swing,
    • Travel distance from all floor areas to an exit door or an exit stair; and,
    • Occupant load, number of washrooms required for male, female, and handicap accessible (if applicable).
  • Other possible requirements:
    • Two (2) copies of Engineered sealed Mechanical (HVAC) drawings complete with Schedules B1, B2, D, and confirmation of insurance
    • Two (2) copies of Engineered sealed Structural Drawings complete with Schedules B1, B2, D, and confirmation of insurance are required from an engineered for all BCBC Part 4 structural components used in the new alteration (i.e. Mezzanines, new beams, concrete block lintels, load bearing changes, over height demising walls).
    • Two (2) copies of plumbing drawings are required when there are any changes to the plumbing systems and when constructing new dentist/doctor’s office, restaurants, drycleaners and hairdressers.  These drawings should indicate the number of fixture units, the size of all piping and venting, connections to existing services and specifications on fixtures.  Engineer sealed Plumbing Drawings complete with Schedules B-1, B-2, D and confirmation of insurance may be required based on the complexity and size of the project.
    • Interior Health Authority approval is required prior to final inspection where food services or public pools or hot tubs are present.  It is suggested you obtain approval prior to building permit application.
Footing & Foundation Permits

The complex building checklist outlines requirements to complete a footing and foundation building permit application. Specific requirements are dependent on the nature and complexity of the application. The Application Centre staff will be glad to provide assistance and information regarding your application.

Retaining Walls

Over height retaining walls (more than 1.2m in height) require a Development Variance permit, approved by City Council, prior to a building permit application.

The following items are required for the over height retaining wall building permit application:

Solid Fuel Burning Appliances

All wood stoves and solid fuel burning appliances require a building permit prior to installation. For more information on the regulations for solid fuel burning appliances click here.

The following items are required for a building permit application:

Fire Safety Plan

Fire safety plans are required for construction, demolition and renovation projects. This plan shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Kelowna Fire Department prior to the commencement of operations. For more information click here.

Engineered Steel Buildings

The following items are required for permit application:

For more information on the regulations for Engineered Steel Building certification click here.  For an informational bulletin about Steel Storage Containers click here.

Building Demolition

A building permit must be issued prior to the demolition of any building.  A building permit application package, including a security deposit to the City of Kelowna in the sum of $1,000.00 for each building or structure over 65 m² in ground floor area or 15 m in height to be demolished, must be submitted.  Commercial and industrial demolitions require a completed site profile in addition to the demolition permit package.

For information and the demolition application package click here.

Delayed Demolition

A building permit application package, including a security deposit to the City of Kelowna in the sum of $20,000.00 for each building or structure to be demolished, must be submitted for delayed demolitions.

Read about the requirements when decommissioning a dwelling unit or utilizing the delayed demolition process here.