About building permits
Building codes are designed to ensure safe building techniques. These important standards help protect your family from safety risks and ensure the public safety, health and general welfare. The City of Atlanta issues building permits to uphold standards of structural strength and stability, means of egress, adequate light and ventilation, safety to life and property from fire and other hazards incidental to the design, construction, alteration, repair, removal or demolition of buildings or structures.
According to the Atlanta Municipal Code, "it shall be unlawful to construct, erect, demolish, install, alter or repair or to commence the construction, erection, demolition, installation, alteration or repair of any building, structure, equipment, appliances or system without first obtaining a building permit." These building permits are needed for any construction, alteration, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenance connected or attached to such buildings or structures, unless otherwise exempted from the provisions of the Atlanta Municipal Code.
Building permits are issued by the Office of Building, upon the approval by the appropriate review entities based on the scope of work.
How do I obtain my building permit?
APPLY IN PERSON
Go to the Atlanta City Hall by 3:00 p.m. and sign in to be seen that day. The Office of Buildings is located at 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303, Suite 3800.
If your development requires any zoning changes, a planning overlay district like a SPI, PDMUs or historic districts, variances, or any manipulation of the property lines or replating, you should start with the Office of Planning. Bring four (4) copies of the original approval from the Office of Planning to the Office of Buildings.
From the welcome desk, an intake permit technician will call your name and review your application and drawings. The intake permit technician will review your application to see if you have included a complete project cover/title sheet, the required architectural plans/drawings showing all dimensions drawn to current architectural/engineering standards and the required structural plans (where applicable). If your application is sufficient for submittal, the intake permit technician will direct you to the welcome area so that they can start processing your invoice.
At the welcome desk, the customer will be invoiced. Before plans are routed, we must receive half of the building permit fee plus the Technology Fee at the time of application submittal. The remainder of the fees and any impact fees will be invoiced at the time of permit issuance.
After you receive an invoice from the Office of Buildings, you may pay at the Cashier’s window in order for the plan routing and plan review process to begin. All payments must be made in the first floor of City Hall at the Cashier’s window. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, Visa, MasterCard, certified bank check or money order.
Depending on the scope of work, the Office of Buildings will route your plans to Site Development, Arborist Division, Zoning Enforcement Division, Buildings, Department of Public Works - Traffic, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Department of Public Works - Sanitation, or Atlanta Fire and Rescue.
Other types of plan review that should be deferred until after acceptance, but before issuance, are the plan reviews from the county health department, if there is a grease trap or kitchen. Additionally, there is a state fire marshall plan review that is recommended, but not required for institutional or secure buildings.
Most plan reviews will be performed within ten (10) business days. Plans are reviewed for compliance with current and applicable codes. These codes include, but are not limited to Georgia's Construction Codes, Building Energy Codes, Georgia Accessibility Codes, and the International Building Code.
Upon completion of review we will contact the customer for any additional information required. If revisions are required, the Office of Buildings will notify the customer that revisions are needed and Accela will be updated as “Applicant notified, revisions required.”
After the revisions are made, the customer returns the plans to the plan reviewer and the plan review cycle is repeated. You will see your Accela status change to “returned by applicant.”
Plans approved by various entities will be routed to the assigned building plan reviewer. Your status in Accela will change to “plan coordination.” The assigned reviewer will assemble all of the approvals into two construction sets within three (3) business days.