Commercial and Multi-Family Building Permit Requirements

Renovations to an existing commercial building (tenant improvements) - information required to obtain a permit.

Commercial Building Permit Application Submission

Building Permit applications require all documentation and drawings listed on the application form. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Commercial Building Permit Application Forms

Important: New fee increases effective January 1st each year.
Refer to: City Bylaws, Chapter 5 - Finance and Budgets - Consolidated Fees (Bylaw 8636) see pg 6-9 for Building permit fees.


A code analysis of the building may be required, to ensure that the proposed occupancy does not require major construction or fire safety changes to be made to the entire building.

i.e. Original building ----- designed for industrial purposes. (F2)
Proposed Use ------ assembly. (A2)

The original building may not comply to the stricter construction and safety requirements of an assembly use, as required by the B.C. Building Code, thereby requiring major modifications to the building.


A double line plan, drawn to scale, distinguishing new from existing construction, to be submitted in triplicate to the Permits Section.

A. Site Plan


  • Entire building on lot, parking layout, streets, north arrow
  • Location of tenant space within building
  • New water service size if applicable

B. Floor Plan Of Tenant Space


  • Complete space to be occupied
  • Proposed use of all rooms
  • Dimensions of all rooms, doors, windows, etc.
  • Locations of required exits and fire separations
  • Location of plumbing fixtures
  • Indicate means/type of heating
  • Details of new construction - list materials and finishes. Walls, floor, ceiling, etc. (could be on section)

C. Section

Section view of building showing new construction and indicating the materials used.

  • i.e. floors, walls, ceiling.

D. Elevations

Required, if exterior elevations are altered in any way.

  • i.e. windows, doors added or deleted, exterior finishing material changed.

If in a D.P. area, a Development Permit may be required.

E. Plumbing Plan


  • Piping layout for all fixtures, drain, vents and water supply (if required) drawn and sized to the current B.C. Plumbing Code.
  • Discharge of chemicals, oil, ink

Structural Changes

  • Indicate all structural changes

A Structural Engineer may have to be retained.

Accessibility Requirements

Ensure accessibility for all occupants per the BC Building Code. The Building Code’s accessibility requirements govern the design and construction of buildings so that people can approach, enter, and exit buildings, and move safely throughout to enjoy the facilities and services.

Additional Information


  • Seating layout and anticipated occupant load
  • Emergency lighting, exits, signs
  • Cooking equipment list
  • Details of commercial exhaust hood and suppression system. (NFPA 96)
  • Garbage area, storage area
  • Slop sink

Spray booths and hazardous materials use or construction details and information required prior to permit issuance.

Sprinkler System

  • Plans and permits are required to alter or add to an existing system
  • Plans signed/sealed by a Professional Engineer may be required

Tree Protection Bylaw

The purpose of the Tree Protection Bylaw is to protect Richmond’s urban forest by restricting tree removal from private lands and ensuring replacement trees are provided when trees are required to be removed.

Visit our Tree Protection Bylaw page for more details.

Resources and Related Information

Obtaining & Viewing Building Records

Permit records and survey certificates are available for viewing at the Information Centre of City Hall and may be viewed by anyone. Building drawings are also available for viewing to the registered owner of the property. If not the owner of the property, with a signed Letter of Authorization by the owner, the drawings can be viewed.

For each request to view records there is an administration fee of $10.00, and for each copy requested a fee of $5.00. (Fees are subject to change.)