august 2022, issue 2
BRIEFING ON CONSTRUCTION & Some other stuff
Written by TATIANA gUSt
A Certificate of Occupancy and Certificate of Completion are documents issued by the building department, to the builder or owner once the construction project has been completed. These documents have different meanings, and we will review in detail what each of them represent from a building code compliance point of view.
Let us start with the Certificate of Completion. A Certificate of Completion is provided under two different criteria:
- to a building that was built and not intended for immediate occupancy, such as a shell building that later will have a permit to do a tenant buildout for the individual spaces, or
- to an existing building, which already possesses a Certificate of Occupancy, but has undergone improvements or a remodel, where the use or classification of the building has not changed. This means that the building is going to be used in the same manner as originally was used.
Now let’s discuss Certificate of Occupancy. A Certificate of Occupancy will be issued to projects that meet the following criteria:
- to a new construction building that is intended for immediate occupancy, such as a house, a store, or a restaurant, or
- to an existing building, which has been remodeled with a different use than the original Certificate of Occupancy was issued for. For example, an office building that is remodeled to become a retail store. The use of the building is different; therefore, the building department will issue a new Certificate of Occupancy for the new remodeled space, or
- when a building has been deemed unsafe, the building official will require that upon a new permit to repair/restore the building a new Certificate of Occupancy will be issued for the structure.