Heads up: There are no suggested sections in this chapter.
Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
Pursuant to Section 5-1004 of the City Charter, the code official shall have the authority to enter at any reasonable time any structure or premises for which a permit has been issued to inspect for compliance with the permit, any construction documents pertinent thereto and the applicable provisions of this code and the technical codes.
The code official shall have the authority to enter at any reasonable time any structure or premises to inspect, conduct investigations or survey:
  1. To determine compliance with the provisions of this code or the technical codes applicable to the continuing occupancy of premises;
  2. When there is reasonable cause to believe that a code violation exists; or
  3. To ascertain and cause to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, interfere with fire-fighting operations, endanger life or any violations of the provisions or intent of this code, the technical codes or any other ordinance affecting fire safety.
Prior to entering into a space not otherwise open to the general public, the code official shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the space or premises, present proper identification and request entry. Failure or refusal by the owner or other person in charge of the space or premises to permit such entry shall constitute a basis for the code official to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for proper orders authorizing entry.

UpCodes note: Section A-401.2.1 was amended by Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003).
Every occupant of a structure or premises shall give the owner or operator thereof, or agent or employee, access to any part of such structure or premises at reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspection, maintenance, repairs or alterations as are necessary to comply with the provisions of this code and the technical codes and with any notice or orders issued pursuant thereto.
The code official shall conduct inspections as provided in this Section and the technical codes. Approval as a result of an inspection shall not be construed to be an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code, the technical codes, or of other ordinances. Inspections presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of The Philadelphia Code shall not be valid. It shall be the duty of the permit applicant to cause the work to remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved. Neither the code official nor the City of Philadelphia shall be liable for expense entailed in the removal or replacement of any material to allow inspection.
Where any installation subject to inspection prior to use is covered or concealed without having first been inspected, the code official shall have the authority to require that such work be exposed for inspection.
Before issuing a permit, the code official is authorized to examine or cause to be examined buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed.
A record of all inspections and violations of this code or the technical codes shall be maintained by the code official.
The owner shall provide for special inspections in accordance with the Building Code, departmental procedures and Section 9-1306.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.4 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Upon completion of the work authorized by the permit and before issuance of the certificate of occupancy or final approval, a final inspection shall be made. All violations of the permit and approved construction documents shall be noted and the holder of the permit shall be notified of the violations. A re-inspection shall be conducted to confirm compliance with all such violations prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy or final approval. The final inspection shall be performed by persons who are certified in accordance with the regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the categories appropriate for the scope of work to be inspected. Where the permit holder does not provide for a final inspection, the permit shall become invalid and appropriate code violations shall be issued.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.5 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The Department is authorized to accept reports of approved inspection agencies provided such agencies satisfy the Department's requirements, including those established in Chapter 9-1300 of the Philadelphia Code, as to qualifications and reliability.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.6 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Where required by the provisions of the technical codes or regulations, materials or assemblies shall be inspected at the point of manufacture or fabrication in accordance with applicable provisions of the technical codes and Department procedures by a Special Inspector or Special Inspection Agency registered pursuant to Section 9-1306 of the Philadelphia Code.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.7 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
It shall be the duty of the holder of the permit or their duly authorized agent to notify the code official when work is ready for inspection. It shall be the duty of the permit holder and contractor to provide access to and means for inspection of such work for any inspections that are required by this code or the technical codes.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.8 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The code official or inspection agency having jurisdiction shall be contacted by the permit holder or his designee at least 24 hours prior to the start of work under a permit. The code official or the inspector having jurisdiction may perform an initial inspection of the site to ensure all site safety protections are in place.
Work shall not be done nor concealed beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the code official. The code official, upon notification, shall make the requested inspections and shall either indicate the portion of the construction that is satisfactory as completed, or shall notify the permit holder or an agent of the permit holder wherein the same fails to comply with the code. Any portions that do not comply shall be corrected and such portion shall not be covered or concealed until authorized by the code official.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.9 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Required inspections shall include the following items as they relate to the technical codes. The Department is authorized to conduct additional inspections as determined by conditions and the scope of work authorized by the permit. The permit holder and contractor shall be responsible for the scheduling of such inspections. The contractor shall be responsible for ensuring that the required inspections are approved before proceeding.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.10 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Building permit inspections include the inspections of construction site and building location, footings and foundations, wood and steel framing and connections, masonry construction, precast and cast-in-place concrete, exterior weather boarding, fire-stopping and draft-stopping, building components related to life safety and fire protection systems and building components related to size, installation and workmanship. Specific building permit inspections include the items included in A-402.10.1.1 through A-402.10.1.10 as applicable to the scope of work authorized by the permit.
Footing and foundation inspections shall be made after excavations for footings are complete and any required reinforcing steel is in place. For concrete foundations, any required forms shall be in place prior to inspection. Materials for the foundation shall be on the job, except where concrete is ready mixed in accordance with ASTM C 94, the concrete need not be on the job. Required waterproofing or dampproofing shall be installed prior to backfilling.
Concrete slab and under-floor inspections shall be made after in-slab or under-floor reinforcing steel and building service equipment, conduit, piping accessories and other ancillary equipment items are in place, but before any concrete is placed or floor sheathing installed, including subfloor.
In flood hazard areas, upon placement of the lowest floor, including the basement, and prior to further vertical construction, the elevation certification or dry floodproofing certification required by the Building or Residential Code shall be submitted to the code official.
Framing and masonry construction inspections shall be made after the roof deck or sheathing, all interior and exterior framing, fire blocking and bracing are in place and pipes, chimneys and vents to be concealed are complete and the rough electrical, plumbing, heating wires, pipes and ducts have been approved.
Wall board inspections shall be made after wall covering, interior and exterior, is in place, but before any finish material is applied or gypsum board joints and fasteners are taped and finished.

Exception: Gypsum board that is not part of a fire-resistive assembly or a shear assembly.
Protection of joints and penetrations in fire-resistance-rated assemblies, smoke barriers and smoke partitions shall not be concealed from view until inspected and approved.
Inspections shall be made to determine compliance with the Energy Conservation Code and shall include, but not be limited to, inspections for: envelope insulation R and U values, fenestration U value, duct system R value, and HVAC and water heating equipment efficiency.
Inspections shall be made of building sites and all interior building components to verify compliance with required accessibility standards.
In addition to the inspections specified above, the code official is authorized to make or require other inspections of any construction work to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this code and other laws that are enforced by the Department.
For special inspections, see Chapter 17 of the Building Code.
The code official shall make the following inspections and such other inspections as necessary, and shall either release that portion of the construction or shall notify the permit holder, designated agent or Registered Master Plumber of any violations that must be corrected.
  1. Underground inspection shall be made after trenches or ditches are excavated and bedded, piping installed, and before any backfill is put in place.
  2. Rough-in inspection shall be made after the roof, framing, fireblocking, firestopping, draftstopping and bracing is in place and all sanitary, storm and water distribution piping is roughed-in, and prior to the installation of wall or ceiling membranes.
  3. Final inspection shall be made after the building is complete, all plumbing fixtures are in place and properly connected, and the structure is ready for occupancy.
The code official, upon notification from the permit holder or the permit holder's agent, shall make the following inspections as applicable to the scope of work, and other such inspections as necessary, and shall either release that portion of the construction or notify the permit holder or the permit holder's agent of violations that are required to be corrected.
  1. Underground inspection shall be made after trenches or ditches are excavated and bedded, piping is installed and before backfill is put in place. When excavated soil contains rocks, broken concrete, frozen chunks and other rubble that would damage or break the piping or cause corrosive action, clean backfill shall be on the job site.

    Exception: Ground-source heat pump loop systems tested in accordance with Section 1210.10 of the Mechanical Code shall be permitted to be backfilled prior to inspection.
  2. Rough-in inspection shall be made, after the roof, framing, fireblocking and bracing are in place, of all piping and ducting before fixtures or appliances are set or installed, and all components to be concealed are complete, and prior to the installation of wall or ceiling membranes.
  3. Final inspection shall be made upon completion of the installation.
The requirements of this section shall not be considered to prohibit the operation of any heating equipment or appliances installed to replace existing heating equipment or appliances serving an occupied portion of a structure provided that a request for inspection of such heating equipment or appliances has been filed with the department not more than 48 hours after such replacement work is completed, and before any portion of such equipment or appliances is concealed by any permanent portion of the structure.
The inspections required for electrical permits shall include the following inspections as applicable to the scope of work, and other such inspections as necessary, and shall either release that portion of the construction or notify the permit holder or the permit holder's agent of violations that are required to be corrected. The licensed electrical contractor shall be responsible for the scheduling of such inspections.
  1. A rough-in inspection is required before any wiring is concealed by insulation, wall covering, ceiling covering, trench backfill, etc. If conditions require partial coverage of the permitted electrical work, permission shall be requested of and received from the department or electrical inspector having jurisdiction prior to coverage or concealment.
  2. A final inspection is required when all equipment and appliances are installed, grounded, and energized, including low voltage and data wiring systems.
For onsite construction, from time to time the code official, upon notification from the permit holder or the permit holder's agent, shall make or cause to be made any necessary inspections and shall either approve that portion of the construction as completed or shall notify the permit holder or the permit holder's agent wherein the same fails to comply with the code. Specific required inspections include those in Sections A-402.10.5.1 through A-402.10.5.5.1 as applicable to the scope of work.
Inspection of the foundation shall be made after poles or piers are set or trenches or basement areas are excavated and any required forms erected and any required reinforcing steel is in place and prior to the placing of concrete. The foundation inspection shall include excavations for thickened slabs intended for the support of bearing walls, partitions, structural supports, or equipment and special requirements for wood foundations.
Rough inspection of plumbing, mechanical, gas and electrical systems shall be made prior to covering or concealment, before fixtures or appliances are set or installed, and prior to framing inspection.

Exception: Ground-source heat pump loop systems tested in accordance with Section M2105.28 of the Residential Code shall be permitted to be backfilled prior to inspection.
For construction in areas prone to flooding as established by Table R-R301.2(1) of the Residential Code, upon placement of the lowest floor, including basement, and prior to further vertical construction, the code official shall require submission of documentation, prepared and sealed by a registered design professional, of the elevation of the lowest floor, including basement, required in the Residential Code.
Inspection of framing and masonry construction shall be made after the roof, masonry, all framing, firestopping, draftstopping and bracing are in place and after the plumbing, mechanical and electrical rough inspections are approved.
In addition to the called inspections above, the code official may make or require any other inspections to ascertain compliance with the Residential Code and other laws, rules and regulations enforced by the code official.
Where fire-resistance-rated construction is required between dwelling units or due to location on property, the code official shall require an inspection of such construction after all lathing and/or wallboard is in place, but before any plaster is applied, or before wallboard joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
Specific demolition permit inspections are included in Sections A-402.10.6.1 through A-402.10.6.5, as applicable to the scope of work.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.10.6 was added by Bill No. 130691-A which was approved on February 19, 2014.
The contractor shall schedule an initial inspection with the Department a minimum of 48 hours prior to the start of work. During the initial on-site inspection, the contractor shall be present and conduct a review of the site safety demolition plan with the code official prior to the start of any demolition activity. The contractor shall provide the code official with proof of all utility disconnections. Pedestrian protection required by the Building Code must be in place before the start of work. If adequate pedestrian protection is not in place and any work has commenced, the Department shall issue a Stop Work order which will remain in effect until the necessary pedestrian protections are put in place, inspected and approved by a code official.
An inspection is required to ensure that the contractor is maintaining all safety measures detailed in the site safety demolition plan and using the means and methods detailed in the plan in a safe and workmanlike manner. A review of the submitted schedule shall be performed on-site by the code official. An inspection shall be required for each floor of the building being demolished. When necessary, an additional inspection may be required to ensure proper drainage of the cellar cavity has been achieved by breaking up the cellar floor.
An inspection is required to ensure that any adjacent foundation walls have been properly treated prior to backfilling of any areas below the finished grade. Additionally, the code official shall confirm that the contractor has completed the closing of all openings in any exposed party walls prior to finished treatment.
The pre-final inspection is required to ensure that all improper fill has been removed from the site prior to the backfilling of the cellar cavity and that clean fill is provided.
A final inspection is required to determine compliance of the permitted demolition, and when necessary, to confirm proper grading of the site has been achieved upon completion of the demolition.
The code official, upon notification from the permit holder or the permit holder's agent, shall make the following inspections as applicable to the scope of work, and other such inspections as necessary, and shall either release that portion of the construction or notify the permit holder or the permit holder's agent of violations that are required to be corrected.
  1. Underground inspection shall be made after trenches or ditches are excavated and bedded, piping is installed and before backfill is put in place. When excavated soil contains rocks, broken concrete, frozen chunks and other rubble that would damage or break the piping or cause corrosive action, clean backfill shall be on the job site.
  2. Rough-in inspection shall be made of all components prior to the installation of wall or ceiling membranes.
  3. Final inspection shall be made upon completion of the installation. The licensed fire suppression company shall provide documentation of final testing and approval of the systems in compliance with the technical codes and referenced standards.
In addition to the required inspections specified in A-402.10, the code official is authorized to make or require other inspections of any construction work to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this code, the technical codes and provisions of other codes enforced by the Department.

UpCodes note: Section A-402.11 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Whenever in the enforcement of this code or another code or ordinance, the responsibility of more than one official or department is involved, it shall be the duty of the officials involved to coordinate their inspections and administrative orders as fully as practicable so that the owners and occupants of the premises shall not be subjected to visits by numerous inspectors or multiple or conflicting orders. Whenever an inspector from any agency or department observes an apparent or actual violation of some provision of a law, ordinance or code not within the inspector's authority to enforce, the inspector shall report the findings to the code official having jurisdiction. A department shall not, however, delay the issuance of any emergency orders.
The assistance and cooperation of Licenses and Inspections, Fire, Police, Health and all other officials shall be available as required in the performance of duties.
No person shall make connections from a utility, source of energy, fuel or power to any building or system that is regulated by this code or the technical codes for which a permit is required, until released by the code official.
The building official shall have the authority to authorize the temporary connection of the building or system to the utility source of energy, fuel or power.
The code official shall have the authority to authorize disconnection of utility services or energy sources to a building, structure or system regulated by the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code where it is necessary to eliminate an immediate hazard to life or property. The code official shall notify the serving utility, and wherever possible, the owner and occupant of the building, structure or service system of the decision to disconnect prior to taking such action. If not notified prior to disconnecting, the owner or occupant of the building, structure or service system shall be notified in writing as soon as practical thereafter.
A person shall not make utility service or energy source connections to systems regulated by the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code, which have been disconnected or ordered to be disconnected by the code official, or the use of which has been ordered to be discontinued by the code official until the code official authorizes the reconnection and use of such systems.
The department's employees shall carry proper identification when inspecting structures or premises in the official performance of their duties under this code and the technical codes.
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