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COVID-19 Building FAQs​

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The Governor’s phased-in approach to re-opening indicates I can operate my business at a maximum of 50% of my regular occupancy limit, how do I calculate my occupancy limit?

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As Pennsylvania moves to re-open businesses and public spaces, the Commonwealth's phased approach to re-opening includes guidance on the maximum occupancy for many types of businesses. 

More information on determining your location's maximum occupancy can be found on our COVID-19 Re-opening Occupancy Guidance page.  Restaurants should also refer to the Guidance for Businesses in the Restaurant Industry for additional information about safely seating patrons.

​Will the Department continue to provide municipalities copies of building plans and plan review documents for state owned buildings in the municipality?

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​The Department will not provide copies of plans and plan review documents for the duration of the governor's disaster declaration.

​Are the deadlines regarding code administration for residential and commercial construction still in effect?

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​No, these deadlines are suspended for the duration of the Governor's disaster declaration.  This includes:

  • Deadlines relating to the issuing of permits.
  • Deadlines for appeals, request for variances and extensions of time.
  • Deadlines for a Board of Appeals or the Industrial Board to hold hearings.  Hearings may still be held remotely.
  • Deadlines for a Board of Appeals or the Industrial Board to render a decision.
  • Deadlines to issue a certificate of occupancy.

Are the deadlines regarding proposed UCC ordinances still in effect?

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​No, requirements regarding proposed UCC ordinances are suspended for the duration of the Governor's disaster declaration, including:

  • The deadline to submit a proposed ordinance to Labor and Industry.

  • The deadline for the Department to post a proposed ordinance.

  • The deadline to challenge a proposed ordinance.

  • The deadline for the Department of Labor and Industry to notify a municipality to challenge a proposed ordinance.

  • The deadline for the Department to rule on a challenge to a proposed ordinance.

  • The ability for a municipality to enforce a proposed ordinance before a ruling from the secretary.

  • The requirement that the Department for Labor and Industry to make proposed ordinances available for personal inspection.  The Department will publish proposed ordinances on its website.

  • The deadline that the Department of Labor and Industry conduct accessibility audits for municipal programs every five years.

Are the deadlines for a building code official to administer and enforce the UCC in effect?

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​No, the deadlines for building code officials to act are suspended for the duration of the Governor's disaster declaration.  This includes:

  • The deadlines to grant or deny a permit application.

  • The deadlines to issue a certificate of occupancy.

  • The deadline to answer an order to show cause.

Any questions regarding statutes and regulations that are suspended under the disaster declaration may be directed to RA-LIBOIS-BUILDINGS@pa.gov

Is the department accepting building permit applications and building plans, despite the Labor & Industry building's closure?

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Currently, the department is not accepting in-person deliveries of building permit applications and plans. It is accepting building permit applications and plans that are mailed via US Postal Service.

Is the department processing expedited plan reviews?

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Yes, the Department is processing expedited plan reviews.

Is the department conducting building inspections for construction projects?

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Yes, as of May 1, 2020, all construction activities were permitted to restart in accordance with the construction guidance. As a result, the department will resume its UCC building inspections.

Can construction and inspections on emergency tents occur?

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Construction and inspections on emergency tents are considered life sustaining business and may continue.

May Third Party Agencies conduct plan reviews and perform inspections?

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Yes, third party agencies are permitted to conduct plan reviews and provide inspections.

I perform maintenance at a building.  Am I allowed to continue to perform these functions?

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Yes, maintenance services are allowable under the Professional and Business Services section of the Governor's order.

​Can I use a third-party inspection agency if a state inspector is unavailable?

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If the Department is the authority having jurisdiction over the project, we will only accept inspections conducted by our own certified inspectors.

Is the department accepting requests for duplicate or revised certificates of occupancy or copies of construction documents?

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The Department is accepting requests for duplicate or revised certificates of occupancy or copies of construction documents. These are being processed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with requests that were sent prior to the closure of the building being processed first.

Is the department accepting building appeals, building requests for variances or building extensions of time through the Industrial Board?

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Currently, the department is not accepting in-person deliveries of variances. It is accepting building appeals, building requests for variances and building extensions of time that are mailed via US Postal Service.

Is the Department accepting appeals, requests for variances or extensions of time through the Accessibility Advisory Board?

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Currently, the Department is not accepting in-person deliveries of variances. It is accepting requests for variances and extensions of time that are mailed via US Postal Service.

Does the Department still provide technical assistance answering questions and concerns related to the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (PCCA) or Uniform Construction Code (UCC) enforcement?

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Yes, questions or concerns related to the PCCA or UCC enforcement can be directed to Ron Englar 717-787-2525 or Jeffrey Criss 717-214-9077.  

Can I start construction?

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Yes, as of May 1, 2020, all construction activities were permitted to restart in accordance with the construction guidance.

I perform repair and/or maintenance for customers in their homes.  Am I able to continue to perform these functions?

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Yes, repair and/or maintenance for customers in their homes is allowable under the Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance section of the Governor's order. Any inspection request that does not fall under this category should be denied unless the homeowner has secured an exemption from the Governor's and Secretary of Health's orders.