Making Changes In Or To An Historic Building
Buildings that are legally occupied and designated by government entities as historic are provided a quasi-exemption from UCC requirements by Act 45. Note that "legally occupied" means either that a building has no occupancy permit because none was or is required, or because it was granted occupancy permits under pre-UCC state law and/or a local construction code ordinance.
Outlined below are the requirements that must be met, in order for the Department to deem them "safe and in the interest of public health, safety and welfare."
- If a legally occupied historic building undergoes Alterations Level-1 alterations:
No permit is required.
- If a legally occupied historic building undergoes Alterations Level-2 changes, Alterations Level-3 changes or a change in the use and occupancy:
A building permit is required.
The application for the permit should satisfy all the application requirements specified in section H under the Department’s "Plan review and Inspection Requirements" applicable to building renovations. Click here to access these requirements.
In addition to the requirements stated there, the applicant must include a report prepared by a licensed architect or engineer. This report must:
- Describe the scope of the work to be done and certifying that each of the safety requirements found in Chapter 11 of the International Existing Building Code will be met;
- Detail any requirements that will not be met, because compliance would result in damage to historic features of the building, and explain why public safety will not be jeopardized despite non-compliance with the specific code requirement; and,
- Certify that all accessibility requirements outlined in Chapter 11 will be satisfied. Where requirements are technically infeasible, variances must be sought from the Accessibility Advisory Board. A building permit will not be issued, until the Board has approved these variances.
Mail the complete application package to:
Upon review of this application, the Department will decide if the proposed work satisfies the requirements found in 35 P.S. §7210.902 and 34 Pa Code §403.24, issue a building permit and determine what inspections may be necessary before approving the occupancy. If the work passes all required inspections, the Department will issue a letter approving the new work, deeming the building safe and allowing its use and occupancy.
Department of Labor and Industry
651 Boas Street, Room 1606
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17121-0750