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 Permits

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    Plan Review Information

The Massachusetts State Building Code requires that fire protection plans and specifications be reviewed by the building official and fire official prior to the issuance of a building permit (780CMR Section 9). The following information should assist you in processing your building permit application. Important:  The fire official is responsible for the review of fire protection plans. A building permit application cannot be signed until the fire protection plans and specifications have been submitted. This applies to new construction and alterations to exitsitng buildings. Please do not submit plans that do not include fire protection documents. (note: if your sub-contractor is providing the design documents, please have your subcontractors submit the design drawings to the architect prior to applying for a building permit)

New Construction and Major Alterations/Rehabilitations: A plan review is required. In some instances, a pre-construction concept meeting is preferred prior to final design submittals by the architect. This will ensure that the design drawings will not have to be re-submitted.  A second plan review may be required once the final design drawings are ready to be submitted for building permit. Fire Protection (fire alarm, fire sprinkler) Sub-Contractors must submit plans, shop drawings, cut sheets, or design specifications for their respective fire department permits and also to the Inspectional Services Department and Water Department to complete the permit application process.  

Minor Alterations/Rehabilitations: A plan review meeting may not be necessary for minor alterations, tenant fit-ups, or tenant improvements. For building permit sign-off, please submit your architectural and sub-contractor fire protection drawings along with the building permit application to Fire Headquarters. The submittals most likely can be reviewed during our office counter service hours of M-F (excluding holiday's) from 8:00am-10:00am and 2:00pm-3:00pm or you can call 617 349 4918 to schedule an appointment for a different time.

Contractor or Sub-Contractor Fire Alarm or Sprinkler Plans: All contractors and sub-contractor plans, drawings, cut sheets, and design specifications must be submitted to the Inspectional Services Department or Water Department to complete the permit application process.

For review, the following items are required to be submitted with the plans:

  • Building permit application (completely filled out and signed by the property owner)
  • Fire protection systems and operation narrative as outlined in 780CMR € 9
  • One (1) set of engineer stamped plans that include the fire protection drawings
  • Plan Review Fee (make checks payable to the City of Cambridge)*
  • Plan Review Contact Information Form with a brief description of the project

* Plan Review Fees are $75.00 for low rise buildings and $200.00 for high rise buildings