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City of Madison Development Services Center
Image: Non-Residential

New Construction: Non-Residential

Contact: Email Building Inspection Phone Number (608) 266-4551
Before beginning development on any non-residential project there are several steps you will need to take to make sure your new building will be in compliance with local regulations regarding land and construction. Some examples of non-residential buildings may be: Offices, Churches, Mercantile, Factories, Warehouses, and Daycare centers.

You will need to make sure the site you intend to build on is appropriate regarding setbacks and use based on zoning and other requirements.

PROCESS OVERVIEW:

  1. Determine Zoning

    Before developing a parcel of land, you will need to determine if the parcel is zoned for your desired use or if there are any special development considerations for your project.

    Zoning will be able to tell you the zoning of the property or if there are any special considerations for your project. If your project requires special handling, our staff will inform you of the requirements and next steps.

    Find out the zoning for your property

    Who to contact:
    Zoning, (608) 266-4551.

  2. Submit Plans to Building Inspection

    A minimum of two sets of plans are required for any plan review. If the building for which the plans are being submitted is over 50,000 cubic feet, all plans must be signed and sealed by a registered Architect or Engineer. All plans must be submitted with a City of Madison Plan Approval Application Form which also must be signed by the Building Designer and Supervising Professional. Omission of any required items on your plans or application may result in a delay of your project. The plan review fees need to be paid at the time of submittal.

    Note: If your project cannot conform to building code, follow the variance procedure. See the Petition for Variance Application (pdf) for more information. Please contact Building Inspection at 266-4551 with any questions.

    Once the plan approval is obtained, permits can be issued as long as all other Departments have approved the project. For example, Zoning needs to sign off on the permit and any other departmental holds will also need to be resolved. You can contact Zoning at (608) 266-4551 regarding any additional approvals.

    Where to go:
    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite LL 100
    Madison, WI 53703

    What to Include:
    A minimum of two sets of plans are required for any plan review. All plans need to be drawn to scale and include all dimensions. Your plans should include:
    • Floor plans
    • Foundation/Basement plans
    • Elevations
    • Section details
    • Site plan
    • Structural components & structural calculations
    • The listing laboratory and system numbers of all fire-resistive assemblies
    • Window and door schedules
    • Energy calculations (Use COMcheck)
    The plan review process typically takes no more than 5 working days to complete assuming there are no problems.

  3. Submit Plumbing Plans

    Plumbing plans are required to be submitted for more than 16 fixtures and must be approved prior to a permit being issued. Plumbing plans are a separate submittal to the Plumbing section. Contact Sean Sutter at (608) 266-4551 with questions.

    Where to go:
    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite LL 100
    Madison, WI 53703

    What to Include:

  4. Submit Plans to Fire Prevention

    The Fire Prevention Division reviews the following:
    • Fire Sprinklers
    • Fire Alarms
    • Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems
    • Standpipe Systems
    • Alternate Fire Extinguishing Systems
    • Access Controlled/Delayed Egress Devices
    • Fire Command Centers
    • High-piled Storage

    There are specific submittal requirements for each type of fire protection system. The requirements vary depending on the type of fire protection system proposed for installation. The Plan Submittal Checklist (pdf) for Fire Protection System Plans has been provided to assist you in preparing your complete fire protection system plan submittal.

    Where to go:
    Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday
    City of Madison Fire Department
    325 W Johnson St
    Madison, WI 53703
    Phone: (608) 266-4420

    What to Include:

    Flammable/Combustible Liquid Storage Tanks (Under & Above Ground):
    (See Flammable and Combustible Liquids )
    • Installation: Prior to the installation of an underground storage tank or aboveground storage tank containing flammable or combustible liquids a Flammable Liquid Tanks Installation Application (SBD-9) must be completed, and along with four sets of drawings and required fees for plan review be forwarded to the State of Wisconsin for tanks 5000 gallons or larger. Tanks smaller than 5000 gallons are reviewed by the Madison Fire Department.
    • Removal/Closure: Prior to the removal or closure of an underground tank or aboveground storage tank containing flammable or combustible liquids a City of Madison Tank Closure Application (pdf) must be completed and forwarded to the Madison Fire Department along with the required drawings and fees at least 15 days prior to any work being performed.
    For further information on tanks contact Cheryl Peterson, Fire Prevention Officer IV at (608) 261-9657.

  5. Pay Fees and Obtain Permits

    Once the plans are approved and all other concerned departments have signed off a permit can be issued. Inspection/permit fees will be collected at the time of issuance (See the Inspection Fee Schedule to figure the necessary fee). If plans have been withheld revisions will need to made and resubmitted for review.

    Restaurants, taverns, and any other commercial facility that sells alcohol will need approval from the City Clerks office (See Procedure for Liquor License Application (pdf)). For more information, please call 266-4601.

    A fire code license (or permit) is required to maintain, store or handle materials, or to conduct processes, which produce conditions hazardous to life or property, or to install equipment used in connection with such activities. All license applications must be made 30 days prior to commencing the prescribed activities. For more information, please contact the Madison Fire Department Fire Prevention Division at (608) 266-4420 and read more about fire code licenses.

    Where to go:
    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
    Madison Municipal Building
    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite LL 100
    Madison, WI 53703

  6. Schedule Inspections

    During the construction process multiple inspections will need to be made on the project.

    • Building:
      • Footing (before the concrete is poured)
      • Foundation (when forms are removed)
      • Rough framing (before framing is covered)
      • Insulation (before drywall is installed)
      • Final
      To schedule an inspection:
      Call for inspection request, (608) 266-4551

    • Plumbing, HVAC, & Electrical:
      • Underground work (before it is covered)
      • Rough (all work in concealed spaces must be visible)
      • Final
      To schedule an inspection:
      Call for inspection request, (608) 266-4551

    • Fire Code Requirements:
      • Rough (all work in concealed spaces must be visible)
      • Hydrostatic tests
      • Flow tests
      • Final tests
      To schedule an inspection:
      Call for inspection request, (608) 266-4420

  7. Completion

    When all inspections have been done and approved the Inspectors will sign off on the Certificate of Occupancy. You are required to have this Certificate in hand prior to moving in to the building. The Fire Inspector also needs to sign off and your Design Professional must submit a Completion Statement (pdf) before the Certificate of Occupancy can be issued.

    Submit Fire Evacuation Plans for your facility to the City of Madison Fire Department for review. Find out more about developing Fire Evacuation Plans.

Related Forms & Handouts


Have Questions?

Contact Building Inspection - (608) 266-4551