The Web page will guide you through the Building Code approval process to occupy an existing building or tenant space. For an overview of the development approval process, refer to Starting a Business in Prince William County. For a basic introduction to Building Codes, refer to the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and Use Groups & Certificate of Occupancy.
Contact the Building Development Division at 703-792-6930 for additional questions and clarifications concerning building related policies, procedures, and interpretations of the plan review permit issuance and inspection processes.
Designer Requirements – To determine if a Virginia professional designer or contractor must prepare the design/plans refer to Registered Design Professional Sealing of Plans (Policy 1.11). Note that when a Class A contractor or master tradesman is allowed to design the work, they are also required to control or supervise the work.
Zoning Approval for Home Office – If you are starting a business from your home without employees or customers coming to your home, you must obtain a home occupation permit from the Zoning Division only. Since the public will not be coming to your home as part of the business, there are no additional Building Code requirements. If you intend for the public to come to your home business, refer to Existing Tenant Space with Change of Use below and Zoning Approval: Home Employment Certificate.
Existing Tenant Space - Not a Change of Use (see Policy 2.4: Joint Occupancy Evaluation Program). If you locate a building or tenant space that has been previously occupied by a similar Use Group, after receiving Zoning Approval, a Joint Occupancy Evaluation Permit Application may be submitted at the Building Development Division. Safety Inspections will be conducted by the Building Code Enforcement Inspectors and the Fire Marshal's Office, and a determination will be made on whether or not plans and permits are required. If plans are not required, once any safety deficiencies are mitigated, an Occupancy Permit can be issued.
Existing Tenant Space - with Change of Use or Alteration – This will require a submission of Tenant Layout Plans for review and approval. The Change of Use requires the tenant space to be brought into compliance with the current Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. If the fire suppression system and/or fire alarm system are being installed or altered, the Fire Marshal’s Office will review and approve the fire protection plans.
Alteration/Repair – If an existing space has a valid Certificate of Occupancy and renovations are proposed, the Alteration/Repair Plans must be submitted for review and approval. Only those portions of the building/tenant space that are being renovated must be brought into compliance with the current Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. If the fire suppression system and/or fire alarm system are being installed or altered, the Fire Marshal’s Office will review and approve the fire protection plans.
Asbestos Inspection in Buildings to be Renovated or Demolished – This form must be completed and submitted with the Building Permit Application.
Accessibility for Disabled Certification Statement – This form must be completed and submitted with the Building Permit Application.