Most construction projects will require you to have permits and other approvals before you can begin or manage any work that is underway.
Types of permits and approvals
Below is a list of the construction-related permits and approvals that are required depending on your project.
Before you apply for a permit:
Getting construction approval
Construction projects on private property will require a building permit to be issued before any work begins.
Depending on your site's zoning regulations and proposal details, a development permit may be required in addition to a building permit.
Demolishing a building in Vancouver often requires at least one permit. Find out the requirements for your project, including for reusing and recycling demolition materials.
A water and sewer connection permit allows you to connect your new property with the City's water, sanitary, and stormwater sewer services. Find out when you need the permit.
Most signs in the city require a permit under the Sign By-law. Read the requirements, view the by-law, and download the application.
The tree removal permit allows you to take out, move, or replace trees on your property. Review the steps to getting this permit.
Alternative solutions (“equivalencies”) allow for flexibility in building construction. Read the requirements, view the fees, and more.
Underground storage tanks that haven't been used for two years must be removed. Find out the benefits of removing a UST, how to detect one on your property, and how to get a permit to remove it or safely abandon it in place.
Learn about the permit process to install solar photovoltaic panels on your home.
In some areas of south Vancouver, flowing artesian conditions require specific professional expertise. An October 2017 advisory from the Province of BC cautions that you and your contractors may risk flooding, damage, and expenses if you drill without due diligence.
You will need an electrical permit to perform most electrical work except for replacing switches, bulbs, and making minor repairs to an installation covered by an existing annual electrical permit.
You will need a fire sprinkler permit to install a new or make changes to an existing fire sprinkler system.
You will need a plumbing permit and gas permit to install, change, or upgrade any part of a plumbing or gas system.
Managing and completing your project
Book or cancel an electrical, plumbing, building, fire sprinkler, gas, or sidewalk inspection for your construction or renovation project.
An occupancy permit is needed for most new buildings, and for some existing buildings. The permit confirms the building is safe and complies with bylaws and building codes.
A noise bylaw exception permit allows construction outside of the specified hours. Download the form, view the bylaw, find the fees, and more.
This permit covers contaminated groundwater discharge during construction. Read the requirements, view the bylaw, download the application.
Operating permits help the City and health authorities track new and existing cooling towers, water features, and water systems.
Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe from a fire. Get prevention tips, apply for fire permits and inspections, fill out a fire safety plan, and find out what to do after a fire.
If you need to use a fire hydrant for a specific purpose, such as construction or filming, you will need a fire hydrant use permit. Find out what other requirments you must meet.
Construction, film, and special event projects that use streets, laneways, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities are required to control traffic.
Contact the Development and Building Services Centre
Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station
- 99 B-line, #15, and #9 buses
Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon