Commercial Construction and Life Safety Section (CCLSS)
The Commercial Construction and Life Safety Section (CCLSS) provides quality control, quality assurance oversight for the Third-Party Inspection process required for new commercial construction over $200,000 in the County.
Commercial Inspections conducted by CCLSS include:
- Use & Occupancy Inspections for assemblies of 50 occupants and over including schools, churches, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and lounges.
- If applicable, the following may be part of the inspection:
- Annual fire alarm, fire sprinkler, and private fire hydrant certification, certified by N.I.C.E.T. III or higher, with no deficiencies noted
- Elevator, escalator certification
- Boiler certification
- Kitchen hood systems certification
- Current Health Department approval
- Electrical and Fire Inspectors must be chosen from the attached approved lists.
- Mechanical Inspections are conducted by Maryland Certified Mechanical Engineer of your choice.
- Contact Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) for all plumbing and gas (natural gas & propane) inspections.
- Daycare centers of 8 or more
- Congregate and assisted living facilities of 8 or more
Light Commercial Inspections that are under $200K, and not Third-Party or Peer Review, are inspected by DPIE's Residential Inspections Section including Framing Inspections.
Use & Occupancy Inspections
The Inspections Division performs inspections to assure the building meets zoning, property maintenance, and life safety requirements. Upon verifying compliance, the Inspections Division will approve the inspection and Permits Administration will issue the U&O. Please be aware that having a U&O Permit does not allow for any construction. For more information, visit the Use and Occupancy Inspections page.
Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) — Commercial Inspections
All TPIP construction projects require a preconstruction meeting prior to the start of construction. Preconstruction meetings for the Third-Party Inspection Program can be arranged by contacting 301-883-3820. The Inspector will contact you to set up a specific date/time appointment for the preconstruction meeting.
Required Third-Party Inspections
Buildings and Structures
Buildings/structures that are subject to the TPIP include, but are not limited to:
- Commercial projects costing 200K and above and/or utilizing Peer Plan Review or Third-Party Plan Review are required to participate in the Third-Party Inspections Program (TPIP).
- Construction of new commercial buildings/structures for which a permit is obtained to construct the building.
- Additions and/or alterations, renovations, modifications to an existing commercial/industrial building or structure with an estimated construction cost of $200,000 or more, to be verified by DPIE. This excludes detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade in height with a separate means of egress.
- Structures with deep foundations or requiring underpinning.
- Post-tensioned buildings.
- Commercial buildings on problematic soil conditions, such as highwater tables, marine clay, Marlboro Clay, existing fills, slopes, retaining walls greater than two feet in height, and any other conditions identified by the geotechnical engineer of record, or peer, third-party or County plan reviewers.
- Structures with elevated concrete slabs.
- Photovoltaic and hydronic solar installations on residential or commercial properties.
- Projects with innovative design, based on the International Green Construction Code.
- Other structures determined by the Building Code Official, or designated representative, to be of unusual design or where code reference standards require special architectural or engineering inspections.
- The Building Code Official or designated representative may include or exclude a project from the TPIP due to its complexity, simplicity, or innovation, based on written recommendations from the Associate Director for the Inspections Division (ID) or designee, and/or upon written request from the property owner.
Commercial Electrical Inspections
Commercial Electrical Inspections are conducted by Third-Party Inspections.
Third-Party Inspector Is Not Responsible for Removal of Equipment Covers
When performing inspections which require an inspector to view equipment where the removal of any covers is necessary, the master electrician and/or his designee shall be present at the time of inspection to perform this task and to resecure the equipment once completed.
Contractors Need to Be on Site for Inspections
Contractors should be on site during an inspection, especially if the work involves a home generator or solar installation. A licensed journeyman is the minimally qualified person required to be on location for electrical inspections. To ensure compliance, please include the daytime phone number on which you can be reached on the day of the inspection. Inspections must be performed within six months of a permit issuance or fines may be assessed and/or the permit canceled. To schedule an inspection, contact your selected DPIE-approved independent Third-Party Electrical inspector.
Electrical and Fire Approved Inspectors
Electrical and Fire Inspectors must be chosen from the approved lists posted below.
Residential and Commercial Solar Inspections
Residential and Commercial Third-Party Solar Inspections are conducted by Third-Party Inspectors; commercial solar projects require participation in the Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP).
Contractors Need to Be on Site for Inspections
Contractors should be on site during an inspection, especially if your work involves a home generator or solar installation. A licensed journeyman is the minimally qualified person required to be on location for electrical inspections. To ensure compliance, include the daytime phone number on which you can be reached on the day of the inspection. Inspections must be performed within six months of permit issuance or fines may be assessed and/or the permit canceled. To schedule an inspection, contact your selected DPIE-approved independent Third-Party Electrical inspector.
Commercial Stocking, Stocking & Training Inspections
Commercial Stocking Inspections are conducted by Third-Party Inspections and based on required County approval.
- Stocking allows a business to introduce combustible products to be stored inside; this is acceptable after several life safety achievements, such as fire sprinklers and fire alarms, have been installed, are working and monitored by an alarm co., etc.
- Stocking and Training is the same as stocking; adding personnel (live bodies that are not construction workers or public customers).
Temporary Use and Occupancy (U&O) Inspections
Temporary U&O Recommendation Inspections are completed by the Third-Party Inspectors for commercial projects. The Temporary U&O Certificate is issued from DPIE per customer request utilizing the information provided during the DPIE initial preconstruction meeting.
- Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) Manual
- Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) Final Inspections Report (Attachment 5)
- Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) Certification Form (Attachment 6)
- Third-Party Electrical Inspector Application Guidelines
- Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) Approved Electrical Inspectors
- Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) Approved Fire Consultants
- Building Codes and Bulletins