Why Permits Are Required for Construction?
To prevent erroneous construction, or the installation of faulty or incorrect equipment; cities, towns, counties, and states require permit requests by licensed contractors or designees. The permit request authorizes city and county inspectors for appropriate inspections to ensure good quality and safe construction is being performed according to the latest codes, regulations, and zoning ordinances. The building permit and inspection process is controlled by the Planning/Zoning Departments, Land Development Offices, and/or Building Inspection Departments. The more people that share the responsibility of refining and inspecting for safe, correct, and efficient designs, the less likely the chance of accidents or failures. In most cases, these blueprint designs must be submitted along with the permit request and require stamped (sealed) drawings or plans by registered professional engineers (PE’s) or professional architectural designers and other professionals whose job is to enforce the latest building codes, safety regulations, and ordinances for protecting the public and human life.
Different permits and sealed drawing plans along with documentation submittals are required for each discipline, such as, architectural, civil, electrical, environmental, fire protection, health & safety-egress, mechanical, plumbing, structural, etc. This reality engenders the importance of licensed contractors who follow the codes designed by PEs and other professionals with decades of study and practice, and for each field of study for the construction and development process. These permit submittals govern the construction phase by initiating local public officials that are designated as expert inspectors to perform thorough reviews according to each discipline of the work involved to ensure the latest codes and regulations are enforced for upholding public health and safety. Whether it be construction for new facilities or alteration modifications for existing facilities, appropriate reviews and inspections are required.
Commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities that process building permits may involve modifications of existing buildings or involve new construction for the following: businesses, banking, hospitals, places of worship, recreational, sport complexes, retail, restaurants, hotels, multi-family dwellings, government or public facilities, storage warehouses, processing plants, factories, assembly lines, and much more. The importance of having a public facility or government building that does not burn down due to an electrical fire caused by poor design, or collapse under its own weight, cannot be understated. Additionally, an industrial plant or automobile manufacturing plant should plan for environment pollution control and standards as much as electrical and structural integrity. Required permits and inspections can be the difference between a higher quality of life and catastrophic failure.
Violation or Non-Compliance with the Electrical Permit Inspection Process
For facility changes involving electric power or power delivery modifications, electrical engineering sealed drawings are required to illustrate the electrical work being performed with NEC codes and other (NFPA / OSHA, etc.) regulatory enforcements. If an electrical contractor performs electrical installations or modifications to commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities without going through the appropriate permit and inspection approval process, the contractor will more than likely be in violation (non-compliance) with the construction project resulting in a shutdown (stop all work) until the appropriate permit requests and approvals have been performed in compliance with the local city/county ordinances.
Electrical Engineering Drawings and Documentation Required with the Permit Submital
Electrical blueprint plans and documentation that may be required as part of the permit submittal request, are:
- Electrical single line (one-line and/or riser) diagram
- Total power demand calculation with recommended source transformer size
- Utility coordination with power supply interface details (Transformer/Meter location)
- Electrical fault current calculations at various equipment locations
- Electrical equipment listings with sizes, specifications, and locations
- Distribution panels and load center schedules with calculated loads
- Electrical lighting plan showing locations and calculations
- Electrical power plan for receptacle and equipment locations
- Grounding schedule and details
- Emergency electrical back-up systems (Generator, UPS, etc.)
- Documentation of Hazardous (or Explosive) Classifications
- Coordination and interface details with vendor equipment drawings and specifications
- Conduit and cable schedule and details
Cities and counties may differ on how thorough reviews and inspections are performed due to various zoning requirements which may go above and beyond state regulations and code enforcements. For example, architectural, electrical, mechanical, or plumbing permits may adhere to the latest codes and state requirements but may receive permit violations or rejections requiring additional items for permit approvals by not following local city/county ordinances. Hamilton County, TN will differ in ordinances and regulation requirements compared with permit approvals for Madison County, TN. Be aware and review each city and county’s additional or special requirements for permit approvals for each discipline or trade.
At 3 Phase Associates, we take the utmost care that any electrical design or electrical construction strictly adheres to the latest NEC codes, oversight regulatory entities, and local building ordinances. We have experienced licensed electrical engineers that can provide you with services you can depend on at reasonable and affordable prices. We perform onsite visits to facility locations and provide free estimates.
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