What Type of Inspections Are Required for Commercial Buildings? – Building Code Trainer (2023)

Have you ever pulled a permit for a construction project and wondered what types of inspections are required?

Many people have this question and it can greatly vary depending on the type of project you are working on and the jurisdiction where the project takes place.

Building inspections are a crucial part in any building project to ensure a building is safe for the occupants. The purpose of the inspections required by the International Building Code (IBC) is to verify compliance with the minimum safety standards set forth in the adopted codes by verifying that the building being inspected is built in accordance with the approved construction documents.

The building inspector will inspect all the components of a building in various stages during construction. Although some inspections might be common in most types of buildings, there are some inspections that can be specific based on their geographic location and use.

To see a list of commercial inspections required, we must look to Section 110.3 of the International Building Code (IBC) which outlines what applicable inspections are required when a permit is issued.

Therefore let us take a look at what those required commercial inspections are.

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Footing and Foundation Inspection

The first inspection that typically takes place for any building is the footing and foundation inspection. The inspector will look at the soil on which the foundation is going to be placed on.

A foundation inspection is called for after excavating the soil up to the designed depth and after the placement of any required reinforcement or formwork. The materials used for the foundation must be present on site, except for concrete that is ready mixed and prepared off site.

Concrete Slab and Under-Floor Inspection

Similar to a foundation inspection, a slab and under-floor inspection is done prior to pouring concrete. The inspector will look at the soil and any other required under-slab components such as drainage, waterproofing, damp proofing, reinforcing steel, conduit, piping and other items that are embedded in or below the slab prior to placing the concrete.

After these items are inspected in accordance with the approve plans, then you are allowed to pour.

When a floor system is being installed other than a slab, similarly these components must be inspected prior to concealing the floor with any floor sheathing material.

Lowest Floor Elevation Inspection

There are some cases where a building is located in a flood hazard area. If this is your geographic location, you will need an inspection to establish the lowest floor elevation. In this case you must provide the building inspector with surveyed documentation of the following specific elevations on the building depending on the following flood zones:

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  • The lowest floor elevation must be provided for structures located in flood hazard areas not subject to high-velocity wave action. This is known as A Zones.
  • The elevation of the lowest horizontal structural member for structures must be provided when located in coastal high hazard areas known as V Zones and Coastal A Zones.

This certification document is the first of two certificates. The first one must be submitted after the lowest floor level is established and prior to any additional construction occurring above this level, so that any errors in the elevation can be corrected. The second certification of the elevation is provided just prior to the final inspection.

Some communities use the Elevation Certificate form that is developed by FEMA (Form 086-0-33), as insurance agents are required to use this form to write flood insurance policies.

The Elevation Certificate is also useful during final inspections to record information such as, flood openings, garage floor elevations, and the elevation of equipment that serves buildings. The building inspector will take a copy of this certification to store it in the department’s permanent official records.

Framing Inspection

In a framing inspection, the building inspector will inspect framing members such as studs, joists, rafters and girders. Other items, such as vents and chimneys that will be concealed by wall construction, will be inspected.

Rough electrical, plumbing, and mechanical works, such as wires, pipes and ducts must be inspected and approved prior to the framing inspection. This is to ensure no changes will occur to the framing such as holes or notches that are a result of the MEP systems within the wall prior to closing it up.

Lath, Gypsum Board and Gypsum Panel Product Inspection

Gypsum board, also known as drywall, is a finished product that gets inspected but other than just a finish material, they can also provide a fire-resistance-rated assembly or some added shear value.

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This inspection helps verify that the gypsum board or gypsum wallboard products are properly attached to the framing members. It is important for the building inspector to be able to conduct an inspection of the fasteners before the joint finish material is applied.

Weather-exposed Balcony and Walking Surface Waterproofing Inspection

When a balcony or other any other type of elevated walking surface is exposed to the weather, such as rain, snow, or irrigation, the structural framing supports must be protected with an impervious moisture barrier. These structural elements must be inspected and approved prior to being concealed by the moisture barrier system.

This is a very important step to ensure the structural elements are protected per the approved construction documents. Structural elements that are not protected from the elements can decay. When a moisture barrier system is used as protection, the building inspector can ask for special inspections to take place if the manufactures installation instructions require additional verification to take place beyond what is required in the code.

Fire-resistant and Smoke-resistant Penetration Inspection

Joint protection and penetration protection within fire rated assemblies such as smoke barriers and smoke partitions, must be inspected before they are concealed.

Energy Efficiency Inspection

In an energy inspection, compliance with the requirements for building envelope (R and U Values, fenestration U-values, duct system R-Value, and HVAC) must be inspected. Items installed in a building such as insulation material, windows, HVAC and water-heating equipment, must be inspected and approved as required by the IECC.

Other Inspections

Even though the above list of inspections might look like a very large list of inspection items, no one list can include all the items that can be inspected within a building and therefore this section allows the building inspector to require any type of inspection necessary to show compliance with the applicable code provisions.

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Special Inspections

Special inspections are to be provided by the owner for all types of work when required in Chapter 17. Special inspections are a whole other topic but in this post it is important to note that there are other inspections required in other chapters that are not listed in the above required inspections section.

The building inspector must verify that the required special inspections have been conducted. These types of inspections are done by a third party that is paid for by the owner and they typically provide an inspection report of the required inspection to the local building inspector.

Final Inspections

At the end, when all the work required by the building permit is completed, a final inspection is conducted. At this point the construction project should be complete with no items remaining.

One important thing to note here is for those structures located in a flood hazard area, as mentioned above, must have documentation of the elevation of the lowest floor area submitted to the building inspector prior to the final inspection. For a more detailed description as to what documentation is required, you can find this in Section 1612.4.

* Reference Source – 2018 International Building Code – [Buy on Amazon]

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How many questions are on the ICC B2 exam? ›

The test is a single, multiple-choice test. The ICC exam code is B2 and the test covers the IBC and the Concrete Manual. You will have 210 minutes to complete 80 code questions. The test is open-book.

Is the inspector expected to perform only one walk through survey per inspection report? ›

It is expected that the inspector will perform only one walk-through survey per inspection report. However, it may be necessary for the inspector to revisit certain areas of the subject building after performing the research portion of the inspection.

What is ComSOP? ›

ComSOP: International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties. CSA: Canadian Standards Association. EIFS: exterior insulation and finish system.

What is an ICC certified inspector? ›

An ICC certification is an endorsement from the International Code Council that you are qualified to inspect a certain type of construction or building. ICC certifications can come in a variety of forms, as the requirements to become certified to inspect different structures can differ.

What is a passing grade for the ICC exam? ›

A passing score is the score set by the ICC and/or/with the Exam Development Committee (EDC) as the minimum score needed to pass the exam. This score is technically called a scale score and is set as 75 for the National Certification exams.

What are 3 types of inspection? ›

As you can see below.
  • The three most common types of quality inspections.
  • Pre-Production Inspection.
  • During Production Inspection.
  • Final Random Inspection.
Sep 30, 2017

What are the four types of inspections? ›

In quality control, there are 4 types of quality inspections, namely: pre-production inspection, during production inspection, pre-shipment inspection, and container loading/unloading inspections. Each of these types of inspection has its own purpose.

What are the five standard operating procedures? ›

5 Essentials for Every SOP
  • Keep a Clear User Viewpoint. You should always be thinking about your end user when you write an SOP. ...
  • Format Clearly. As well as being careful with language, process documentation should always use intuitive formatting. ...
  • Keep Scope in Mind. ...
  • Observe Roles and Impacts. ...
  • Seek Authority and Approval.

What are SOP responsibilities? ›

Standard operating procedures provide the policies, processes and standards needed for the organization to succeed. They can benefit a business by reducing errors, increasing efficiencies and profitability, creating a safe work environment and producing guidelines for how to resolve issues and overcome obstacles.

Who writes SOPs in a company? ›

Ideally, Standard Operating Procedures should be written by a team that includes personnel from different areas. However, in the real world, they are often written by just one person.

What is the difference between ICC and IBC? ›

The International Building Code (IBC) is a model building code developed by the International Code Council (ICC). It has been adopted for use as a base code standard by most jurisdictions in the United States.

What is the ICC and NFPA? ›

And today's two primary model-code-making organizations are the International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

How much does the ICC exam cost? ›

For a list of current exam fees, refer to the appropriate Contractor/Trades Exam Information Bulletin.
ICC Contractors Authorized Voucher Price List.
Voucher TypeCurrencyExam Price
ICC Contractors Authorized $100 PPD VoucherUSD100.00
ICC Contractors Authorized $115 PPD VoucherUSD115.00
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How hard is the IRC exam? ›

The IRC Exam will be rigorous, but fair. The passing score is 124 correct answers of 180 scored questions.

How many questions is the ICC exam? ›

The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum passing score of 75 percent. You have 3.5 hours to complete the test.

Do ICC certifications expire? ›

Certifications are valid for three years. Certificates must be renewed on or before the expiration date (when they become inactive) to be current.

What are the 7 steps of inspection process? ›

2.1. 5 Seven-step Inspection Method
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  • Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection. ...
  • Step 6: Check Signal Lights.
  • Step 7: Start the Engine and Check.

What is the most common inspection? ›

Most Common Home Inspection Findings
  • Roof. Over 19 percent of home inspections uncover roofing issues. ...
  • Electrical wiring. Approximately 51,000 fires start each year in the home due to improper wiring. ...
  • Insulation and ventilation. ...
  • Plumbing. ...
  • Grading and drainage. ...
  • Mold. ...
  • Foundation. ...
  • Roof.

What are the different methods of inspection? ›

methods are visual, microscopy, liquid or dye penetrant inspection, mag- netic particle inspection, eddy current testing, x-ray or radiographic test- ing, and ultrasonic testing.

What is a passing score for the ICRC exam? ›

Reporting Scores

Scores are reported on a scale ranging from 200-800 with a 500 passing. The minimum scaled passing score is 500 for all examinations. Candidates are provided with official score letters that report a final scaled score and the percentages of items answered correctly in each content domain.

How many questions are on the ICRC exam? ›

Questions: Each exam involves 150 questions that contribute to the score that will ultimately determine passing or failing of the exam. You will also find 25 questions that will not count toward your final score. These questions are used by the IC&RC to influence and enhance future examinations.

What is the pass mark for B2? ›

B2 First – Level B2

If you achieve a scale score of 160–179 (grade B or C) in your exam, you will be awarded the First Certificate in English at Level B2.

What does a scaled score of 70 mean? ›

Scaled scores indicate the same level of performance, regardless of which form a candidate has received. For NCCT certification exams, the converted raw passing score is 70 on a scale of 0 to 100. This is NOT a percentage. Why use a scaled score?

Is 70 a passing test score? ›

C is anywhere between 70% and 79% D - this is still a passing grade, and it's between 59% and 69% F - this is a failing grade.

How do I get IC&RC certification? ›

To be entitled to an International Certificate, professionals must first hold a valid, current, reciprocal-level credential or license through an IC&RC Member Board. International Certificates are tied directly to a professional's certification or license with an IC&RC member board.

How do I study for an ICC test? ›

Get in the Study Zone!
  1. Buy Code Books / References. If you know which references you need for your exam, you can purchase your reference books through the ICC Store. ...
  2. Review Your Exam's Content Outline. ...
  3. Take Courses with ICC Training.

Can you take ICC test Online? ›

Take your ICC Certification exam from any secure location with highspeed internet access. PRONTO has advanced exam security features, so you can be confident in the integrity of the testing process and exam results. Plan your exam for the day and time most convenient for you—PRONTO is available 24/7.


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