Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department was created by an Inter-governmental agreement between the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners and the City Council of Colorado Springs in 1966. The Cities of Fountain, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, Monument and Palmer Lake later became parties to the Agreement.
The Department is administered by the Regional Building Commission, a three member governing body consisting of an El Paso County Commissioner, a City of Colorado Springs Councilperson and a representative from one of the five suburban parties to the Agreement. This representative is nominated by the Councils / Boards and elected by the Mayors of those five entities. Commission terms are for two years. The Commission generally supervises departmental administration and directs policy. It is also responsible for preparation of the budget, which is approved by the City of Colorado Springs Council and the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, and to establish fees for the various permits and services. The Building Commission meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
A five member Regional Board of Review proposes rules, regulations and standards necessary to accomplish the objectives of the various building codes. Their proposals are subject to final approval by the appropriate legislative bodies. In addition, the Board of Review is the authorized contractor licensing body.
Members of the Regional Board of Review and its advisory committees are appointed for three-year terms with a maximum of two terms.
The Regional Building Advisory Board assists the Regional Building Commission in matters relating to departmental administration, finance and budget. The Advisory Board consists of the five member Board of Review to represent the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County and one appointed representative from each of the suburban entities.
The Regional Building Committee, the Regional Electrical Committee and the Regional Mechanical Committee advise the Board of Review. These committees are responsible to review license applications, review the performance of work required under the various building codes and make recommendations regarding requests for variances from code requirements to the Board of Review.
The Department is designed to be self-supporting and nonprofit making. A cost analysis is performed annually by an independent auditor. Fee adjustments are proposed when the Commission determines them to be necessary to maintain the Departments' operations.
The main goal of the Department is to safeguard life and limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures within all zoned areas of El Paso County through the enforcement of minimum building code standards. Also, the building department performs comprehensive inspection of all new building construction and alterations and additions to all buildings to ascertain compliance with numerous building codes through:
Plan Review of new construction and components
Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning Inspections
Mobile Home Inspections
Review qualifications and conduct examinations of all General Building Contractor and Mechanical Contractor Applicants.
Registration of all State licensed Plumbing and Electrical Contractors working within this jurisdiction.
It takes everyone in the community to keep our homes, schools, offices, stores and other buildings safe for public use. Safe construction practices help protect you, your family, your friends and your investment. Be sure to get your code official involved with your building project.
Regional Floodplain Management
Ascertain compliance with all (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regulations through plan review and on-site inspections. The Floodplain Administration Office also operates and maintains the regional flood warning system.
All construction in designated floodplain areas requires a Floodplain Development Permit. The Floodplain Administration Office at the Regional Building Department reviews proposed construction plans, issues permits and inspects construction for compliance with local and federal floodplain regulations.
Most property insurance will not cover losses caused by flooding. The federal government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for all residences and businesses in communities served by the Regional Building Department.
Dangerous Building Code Enforcement
Upon determining a dangerous building, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department issues a Notice and Order to the owner to abate the dangerous conditon and/or may order the demolition of the building through an order to the City Engineer. This service is provided only in the home rule communities. NOT in the County.
The Enumeration Department assigns addresses for all new buildings and ascertains compliance of all buildings with the addressing ordinance. This is done by using a grid system with the base established at the intersection of Pikes Peak and Cascade Avenues.
Building permits are very beneficial to you and your community. By working with an expert code official, you will benefit from their knowledge of the building codes to ensure your construction project is built right, will be safe and will last.
The best way to find out if you need a permit is to call your local building department. Discuss your plans with a code official before you begin construction to determine whether you need a permit. Even if a permit is not needed, the official may still provide valuable advice.
Permits are usually required for the following:
Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
Residential work (decks, garages, fences, fireplaces, pools, water heaters, etc.)
Renovations (garage conversions, basement finishes, kitchen expansions, re-roofing, etc.)
HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems
Your home or business is an investment. If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by the community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition or do costly repairs.
A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met - as demonstrated by the building department's carefully maintained records - has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. Your permit also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, and your friends or future owners.
The building department wants your project to be a success and will help you avoid potential problems that could cost you time and money. When applying for a building permit, you'll be asked some basic questions (What are you planning to do? Where?), advised of any requirements and, if necessary, referred to other departments for their approval. The code official will provide you with the resources and information needed for compliance with the applicable building codes.
In a brief amount of time, the code official will review your construction plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local building code requirements. If your plans meet these building requirements they are sent to the appropriate agencies for their approvals. Once everyone has approved your plans you are ready for a permit.
Now that you have a permit, you have legal permission to start construction. A fee based on the cost or square footage of the job is collected to cover cost of the application, the review and the inspection process. An experienced code official is available to you should you have any questions concerning your project. You can consider your code official as an ally who will help you make your project a success. Normally, separate permits are required for electrical, plumbing and heating or air-conditioning work.
On-site inspections will be required to make certain the work conforms to the plans and local codes. Again, you will have access to the expertise of a code official to help you with questions or concerns regarding the project and to ward off potentially costly mistakes. The code official will let you know approximately how many inspections may be needed for your project. Usually, a one day notice is needed when requesting inspection visits.
The code official will provide documentation when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. You will then have the personal satisfaction of a job done right. Enjoy your new surroundings with the peace of mind and the knowledge that they meet the safety standards of your community.
For more information about building codes and local requirements, contact us at:
Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
2880 International Cir. Colorado Springs, CO 80910