Tenant Improvement Plan Requirements

This checklist applies to commercial tenant improvements. Some items may not be required based on the scope of the project. The plans and other documents need to clearly indicate a change of occupancy. Architectural and structural plans are required to be stamped by a State Licensed Architect or Engineer.

Construction documents shall be drawn to scale upon suitable material. Electronic media documents are permitted to be submitted where approved by the building official. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature, and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that it will conform to the provisions of this code and relevant laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations, as determined by the building official.


Construction drawings shall include but are not limited to the following:


The cover sheet should include a summary of the life safety requirements.

  1. Design criteria
  2. Occupancy type new and existing
  • Calculated occupant load
  • List Fire sprinklers – Non sprinklered occupancy
  • Allowable and Actual Floor Area Provide an allowable floor area calculation for the building and specify the actual square footage for each floor and/or mezzanine.
  • Height and Number of Stories
  1. Compute the height of the building, IBC Chapter 5, and determine the number of stories.
    1. Review the building for conformity with the occupancy requirements.
    1. Review the building for conformity with the type of construction requirements.
    1. Review the building for conformity with the exiting requirements.
  • Review the building for conformity with the accessibility regulations in IBC Chapter 11, ICC ANSI A117.1-03 & Section 3409. Provide a brief narrative that describes the use or activities to be conducted within the building and include the following information on the site plan or title sheet: l Tax lot parcel number or legal description l Type of construction – (Use IBC Chapter 6 classifications) l Occupancy type(s) – (Use IBC Chapter 3 Classifications) l Total allowable area of building – (Use IBC Chapter 5 & Table 503) provide an allowable area calculation. If fire walls are used, provide a separate allowable area calculation for each “building” see IBC Sec.706. l Specify actual floor area – Breakdown in square feet by: occupancy types; use of rooms or areas (i.e., warehouse, office, and spray booth); area per story or mezzanine; area of covered entries or docks.

Site Plan:

Site plans shall be drawn to scale; i.e. 1”:40’ or 1”:30’. Site Plans shall include:

  1. Location of the tenant space within the building shell
  • Address of tenant space
  • Lot dimensions
  • Distance between buildings
  • All building projections
  • Easements
  • Yard setbacks
  • Street names(s)
  1. North arrow
  • Parking layout showing arrangement:
    • Size of spaces,
  1. Circulation,
  1. Total number of parking spaces and accessible parking with IBC Sec.1106 and ICC/ANSI A117.1-09 Accessible route including exterior walkways and curb cuts.

Elevation Views:

Elevation views of the exterior faces of the tenant space shall be submitted to show work proposed affecting the exterior of the building. NOTE: In the case where no work is proposed affecting the exterior of the building, exterior elevation views are still required to provide clarification that no work will be done.

Floor Plan:

Floor plans shall be drawn to scale; i.e. ¼”:1’. Floor Plan(s) shall indicate the use proposed and shall include:

  1. Accessibility compliance
  • Floor plan, aisle widths, fixture plans, seating layout, location of rack storage, etc.
  • Label the use and provide dimensions of rooms. (Classify use per IBC Sec. 302.)
  • Provide wall legend. Delineate between all wall types including new, existing, fire-rated, bearing and non-bearing, shear, demolished, and relocated.
  • Show location, size, and door swing for all exits.
  • Occupant load at exit doors.

Framing Plan:

When tenant framing work is proposed, (work not increasing the footprint of the structure) framing plans shall be drawn to scale; i.e. ¼”1’; and shall include in the submitted drawings information needed to clearly show the extent of proposed construction i.e.:

  1. Type, grade and design strength of materials used. i.e. Doug Fir #2
  2. Proposed span, spacing and specification of all beams, joists, rafter, and sheathing etc.
  • Nailing schedules or reference to nailing schedules etc.

Ceiling Plan:

  1. Provide reflected ceiling plan. Show locations of light fixtures and switching.
  • Show the sizes, species, grades, spacing, and spans of ceiling joists.
  • Clearly detail required draft-stopping in combustible construction. IBC Sec. 717.
  • Provide cross section of and lateral bracing detail for suspended ceilings. ASCE-7.

Sections and Details:

Section views and details, drawn to scale, shall be included in the submitted drawings as needed to clearly show the extent of the proposed construction. Details shall include connection details.

  1. Provide typical wall section(s) showing typical framing conditions for this project.
  2. Show components of walls including framing, finish materials, vapor barriers, and insulation.
  3. Specify sizes, species, grades, spacing, and spans of all framing members, (walls, floors, and ceilings).
  4. Provide attachment details for top and bottom plates.
  • Provide detail of top-wall lateral bracing @ a minimum of 8′ o/c. for walls over 8′ in unsupported length.
  • Show ceiling construction (size and spacing of joists) and R-value of insulation.
  • Show all doors and windows. Provide window and door schedule for new and existing.
  • Provide a section through each stairway. Show rise, run, landings, handrails and guards complying with IBC Sec. 1009.

Fire Resistive Elements:

Show that building elements comply with fire-resistive requirements of IBC Chapter 7

  1. Provide an architectural cross-section through the fire resistive construction and specify the Item Number from IBC Tables 721.1 (1), 721.1 (2) or 721.1 (3), or the Gypsum Association File No. from the Fire Resistance Design Manual or the UL Directories for all fire resistive assemblies.
  2. Provide sections and details of fire-resistive floor-ceiling and wall assemblies clearly detailing all fire-resistive construction. Provide sections and details showing that all required horizontal fire-rated assemblies are supported by structural systems having equivalent fire-resistive protection.
  3. Provide details for parapets on fire-resistive exterior walls and fire walls. IBC 705.11.
  4. Specify ratings for doors and other openings in rated walls.


Provide floor plans and elevations of sufficient detail to show that the building and site facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities per the IBC Chapter 11 and Washington State amendments.

  1. Plans must show an accessible route of travel. An accessible route of travel is a continuous unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces in an accessible building or facility that can be negotiated by a person using a wheelchair and is usable by persons with other disabilities.
  2. Provide floor plans and elevations with dimensions for restrooms, kitchens, counters, and similar fixed facilities showing compliance with barrier-free access requirements.
  3. Provide hardware schedule specifying door locksets and latchsets having lever, push operated, or other devices openable by wrist or arm pressure.
  4. In an existing building, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to altered areas shall be made accessible. The path of travel means a continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage by means of which an altered area may be approached, entered, and exited, and which connects the altered area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entry to the facility, and other parts of the facility. (This includes restrooms, telephones, and water fountains serving the altered area).


Provide documentation showing compliance with State Energy Code

  1. Completed Compliance Form(s)
    1. Lighting
  1. Mechanical
  1. Envelope
  2. The plans shall show in sufficient detail all pertinent data and features of the building and the equipment and systems including but not limited to: design criteria, exterior envelope component materials, U-values of the envelope systems, R-values of insulating materials, size and type of apparatus and equipment, equipment and systems controls, light fixture schedules with wattage and controls narrative and other pertinent data to indicate compliance with the requirements of the State Energy Code.

Structural Calculations:

Provide gravity and seismic calculations for new work and/or in order to show that the proposed use of the building will not impose loads in excess of the structural capacity of the existing building.


Submitted plans shall include door schedules, window schedules, finish schedules as needed to provide the required information.

The following are separate permits:

Sign permit(s):

Separate permits are required for the installation of each sign.


When plumbing work is proposed, submitted plans shall include plumbing fixture counts and schedules, supply and waste/vent piping schematics, and other information as needed to provide the required information.

  1. Provide information required as part of the permit application and remit the fees associated with the review of plumbing installations.


When mechanical work is proposed, submitted plans shall include mechanical equipment schedules, ducting plans, and gas piping schematics needed in order to provide the required information.

  1. Provide information required as part of the permit application and remit the fees associated with the review of mechanical installations.

Fire Permit:

Fire Sprinkler Systems shall be installed or modified under a separate permit.

  1. Tenant spaces where sprinkler heads require re-location due to the installation of partitions (or for other reasons) shall obtain separate permits for the relocation of heads;
  2. Suppression System serving Class One Hood and Ducts used for grease cooking shall obtain separate permits for the installation of the hood and separate permit for the installation of the Suppression system.

Fire Alarm System

  1. Fire Alarm System shall be installed or modified under separate permit.
  • Tenant spaces where devices or detectors require re-location due to the installation of partitions (or for other reasons) shall obtain separate permits for the alarm system modification.
  • Where auto shutoff of the HVAC system is required, the shutdown of the system shall tie to the alarm system.

Other Requirements:

  • Food Service Establishments:
  • Health Department approval is required for business serving or preparing food.
  • Water and Sewer District and Health Department approvals are required for the installation of grease traps and interceptors.
  • Health Care and Licensed Care Establishments:
  • Health Department approval may be required for health care facilities. Licensed care facilities may require State license.
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