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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Questions and answers about Building Plan Review

Building Plan Review frequently asked questions:

bullet What building types require application to MN DLI Construction Codes and Licensing Division?
Public buildings and State Licensed Facilities as defined in Minnesota Statute 326B.103 require application to this division.

Public Building means:

  • A building and its grounds the cost of which are paid for by the state or state agency regardless of its cost, and;
  • a school district building project or charter school building project, the cost of which is $100,000 or more.

State Licensed Facilities means a building and its grounds that are licensed by the state as a:

  • hospital
  • nursing home
  • supervised living facility
  • free-standing outpatient surgical center
  • correctional facility
  • boarding care, or
  • residential hospice

Note: If your project is not licensed specifically as listed above, the project is not under the jurisdiction of this division. Review the Quick Reference Guide to Care Facilities in Minnesota.

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bullet If a project won't be ready for review for a few months, is there anything to do now?
Yes.  First, submit an Initial Application. This allows DLI to create a file for the project and determine if DLI will perform the plan review or if it will be delegated to the local code official. Applicants will receive a Jurisdiction Agreement letter which will indicate one of the following:  plan review and inspection by this division (100% plan review fee); plan review by this division and inspection by local municipality (75% plan review fee), or; plan review and inspection by local municipality.

Second, schedule a preliminary code review meeting with a DLI plan reviewer.  This allows DLI to provide feedback for major code compliance matters while the project is still in the design development stage.

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bullet What should be submitted for a plan review?
The three basic components that must be included for all applications for plan review are:

The completed construction documents must include, as applicable:

  • plans and specifications
  • code record
  • structural calculations
  • Special Inspection Program
  • soils report
  • sample structural calculations
  • energy code compliance forms

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bullet What happens if documents in the submittal are missing?
Your partial application will be set aside as incomplete and you will be notified in writing as to what is missing. If the material is not received within 30 days, your application materials are discarded.

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bullet What happens after a complete application is submitted?
The construction documents are dated and placed in rotation for review. Plans are taken for review on a first-come, first-served manner. The exceptions are for Repetitive Building Plans and reroofing or similar very small projects. The plan reviewer will perform a complete plan review that includes an examination for major features of the State Building Code. This includes elements of codes and laws that regulate general health and safety, fire-protection, structural systems, energy conservation, accessibility and mechanical systems.

Upon completion of the review, the submitter will receive a detailed report of deficiencies or questions that must be addressed in order for the plan to be approved for construction. Be aware that all required revisions to the documents must be contractually binding such as through addenda or change order. Letters explaining how deficiencies have been corrected are helpful but alone do not substantiate code compliance. Direct all responses to the plan reviewer.

Although resubmittal will normally be given priority, it can take a few days for the reviewer to complete the review. Once determined all the items have been addressed, the reviewer will send a "Plan Review Complete" letter. This signifies that the plans have been approved for construction pending issuance of a Building Permit. In order to expedite, the approving correspondence can emailed or faxed.

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bullet Is it possible to receive approval to begin foundation work?
DLI does not normally review separate "bid-packs," including those for foundations alone. Doing so would slow down the process for other projects awaiting review. Only the Plan Review Supervisor may authorize a partial review upon submittal of an Application for Partial Plan Review.

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bullet What happens after the submitter's response to the Plan Review Report (including contractually binding revisions) is received and approved by the Plan Reviewer?
A Plan Review Complete Letter will be issued to the submitter. A copy of the letter and marked construction documents will be mailed either to DLI's Regional Code Representatives or to the local building official, based on jurisdiction agreement. Work shall not begin until a building permit(s) is obtained from the inspecting jurisdiction. 

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bullet What should be submitted for a building permit?
If inspection is by local municipality, building permit(s) to be obtained from the local municipality (fee schedule may vary by municipality). If inspection is by this Division, the components that must be included for building permit(s) are:

Please note: Mechanical and sprinkler permit fees and surcharges are in addition to building permit fee and surcharge.

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bullet How do I submit plans electronically using ePlans?
Construction documents for the review of building, fire sprinkler and mechanical plans can be submitted electronically, avoiding the time and costs associated with printing and shipping plans. Visit the ePlans – electronic plan review page for more information.

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