2.3 Final Inspection by the Enforcement Agency and Issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy


Local enforcement agencies or their representatives must inspect all new buildings and systems to ensure conformance with applicable codes and standards. The inspector may require that corrective action be taken to bring the construction/installation into compliance. Thus, the total number of inspection visits and the timing of the inspections that may be required before passing the final inspection may depend on the size and complexity of the building or system.

Enforcement agencies are required to withhold issuance of a final certificate of occupancy until all compliance documentation is submitted, certifying that the specified systems and equipment conform to the requirements of the Energy Standards. When registration is required, all certificate(s) of installation and certificate(s) of acceptance must be registered copies from an approved nonresidential data registry. All certificate(s) of field verification and diagnostic testing must be registered copies from an approved HERS Provider data registry.


2.3.1          Occupancy Permit

The final step in the compliance and enforcement process is when an occupancy permit is issued by the enforcement agency. This is the green light for the building to be occupied. Although a developer may lease space before the issuance of the occupancy permit, the tenant cannot physically occupy the space until the enforcement agency issues the occupancy permit. The building is not legally habitable until the occupancy permit is issued.

2.3.2          Occupancy – Compliance, Operating, and Maintenance Information


At the occupancy phase, the general contractor and/or design team is required to provide the owner with copies of the energy compliance documents, including certificate(s) of compliance, certificate(s) of installation, certificate(s) of acceptance, and certificate(s) of field verification and diagnostic testing. Documents for the construction/installation, operating, maintenance, ventilation information, and instructions for operating and maintaining the features of the building efficiently shall also be included.

2.3.3          Compliance Documentation

Compliance documentation includes the documents, reports, and other information that are submitted to the enforcement agency with an application for a building permit (certificate of compliance). Compliance documentation also includes documentation completed by the installing contractor, engineer/architect of record, owner’s agent, or certified technician to verify that certain systems and equipment have been correctly installed and commissioned (certificate[s] of installation and certificate[s] of acceptance). Compliance documentation will also include reports and test/inspection results by third-party HERS Raters (certificate[s] of field verification and diagnostic testing) when duct sealing/leakage testing is required.

Each portion of the applicable compliance documentation must be completed and/or submitted during:

1.   The building permit phase (certificate[s] of compliance).

2.   The construction phase (certificate[s] of installation).

3.   The testing and verification phase (certificate[s] of field verification and diagnostic testing).

4.   The final inspection phase (certificate[s] of acceptance).

All submitted compliance documentation is required to be compiled by the builder or general contractor. A copy of the compliance documentation is required to be provided to the building owner so that the end user has information describing the energy features that are installed in the building.