A Guide to Building Permits

What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit ensures that the statutory and regulatory requirements of Planning Permission (Development & Planning Act 1974 & General Development Order 1999) and current Building Codes (Building Act 1988, Bermuda Building Code (BBC) 2014 & Bermuda Residential Building Code (BRBC) 2014) are met for the carrying out of work that is necessary to safely implement the minimum requirements for any construction work, make additions, renovations or changes to a building.

There are four (4) types of Building Permit:

  1. Residential Building Permit (BRBC Paragraph 1.1 – Scope p.21)
  2.  Commercial Building Permit (All other construction)
  3. Permitted Development Permit (Residential) – Minor Works
  4. Permitted Development Permit (Commercial) – Minor Works

When is a Building Permit Required?

Work that is a building operation requires a Building Permit.

A building operation includes*:

  • Excavation or quarrying of any land, including under an existing building
  • The demolition of any building or structure except:
    • a building or structure built further than 25 feet from a road* or boundary or to which the public has access; and
    • the building does not contain any asbestos (for example: vinyl tiles or pipe insulation more than 30 years old or corrugated roofing) which has been confirmed by the Department of Health following a preliminary

*Road (BRBC Paragraph 3.4): any road, whether public or private that includes any street, square, court, alley, lane, bridge, footway, track, path, passage, railway trail or other highway whether a thoroughfare or not.

  • The erection of any building or structure, whether permanent or temporary;
  • The carrying out of any structural alteration to any building, including the removal of any parts of load bearing walls or of fire partitions or walls;
  • The carrying out of works for the purpose of effecting a material change of use of the building or A material change in use shall mean a change from one use group to another according to the building codes;
  • The installation or renewal of an electrical system;
  • The installation or renewal of any plumbing, drainage or sewage disposal system;
  • The installation or renewal of any gas fuel system;
  • The reconstruction of a building;
  • The conversion of a moveable object into a building;
  • The removal of a building from one site and its re-erection elsewhere;
  • The roofing over of an open space between walls or;
  • The installation or renewal of any mechanical systems;
  • The installation, renewal, renovation or change to any mechanical system containing more than 6.6 pounds (3 kilograms) of refrigerant; and
  • The installation of any fuel burning system other than a cook top or oven, even if the fuel burning system piping is not being altered.

Who grants Building Permits?

The Building Official, who is the Director of Planning, grants building permits. 

Technical Officers in the Building Control section review applications for compliance with the Building Code and issue the permits on behalf of the Building Official. 

Letters of objection and/or representation should be emailed to planningfrontdesk@gov.bm referencing the PLAN or SUB number in the subject line.

Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 5th Floor, 58 Court Street Hamilton, HM12, Bermuda

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