Certificate of Occupancy for Residential Construction

Certificates of Occupancy will be issued only when residential structures are completed to the following minimum standards:

Detached Single-family Dwelling

A single-family dwelling may not be occupied until a Final Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Temporary Certificates of Occupancy will not be issued for single family dwellings.

A sidewalk release will be issued after the sidewalk is installed, back-filled, and only in conjunction with a Certificate of Occupancy.

Duplexes and Multi-family Dwelling Units (two or more units side by side)

A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued when:

  1. The specific unit requesting a Certificate of Occupancy is 100% complete;
  2. Any common area is 100% complete (includes sprinkler and alarms and documentation when required);
  3. The building exterior is 100% complete;
  4. Site work is 100% complete except for items that can be escrowed as follows:
    1. Required trees (planting may be delayed until 1 June or 1 November, whichever comes first) see 14-6R-5.A; 
    2. Paving due to adverse weather (14-6N-1.A.7).

Duplexes and Multi-family Dwelling Units (two or more units stacked) 

A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued when items 1 through 4 are completed as stated above, and in addition:

  1. Drywall is installed and tape coated in all units; 
  2. All units are brought to an approved level of electrical safety that ensures all energized parts, or parts capable of being energized, are covered and/or protected; 
  3. Drain, waste and vents are completed, properly capped, or mechanically sealed; 
  4. All draftstops installed, with minimum 5/8" type X drywall with tape coat.

This policy will be monitored and reviewed to assess its impact on our efficiency, and the policy is subject to change.

Acceptance of Fire Alarm Certification

The following information will be required by the City of Iowa City on all installations of any type Fire Alarm System as required and or described by the International Building Code, International Fire Code, National Electrical Code and the National Fire Alarm Code. This information will need to be submitted prior to the occupancy of any structure.

A - Required to be submitted prior to any installation:

  1. Apply for and obtain a Fire Alarm Permit specifically covering the installation of the Fire Alarm System.
  2. Floor Plan showing the location and types of all the Fire Alarm Equipment to be installed.
  3. Fees based on the project value.

B - Prior to the issuance of Temporary or Final Certificate of Occupancy:

  1. "Record of Completion" will need to be completed and submitted.

Form NFPA 72 Figure 1-6.2.1

  1. A written statement from the fire alarm contractor stating that the system has been installed in accordance with the approved plans and tested in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and the appropriate NFPA requirements.

Form NFPA 72 1-6.1.2 and 1-6.1.3 

  1. Systems that are monitored or that are required to be monitored shall have the monitoring conducted by a U.L. listed monitoring agency. A copy of the "Monitoring Contract" will need to be submitted with the final documentation. This contract shall show the dates on which the service was established and the length of the contract, and alarm contact criteria.
  2. A copy of the maintenance contract shall be submitted. This contract shall indicate the starting and ending date of the maintenance contract, and the scope of which is covered by the submitted contract.
  3. For all residential occupancies containing a fire alarm system a record of the decibel readings for each sleeping room needs to be submitted verifying decibel level requirements from the 1999 NFPA 72, Section 4-3.4 have been met. (This will not include residential 120v, single station battery backup smoke detector systems which have all detectors interlocked.)
  4. When remodeling or when adding to an existing Fire Alarm System, battery calculations will need to be submitted showing the existing load, the additional load, and the final amp hours that will be required.

City Government