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Modular Construction (Residential) Permit

Requirements for a Modular Construction (Residential) Permit

To obtain a construction permit for residential, modular buildings three stories or less, gather the materials listed below and submit a completed permit application in-person at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) Concourse.

See Building Permits for complete building permit information, including processing time and fees.

Building Permit Application

Project information signs are required for all construction, demolition, addition, or alteration projects. Please see the Major Building Requirements and all Other Building Requirements for more details.

The following information must be submitted with all permit applications. Permit applications will not be accepted without these documents.

  • Tax Clearance Form from the Revenue Department for the Contractor – These forms may be obtained on line at www.phila.gov/Revenue. Please select “Tax Clearance” on the left side of the web page and select “Permits/Licenses” from the drop-down box and enter your name and SSN or EIN. Once printed, the form is valid for thirty (30) days.
  • A current, valid Certificate of Insurance for the Contractor – The Certificate of Insurance must indicate current coverage for comprehensive general liability, workers compensation and automobile liability. The comprehensive general liability (including products and completed operations) must evidence a minimum limit of liability of $500,000 per occurrence. The Certificate of Insurance must describe the type of operations/work the contractor has coverage for, which must be consistent with the Contractor’s permit application. The certificate must also include a contact name and phone number of the contractor’s insurance broker or agent. The City of Philadelphia must be named Certificate Holder and Additional Insured under the contractor’s comprehensive general liability insurance policy.

Note: It is not acceptable for the additional insured requirement to be conditional upon there being a written contract.

  • Prerequisite Approvals: Before obtaining a building permit, your project may also need to receive approvals from various city departments if the project meets the listed condition.
    • Zoning/Use Registration Permit for any change in use of the property or any changes in the gross floor area or height of the building.  Use Registration Permit Application Contact Licenses and Inspections Zoning Unit (Concourse – 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 215.686.2567)
    • As per PA Act 537 and Clean Streams Act:
      • New construction, including Foundation Only permits.
      • Clearing and grubbing on parcels > 15,000 sq. ft.

      Contact the Philadelphia Water Department (2nd Floor – 1100 Market St., 215.685.1419)

    • Proposed curb cuts, driveways, and encroachments on the public way.Contact the Streets Department (Room 940 – 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 215.686.5503)
    • All work performed on properties listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. For listings see The City of Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.Contact the Historical Commission (1515 Arch Street, 13th Floor, 215.686.7660)
    • All work performed on City owned properties or with City funds.Contact the Art Commission (13th Floor – 1515 Arch St., 215.683.2049)
    • Approval of street trees required for all residential subdivisions.Contact the Department of Parks and Recreation (10th Floor – 1515 Arch St., 215.685.4363)


  • Flood Protection Form must be submitted with all Zoning and Building Permit applications in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and/or floodplain
  • Three copies of Soils Investigation Report prepared and sealed by a professional engineer licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Three sets of plans approved by a third-party agency licensed by the PA DCED.Each page of every set must be stamped and signed by a member of the evaluation agency and must include the date that it was reviewed.
  • Three sets of building plans detailing foundation and all other site built elements.
    • Plans must be signed and sealed by a professional engineer licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    • Plans must be of professional quality and drawn to scale (e.g. 1/4″ = 1′ – 0″).
    • The minimum sheet size is 18” x 24”.
  • Manufacturer’s Notice of Approval document from the PA DCED.
  • Site Installation Checklist from approved manufacturer.
  • Hydraulic supply/demand graph sealed by a PA professional engineer, flow test data from the Philadelphia Water Department and size of proposed service line are required for all sprinklered buildings.
  • Contractor Requirements All work must be performed by a licensed Philadelphia Contractor with the following exceptions

Payment Information

RETURNED CHECKS: If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize The City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.