State Releases New Building Inspection Delegation Process

The new process to delegate building inspections to local officials is the result of League-sponsored legislation passed in 2014.
(Published Jul 28, 2014)

The Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) has released a new process to delegate authority to local building officials to inspect state-licensed facilities and public buildings.

The new process is the result of legislation initiated by the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Building Officials, and local building officials throughout Minnesota. Municipalities and their local building officials will now be able to apply for three types of delegation authority:

  • Reserved inspection
  • Full inspection
  • Plan review and inspection

Learn more from the DLI website

Reserved inspection delegation
The new law designates certain types of projects on state-licensed facilities and public buildings as “reserved” projects. Any municipality that has adopted the State Building Code (SBC) will be given authority to inspect reserved projects if it has a certified or certified-limited building official, who is not under a current enforcement action by DLI. The following are “reserved projects” under Minnesota Statutes, section 326B.106:

  • Roof covering replacement that does not add load.
  • Towers requiring special inspection.
  • Single-level storage buildings not exceeding 5,000 square feet.
  • Exterior maintenance work, including replacement of siding, windows, and doors.
  • HVAC unit replacement that does not add roof load or ventilation capacity.
  • Accessibility upgrades not involving building additions or structural alterations.
  • Remodeling that does not change the building’s occupancy, structural system, exit access or discharge pattern, or mechanical load.
  • Other projects determined to be reserved by the commissioner.

Reserved inspection delegation will replace DLI’s current practice of issuing minor project delegation authority to local building officials.

If you currently have a minor project delegation agreement with DLI, you must apply for reserved inspection delegation.

Full inspection delegation
The current qualification process lacked clarity and clear guidelines for building officials to follow, which resulted in confusion and frustration for officials who were denied authority to inspect state-licensed facilities and public buildings. The new law and process outlined by DLI should clarify the necessary qualifications of local building officials and municipal inspectors, significantly shorten the on-site interview process, and eliminate the oral questioning on provisions of the SBC not related to the projects that have been submitted for review.

Under the new process, the building official or municipal inspector must have five years of experience—or four years in combination with approved training or relevant certification—inspecting state projects or equivalent complex projects (see below), and must submit a resume of qualifications.

The resume must include five state building projects that have been inspected over the last five years (or four buildings in combination with approved training or relevant certification), or five other building projects that have elements in five of the following six categories: Structural, Fire-resistance, Egress, Mechanical, Fire-protection, and Miscellaneous (e.g., hazardous materials storage, stages, pedestrian walkways, emergency power systems). These buildings do not have to be state-licensed facilities or public buildings to qualify.

Proper documentation for the buildings on the resume must be available for review. After the materials have been deemed complete by DLI, a state building official will meet with the applicant for an on-site interview to review the applicable documentation of the buildings listed on the resume. DLI estimates that the typical interview will last 1 to 2 hours per official or inspector requesting to provide these services.

If you currently have a full delegation agreement with DLI, you do NOT have to apply for delegation after Aug. 1.

Plan review and inspection
The process for obtaining authority for inspection and plan review is the same as above, except that the resume of qualifications must include buildings on which the applicant performed both inspection and plan review.

If you currently have a plan review delegation agreement with DLI, you do NOT have to apply for delegation after Aug. 1.

Appeals process
Under the new law, if DLI denies a request for a delegation agreement, it must provide the municipality with the reasons in writing, and provide an opportunity to correct the deficiencies listed by the Department. The municipality must make a request for reconsideration to the commissioner in writing. If the commissioner denies the reconsideration, the municipality may challenge that decision through a contested case hearing under the Minnesota Administrative Procedures Act.

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