DSD Building Criteria Manual - 2021 2nd Quarter Rule Changes

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The City of Austin is adopting several Rule changes to the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) in 2021. The goal of these changes serves multiple purposes including updating information provided in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM), providing information in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) with fewer Code amendments, and updating language since it was initially adopted as Code. More detailed information about these changes can be found on the right side of the page.

Your feedback will help DSD develop the final rule proposal. Please provide all feedback, comments, and questions no later than the end of January 17, 2021.

In the documents section you will find several documents detailing the exact changes that have been proposed. You will also find more information about these rules and why these rules are being considered.

Specifically, the following Rules changes in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) are detailed on this site.

  • Plumbing System Test Requirements
  • Commercial Mechanical and Plumbing Qualifications
  • Building Inspection Process
  • Green Building

Greater detail about each rule can be found in FAQ section on the right side of the page.

At the bottom of the page is a Q&A Section for you to provide your input and feedback regarding these changes, how they may impact you, and how we can best design them to suit your needs.


The City of Austin is adopting several Rule changes to the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) in 2021. The goal of these changes serves multiple purposes including updating information provided in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM), providing information in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) with fewer Code amendments, and updating language since it was initially adopted as Code. More detailed information about these changes can be found on the right side of the page.

Your feedback will help DSD develop the final rule proposal. Please provide all feedback, comments, and questions no later than the end of January 17, 2021.

In the documents section you will find several documents detailing the exact changes that have been proposed. You will also find more information about these rules and why these rules are being considered.

Specifically, the following Rules changes in the Building Criteria Manual (BCM) are detailed on this site.

  • Plumbing System Test Requirements
  • Commercial Mechanical and Plumbing Qualifications
  • Building Inspection Process
  • Green Building

Greater detail about each rule can be found in FAQ section on the right side of the page.

At the bottom of the page is a Q&A Section for you to provide your input and feedback regarding these changes, how they may impact you, and how we can best design them to suit your needs.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    In regards to the building layout inspection. I see that it calls this out to be done after the permanent footprint is established. Does this mean that we will not be calling layout with the plumbing rough? Currently this inspection gets called in with the rough and only with forms set. If so, this seems to be adding to the time and cost of surveys. As a builder I will have to get a form survey for my ease of mind, but then another survey after we pour?

    Casey Fowler asked about 2 months ago

    Our practice is to recognize the permanent footprint of the structure as established once the forms and/or piers are in place. The proposed Rule changes will not affect existing inspection processes. It is common for builders to get a survey from the forms set. This will continue to be acceptable to the City of Austin.

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    Are the pre-con inspections for residential as well? I have been doing them in the past, but it has been performed by the environmental guys. Will this inspection be with the building inspector?

    Casey Fowler asked about 2 months ago

    The proposed Rules changes to the Building Criteria Manual only address commercial inspections. Residential inspections will not be impacted.

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    As the original author of the Building Criteria Manual, I am asking whether only city employees can apply for vacant inspector/supervisor positions? Why are these limits that go beyond state licensing standards proposed?

    Stuart Hersh asked about 2 months ago

    Anybody who meets the City’s qualifications to be an inspector or supervisor can apply for the positions in question. Due to the changing environment, the state minimum licensing standard is no longer acceptable. The proposed Rule changes will help ensure inspectors are trained to provide different types of inspections to meet the customers’ needs in a timely and professional manner.

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    Possible typo. Section 1.1.2.4, last sentence should read: " Report shall be uploaded (not "unloaded") and attached..."

    Ron asked about 2 months ago

    You are correct. This was a typo. We have corrected the language and included the updated document on the SpeakUp Austin page. We will ensure we use the corrected language when moving forward. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.