Application Requirements for Food Construction Permits

In accordance with the Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC), permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any gas, mechanical, electrical, plumbing system. fire system or other equipment, which is regulated by the MSBC.

Instructions and Information

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Which Projects Need a Food Construction Permit?

The University Building Code Department (BCD) must approve food service plans before new construction or remodeling may begin.

Examples of when permits are required:

New construction: Any building on campus that is newly constructed, or an existing building on campus that has never been licensed as a food establishment by BCD.

Remodeling: Addition or change to the building or food facility, a major equipment addition, or the addition of equipment due to a menu change of an existing food establishment. Extensive remodeling does not include redecorating, cosmetic refurbishing, altering seating design or reducing seating capacity.

General list of areas of review (subject to conformance with University Food Service Construction Standards and MN Food Code requirements):

Kitchens, bars, buffets, salad bars, wait stations, beverage dispensing, condiment counters, warewashing, mop sink areas, hood/ventilation, plumbing fixtures, storage rooms, refuse areas, employee restrooms, outdoor bars/beverage service

Separate permit applications, plans and approvals are required for the following work:

  • Mechanical / HVAC
  • Electrical Systems
  • Fire Alarms
  • High Pressure Steam
  • Plumbing / Process Systems
  • Fire Suppression
  • Underground Utilities
  • Elevators
  • Demolition
  • Temporary Event
  • Phased Construction
  • State Licensed Facilities
  • Accessory Structures (e.g., hoop structures, greenhouses, storage buildings, etc.)

What Information Is Required for My Food Construction Permit

Permit Valuation

The applicant for a Food Construction Permit must provide an estimated permit value at time of application. Permit valuations must include the total value of all specific food service construction work, including materials, equipment and labor, for which the permit is being issued, excluding the costs of electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing equipment, and permanent systems that are used for obtaining the various required trade permits

Scope of Work

Work Area/Detailed Description of Work

  1. Detailed description of what work is being done (pertaining to this application) on this project
  2. Building name spelled out from acronym
  3. Floor(s)
  4. Room numbers
  5. Other applicable information that further describes the location

Individual trade permits should include additional details regarding specific trade-related work.

Which Documents Are Required to Apply for a Permit?

The documents listed below are required at the time of permit submission to allow Building Code Department (BCD) staff to complete their review.

The following applicable documents must be uploaded with the permit application:

  • Complete set of plans, specifications, and submittal documents for the work being performed

  • Declaration of food service risk level:

    • Risk 1 - Serves potentially hazardous foods that require extensive processing (handling, cooling, reheating, holding for service, and/or prep in advance).
    • Risk 2- Minimal holding time, less extensive processing, but extensive handling (meat market, fast food, bakery, pizza shop, or facility that serves a large volume of foods).
    • Risk 3 - Serves foods that do not meet Risk 1 or Risk 2 criteria such as prepackaged food items: pop, chips, candy, frozen treats, canned goods, bottled milk.
  • Food service equipment list and supporting cut sheets
  • Architectural building plans (including room finishes and associated material list)
  • Plumbing plans with accompanying isometric drawing
  • Site plan
  • Structural plans (structural analysis, design calculators) —if applicable
  • Soil analysis / geotechnical report, if applicable
  • Land survey, if applicable
  • Civil plans (grading, drainage, utilities), if applicable
  • Landscape plans, if applicable

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find My University Representative and Project Number?

Finding Your University Representative (University Rep)

The University Representative is a U of M contact on the project that may have the title of Project Manager, Project Coordinator, Team Manager or Owner’s Representative.  They are responsible to ensure that work is ready for the permitting process and may be from: Capital Project Management (CPM), Facilities Management (FM), UConstruction, a System Campus Facilities Department, or Research and Outreach Centers.

If you do not know who your University Rep is, contact the entity that hired you.

Getting a Project or Work Task ID

The Project Number or Work Task ID is required prior to applying for a permit.  Contact your University Representative to get this information.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit?

Allow 2-4 weeks for permit approval. The time is based on the complexity of the work and the completeness of the submitted information.

Which Inspections Are Required?

The required inspections are based on the type of work being performed and will be identified during permit approval and documented on the Inspection Record Card when the permit is issued.

For more information about inspections, visit our Inspections page.


How Do I Pay My Permit Fees?

Permit fees can be paid by check, credit card, or by University of Minnesota Enterprise Financial System (EFS). The fees due will display in the online application system when the permit has been reviewed and approved.

Paying By Check

Checks should be made payable to the U of MN Building Code Department and can be mailed to:

University of Minnesota Building Code Department
270 Donhowe Building
319 15th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

When the payment has been received an email will be sent stating that the permit is issued and you can print the Permit and Inspection Record.

Paying by Credit Card

You will receive an email that the permit is ready to be paid for.  When you complete the payment, the permit will be issued and the Permit and Inspection Record can be printed.

Paying by U of M EFS Number

Select U of M Budget as the Payment Method when applying for the permit and enter the correct budget string information.  When the permit is approved the payment will be applied.  You will receive an email that the permit has been issued and you can print the Permit and Inspection Record.

How Do I Print My Permit Documents?

Printing the Permit and Inspection Record

  1. Visit our online application system
  2. Click Search Applications
  3. Select the Application ID.
  4. Click on Reports in the menu at the top of the page.
  5. Select the report to print  and print the document. 

Printing the reviewed documents

  1. Visit our online application system
  2. Click Search Applications
  3. Select the Application ID
  4.  Select attachments under Record Info
  5. Click in the file name for the Type of Reviewed plans
  6. Print

The Permit, Inspection Record, and Reviewed, Stamped Plans are required to be onsite for inspections.