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.

Extensive 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.)

How Do I find My University Representative and Project Number?

Finding Your University Representative (University Rep)

This is a U of M contact on the project that may have the title of Project Manager, Project Coordinator, Team Manager or Owner's Rep. This is the employee at the University of Minnesota (CPM, FM, UConstruction, System Campus, Research and Outreach Centers) who is responsible to ensure that the work is ready for the permitting process to begin.

If you do not know who your University Rep is, contact the entity that hired you (department, college, primary contractor, etc.).

Getting a Project or Work Order Number

You need only a University of Minnesota project number OR University of Minnesota work order number. Call Facilities Management Call Center 612-624-2900 for instruction to receive a project number. Only University of Minnesota Employees may apply for project numbers. Work order numbers should be obtained from your University Rep. If you are a contractor, please talk to your University Project Manager.

What Information Is Required for My Food Construction Permit

Building 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 time of permit submittal so that Building Code Division (BCD) staff can complete their plan reviews and grant approval for your project. Permitting time will depend on the complexity of the work and the completeness of the plan submittals.

Two complete sets of the following plans, specifications, and submittal documents for the work being performed are required at time of permit application: 

  • Completed online permit application
  • 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

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

All permit applications must be submitted online through the online Accela permit system. Click the button below for application instructions.

Accela Permit System Instructions

How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit?

An average time may vary anywhere between 2 days to 2 weeks and depends on the complexity of the work and the completeness of the plan submittals. It may take longer.

Which Inspections Are Required?

All projects that require a permit also require an inspection of work. The types of inspections required are determined based on project criteria and are assigned within the online permitting system (Accela). Once you complete a permit application through the online permitting system, you will be provided with a list of required inspections and information about how to schedule an inspection. Fore more information about inspections, visit our Inspections page.

How Do I Pay My Permit Fees?

Permit fees can be paid by check or credit card or with a U of M EFS account number (available for U of M departments). A total of all fees due will display in the Fees section of the online application once your permit application has been reviewed and fees have been invoiced.

Paying by Check

Fees assessed will be processed when BCD accepts your check. After payment, you will receive an e-mail that your permit has been issued and you may print your Permit and Inspection Report.

Checks should be made payable to the U of MN Building Code Department. During COVID-19, checks can only be submitted via mail at the address below. Please also email BCD at [email protected] when you mail the check.

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

Directions to our office can be found on the campus map.

Paying by Credit Card

You may pay by credit card only at the time you receive an e-mail stating that your permit is ready to be issued. Locate the permit number and pay the fees associated. Once the fees are paid, the permit status will reflect “Issued”. Print both the Permit and Inspection Report.

Paying by U of M EFS Number

Enter a correct budget string when you are applying for the permit; you will be notified when the permit is approved. The fees will display as paid and you will be able to print the Permit and Inspection Report.

Which Documents Am I Required to Post on My Project Site?

All Inspection and Permit Reports are required to be posted at the job site. Inspectors will not provide the requested inspection without these posted documents.

How Do I Print My Permit Documents?

To print your permit documents:

  1. Visit our online permit system and sign in. 
  2. Click the Search Application Link from the Permit Application Home Page or from a link on the permit application page to locate your permit.
  3. Click on the Application ID.
  4. Click on the Reports link in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. The number in parentheses indicates the number of reports that are available to print.
  5. Click on the document name to open it and select the printer icon in the upper-left corner to print.