Apply for a Building Permit

Inspectional Services

Building permits are issued by the Inspectional Services Department. Anyone seeking to construct, alter, repair, or demolish a structure must first obtain a building permit. The building permit must be obtained before the start of any work and prominently posted at the job site.

Ordinary repairs, as defined in the Building Code, do not require a building permit.

How to Start

  1. Ensure that you have a scanned PDF versions of all documentation that you will need to submit to the City.
  2. Register for an Energov User account, if you do not have one already
  3. Log into the online portal
  4. Provide required information and upload requested documents. This starts with a pre-application process.
  5. After relevant City department review and sign off on submitted information, applicant will receive an email indicating completion of the pre-approval process.
  6. Once pre-approval process is completed, applicant will receive a notification via email indicating the invoice is available for on-line payment. 
  7. When the on-line payment is processed and received by the City of Cambridge, the pre-application will be converted into a building permit application and the 30 days for approval of the application will commence as of the date of payment.


Zoning Compliance

Contact ISD or the Community Development Department (CDD) staff to ensure that the proposed project is in compliance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

Protected Structures

Structures which are located in historic districts or neighborhood conservation districts, designated as landmarks, or subject to preservation restrictions are protected by the Cambridge Historical Commission.

Curb Cut

If a new curb cut is necessary for required off-street parking or loading, an Application for Driveway Cuts and Openings must be filed at ISD.

Special Permit Transportation Conditions

If applicable, the Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department will review compliance.

Additional Information

Building permits are issued to construction supervisors licensed by the City of Cambridge. As an exception, building permits are issued to homeowners doing work on one or two unit dwellings where they reside or intend to reside. Changes to the planned work authorized by a building permit must be authorized by a modification to the original permit.

Page was last modified on 7/8/2019 5:58 PM
Provide Feedback

Got feedback?

Please provide your feedback below: