Code Administration

The Department of Code Administration works in concert with customers (residents, tenants, business owners, building owners, architects, engineers, builders, tradesmen, contractors, and developers) as part of the safe building team.

Page updated on Sep 27, 2021 at 11:36 AM


Department of Code Administration Offers FREE Fall Training Event for Industry October 22

Did you ever want to know if you could either remodel an existing building or change the use of an existing building without completely making the interior conform to current building codes? If so, then join the City of Alexandria on October 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for free virtual training on the 2018 Virginia Existing Building Code. This virtual training event will allow you to explore your options.

The event will include opening remarks by Gregg Fields, Director, Department of Code Administration. John Gibson, MCP, CBO, ICC Instructor will provide the complimentary training session. Virtual seating is limited to the first 50 registrants. Those who complete training will earn 6 hours of continuing education credits.

Registration is required to attend the training. RSVP to to receive the meeting link. Deadline for registration is October 15.

The City offers free training twice per year to further develop participants’ understanding of the building codes and what it takes to build and sustain safe, resilient structures.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact or call 703.746.4210, Virginia Relay 711.

Training Event Flyer


Operational Updates Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Some services may be modified or suspended due to the pandemic.  Please see below for service impacts by division, we will continue to monitor and update this information daily.

Permit Center

  • Open to the public for in-person service Monday through Friday by appointment from 8:00am until 4:15pm.
  • The City of Alexandria Permit Center is now located on the first floor of the City Hall at 301 King Street, Room 1900.
  • Currently, we are asking for customers to only submit applications electronically through APEX.
  • The Alexandria Permitting and Land Use System (APEX) is available 24 hours a day from your computer or mobile device.
  • Customer assistance is still available by email or by calling 703.746.4200. A support team able to respond to inquiries within 24 hours or one business day.
  • The City of Alexandria Permit Center will be conducting online workshops for the recently upgraded Alexandria Permitting and Land Use Management (APEX) system through December 27, 2021. Sessions will be held every other Monday beginning September 13, 2021 from 1:00pm - 2:00pm using a Microsoft Teams platform. These workshops will help you to navigate Alexandria’s 24-hour permitting system. 

    After the workshop you will be able to use APEX to:

    We will also spotlight the Document Library for a wealth of resources to help you navigate the APEX Customer Self Service (CSS) portal. Tutorial material is available to read or watch on short videos.

    To attend a workshop please RSVP to the Permit Center at 703.746.4200 or via email at

    • Set up an account
    • View permit information and records.             
    • Apply for permits.
    • View permit application status and reviews.
    • Schedule, cancel and view inspection results.
    • Pay invoices.
    • Submit, view, print permits, plans & documents.

Plan Review Services

  • We are continuing to perform plan reviews as scheduled
  • Team Plan Reviews are no longer performed in-person, but are now performed fully electronically

New Construction Inspections

  • In-person residential inspections for occupied dwellings (single-family and multi-family) are suspended, however these are still being performed virtually by video call.  See our residential virtual inspections memorandum below for more information.
  • All other inspections are still taking place as scheduled with inspectors maintaining social distancing. Inspectors are instructed to leave the area if they do not feel the area is safe. Those inspections will be rescheduled when the area is safe to enter.

Property Maintenance Inspections

  • Residential rental inspections and interior, complaint-based investigations in occupied dwellings have been suspended, however some complaint inspections can still be performed by video call
  • Proactive Exterior inspections will be performed to ensure sanitary trash disposal, timely trash service and rodent control surveys will continue
  • Staff will continue to service overgrown grass and weeds complaints over 12” on private properties, with extended compliance periods for abatement.
  • Unsafe/unfit investigations of occupied structures will continue with some interior inspection access modifications. Video and photo submissions of unsafe conditions are encouraged.

    Residential Virtual Building Inspections

    Team Plan Review Process


APEX Logo large image

Registration instructions for the new Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal

For more information about the City’s permitting process, using the new APEX system, or Permit Center hours of operation, visit

Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal (APEX). 

APEX allows you, our customers, to apply for permits and development plan reviews, to attach supporting documents and to submit payment from computers or mobile devices, eliminating the need to make trips to City Hall. 

Additional features of APEX include:

  • Electronic application, plan submission and review for permits and land use applications.

  • Improved communication between staff and customers.

  • Real-time status tracking for permit and land use applications.

  • Advanced search capabilities.

  • Online inspection scheduling, tracking and updates.

  • Online payments.

All customers should register on the portal. We are encouraging all customers to utilize the portal, not only to apply for permits, but also as a tool to process permit related payments. When visiting the Permit Center, customers will simply login to their Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal account via kiosk to complete their payment transaction. The payment will post immediately and the receipt will be sent via email to the customer.

About the Department

Welcome to the Alexandria Department of Code Administration, where we work in concert with other City agencies and our customers (residents, tenants, business owners, building owners, architects, engineers, builders, tradesmen, contractors, and developers) as part of the safe building team. Our objective is to assist customers with compliance related to Virginia's Uniform Statewide Building and Maintenance Codes (USBC), and the City Code nuisance and development provisions. This is accomplished through permit processing, plan review; timely and consistent inspections, and education regarding the requirements of the referenced codes.  The department contains the five divisions of Permit Center, Property Maintenance Inspections, New Construction Inspections, Plan Review Services, and Administrative Services. 



    Find out how the department is structured, and determine what services are provided by different units. Learn how these units work together to provide services related  to development review, permits, inspections, code violations, and nuisance complaints.


    The Multi-Agency Permit Center processes construction permits, certificates of occupancy, elevator certificates, fire prevention permits, maintenance and nuisance complaints; manages permit, inspection and violation records; and fulfills information and records requests. Learn about the permit process, review policies and procedures, get updates on the daily inspection schedule, and obtain applications, forms, and fee schedules.


    If you’re a contractor who regularly visits the Department of Code Administration to conduct business, please visit our Contractor Information for the latest news, information, training opportunities and updates exclusively for you!


    If you plan to hire a contractor to work on your property, get tips on how to select the right contractor, find out what permits and inspections the contractor is required to obtain for the work that is being done, and determine what policies and procedures must be followed.


    Learn about opportunities for businesses and property-owners planning operations within Alexandria’s Enterprise zone, get assistance from the Small Business Development Center, and find out how to obtain permits and inspections that are necessary to open and operate a small business in Alexandria.


    Receive the latest news from the department’s online newsletter, The Code Connection. Obtain updates on new programs, initiatives, and changes that affect the department, permit processes and inspections. You can also subscribe to the City’s eNews group to receive regular news updates from Code Administration.

    June 1, 2017 Permit Center Fee Schedule Changes

    2017 New Fee Schedule

    Code Administration Summary of Fee Changes Effective June 1, 2017

    Public Notification Memo regarding Fee Changes June 1, 2017

    Alexandria Code Administration Guiding Principles
    Guiding Principles

    When checking for daily inspection information, please check the Daily Inspection Viewer Website by 8:00 a.m. the day of the inspection as the information is updated up until this time

    The 2015 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is effective September4, 2018.  Additional information can be found at:
    2015 Virginia Uniform Statewide Construction Code (VA USBC)  

    Standing Modification - Minimum Thickness of Galvanized Duct Walls for Single Family Dwellings 

    Same Day Service Ends at 4:15pm. Please be sure to have all plans and applications submitted prior to 4:15pm Monday through Friday for same day services.

    Scheduling and Obtaining Inspection Results
    The Department of Code Administration offers immediate access to inspection results through our new permitting and land use management system customer service portal, APEX. Click on the icon below to get started. Once on the page click on the step by step document entitled "How to request inspections". 

    APEX Logo large image

    Gas Permit Policy for Residential Additions & Alterations
    Code Administration conducted a survey of the surrounding jurisdictions’ plan review requirements for residential fuel gas permits.  The results found that a majority of localities did not require a fuel gas riser diagram prior to permit issuance for residential gas pressures less than 2 psi.  Therefore, to stay consistent across local boundaries, the City of Alexandria will no longer require 1 & 2 family dwelling building (single family, townhomes and duplexes) applicants to submit a residential gas riser diagram for additions and alterations to an existing residential fuel gas system with gas pressure less than 2 psi.    

    • Please note - a residential gas riser diagram is still required for new residential homes and accessory structures.  Furthermore, there is no change in the plan review requirements for commercial fuel gas permits – a fuel gas riser diagram is required.  

    NOTICE:  Code Administration’s fire protection systems (FPS) walk-thru services are now available on a scheduled basis.  Please contact Paul Mitchell - mail to: or 703.746.4194 - to schedule an appointment.  

    Tell us how we are doing! As we make improvements to assist our customers with the permitting process, your feedback is important to us. Please fill out our  Customer Service Survey and let us know what we can do to improve the permitting experience. 

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