Amendment to the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code
Subcode “A” (The Philadelphia Administrative Code)
Chapter 3—Permits

Permits go into effect January 1, 2023.

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Protect Life, Safety, and Adjoining Property!

  • Ensure that the contractor has knowledge and skill necessary to perform excavations.
  • Increase transparency and awareness of
    projects that include excavation work.
  • Establish minimum permit submission
    requirements for excavations to ensure that adjoining buildings and public ways are
    sufficiently protected.
  • Demonstrate that an adequate investigation/assessment necessary for responsible design/construction and ensure affected buildings are appropriately monitored throughout the
    construction or demolition.
  • Provide notice and complete project
    information to an adjoining owner or resident of a building that is directly impacted by the work.

Bill No. 210389

  • Established an excavation contractor license and permit for excavation exceeding 5’ below grade, excluding utility trenches and
    geotechnical investigation unless otherwise required by regulation.
  • Established inspection and monitoring
    requirements for structural alterations on a historic structure, excluding one and two
    family dwellings, and when demo/new
    construction, or excavation occurs within 90’ of an historic structure on the same or abutting lot.
  • Modifies threshold for special inspection of excavations to 5’ below adjacent grade and 10’ within an existing building and establishes framework for a separate special inspection license category. Current requirements
    established under Code Bulletin B-0503-R2.
  • Explicitly requires notification to adjoining property owner and identifies contents of
    notice where there is modification to a party wall, excavation near a party wall, or demo/ new construction near a historic structure.
  • Bill signed into law on 7/15/21 and becomes effective on 1/1/23

Excavation Contractor License

  • Excavation contractor license required to
    perform excavation services resulting in cuts, trenches, or depressions in the Earth’s surface more than 5’ below adjacent grade.
  • This includes basement dig-outs.
  • Intent is to exclude utility trenches/
    geotechnical exploration that does not require a permit AND exclude demolition that does not require a separate excavation permit.
  • Excavation Contractor license will be required prior to the issuance of an excavation permit filed on or after January 1, 2023.
  • $103 annual fee
  • License will become available in eCLIPSE in September 2022.

Contractor License Requirements


  • Commercial Activity License Phila Tax Account in good standing
  • Insurance of $2 million general liability
  • $300k auto
  • Workman’s Compensation
  • License Bond $100k- City will draw against the bond to recapture abatement costs
  • Qualified Site Safety Manager OSHA training and certification

Excavation Site Safety Manager

  • At least one site safety manager employed by the contractor. May not be employed by
    another excavation contractor
  • Responsible to oversee excavation operations to ensure safe practice.
  • Shall be present on-site during excavation
  • Must provide OSHA 30 Construction and
    Safety Training certificate
  • Course must be taken within 5 years of
  • Site Safety Manager must either 1) retake course every 5 years or 2) present 30
    continuing education credits in site safety
    every 5 years
  • Must provide OSHA 3015 Excavation, Training, and Soil Mechanics certificate
  • Must take within past 5 years and re-take
    every 5 years or provide 20 CEUs

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