A multi-story building under construction.

Building Comments Only

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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Resubmittal Paying Fees Other Helpful Documents

Building Comments Only (BCO) review is a premium service designed for  Commercial projects wishing to receive full building trade (Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical, Fire and Raleigh Addressing) comments independent of Site Permit Review. No approvals or permits will be issued as a result of this review. Strictly voluntary, the BCO is a paid review coordinated through Express Services. Plans and supporting documents shall be complete and considered a final design, while meeting all required specifications of Commercial Review and be considered ready for permitting. 

NOTE: Following the BCO, should the project design or details change resultant of site review or other elements, additional comments may occur during subsequent reviews. Applicants knowingly accept this term with the participation of the Building Comments Only Review service. 

Before Submitting an Application

  1. Projects deemed a ‘Site Plan’ per UDO 10.2.8, requiring an Administrative Site Review, shall have an Administrative Action document executed prior to submitting a BCO.
  2. You must be registered in the permit portal before you can manage your project, pay fees, or schedule inspections. Learn more about how to register on our portal help page.

Prepare Application Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for this project type:

  1. Complete the Express Review Application.
  2. Plans must be complete and meet all specifications for submittal of Commercial Permit Drawings and specification provided for review shall be considered for final work of the licensee and therefore must contain one of two things:
    1. A certification (signed and sealed); or
    2. The seal and signature of the licensee, with a substantial stamp or marking uses the statutory language of 21 NCAC 56.1103(C).
      Example: “Final Drawing – For Review Purposes Only.”
    3. Include a completed Building Code Summary Sheet within the plan set for each structure being reviewed.

Submittal Instructions

Please take note of the instructions below, applications that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted:

  1. Only PDF file types will be accepted unless other file types (such as image, Excel, or CAD) are specifically called for as part of the application submittal process.
  2. .ZIP files are not allowed.
  3. Only one file should be associated with each discrete document included with the application package. For example, if an application requires 1) an application form, 2) a set of plans, and 3) a calculation report, the applicant should transmit these as three separate files.
  4. City of Raleigh limits email attachments to 30 MB. To send larger files, you may send a file-sharing link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to a folder with all required documents. Staff must be given direct access to your files and cannot accept links that require access codes, passwords, or logins.
  5. All PDF sheets must be the same size.

Tips for Submitting Commercial Permit PDF Files:

  1. Include “BCO” and your project name in the subject line.
  2. Submit one PDF file containing Express Review Application.
  3. Submit one PDF file containing commercial drawings.
  4. Submit one PDF file or file folder with all other supporting documents (truss drawings, calculations, etc.).

All application forms and supporting documents listed above must be attached as PDFs. Please send a PDF of the entire application packet (with all documents) to ExpressCoordinator@raleighnc.gov.

Project Review and Permitting

BCO is considered an official review and comments will be captured, however no approvals or permits will be issued.  The review will be conducted over a 10-business day period; throughout this time the review team may reach out to design consultants for questions. During the review no changes will be allowed.

Plan review comments will be available upon completion of the review via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.


Upon submittal for formal permit review (post Site Permit Review) reference all other submittal requirements as outlined on our Commercial Permits: New Buildings, Additions, and Change of Use page, in addition to:

  1. A Plan Review Fee will be due prior to routing.
  2. Reference your BCO and Site Permit Review case numbers. Your BCO case number will remain the official main case number for your project moving forward. 
  3. All plan corrections shall be clouded.
  4. Provide a Response to Comments letter.

Paying Fees

An Express Review Fee deposit is due prior to routing, covering the initial hour of review. Any additional review time is due upon completion of the review and prior to any resubmittals.

The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.

  • It is recommended that fees be paid via the Permit Portal.
  • All major credit cards and eCheck payments are accepted.
  • If you have questions, please contact the Customer Service Center.


Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - Commercial