Building Department

***** BUILDING DEPARTMENT NOTICE *****

Due to the local and statewide emergency, the Building Department is doing its best to maintain services. Department staff and inspectors continue to answer questions, review and issue permits and perform field inspections under a revised policy. The best way to communicate with staff and inspectors is via email and voicemail. All services are subject to change without notice due to the fluid and constantly changing nature of this situation. 

We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.

Please click here for the Department Directory.

5/18/2020
Notice to All Employees and Workers on Construction Projects and Sites

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State and Local emergencies, I am writing to provide updated information pertaining to ALL construction sites and projects permitted by the Town of Brookline.

The Governor has issued numerous emergency orders requiring all businesses and organizations to close their physical workplace and facilities to workers, customers and the public with the exception of Construction activities without limitation. Subsequently the Governor updated his emergency order narrowing the list of construction- related activities to include the construction of housing, as well as, construction of mixed-use projects that include housing and the construction of public schools, colleges, universities and other maintenance work/activities. All sites/projects that continued construction activities under the Governor’s emergency orders were required to submit a Health and Safety Plan (HASP) to be kept on site at all times and downloaded to the Accela project account.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center developed new Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board. These new standards will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1, and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees during the first phase of reopening, and are applicable to all sectors and industries.

On Monday May 18, 2020 the Governor issued an updated order, Phase 1 Opening of Businesses and Other Organizations. This updated order allows all construction sites and projects to resume without limitation and are part of the phase 1 opening plan. The order allows all businesses and other organizations included in phase 1 to operate from their physical workplaces and facilities provided they comply with all Workplace Safety Rules and Standards. These safety standards will be supplemented by sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices, which will provide further details and limited exceptions. See Sector Specific Workplace Standards for Construction below.

I am providing additional documents and links to the State website regarding Reopening Massachusetts, COVID-19 Updates and Information and Construction sites and projects for your use. ALL PROJECTS MUST SUBMITT AN UPDATED HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN (HASP) incorporating information contained in the following documents; Sector Specific Workplace Safety Standards for Construction Sites to Address COVID-19, Mass Safety Standards for Construction and Mass COVID-19 Checklist for Construction. All construction operations within the Town shall have their own safety plan on site and follow all the guidelines and procedures issued by the State. All sites shall have the required posters displayed and daily written reports prepared by the project COVID-19 Officer available on site for review. Please review all documents below, both State and Local, for your use, guidance and informational purposes.

Safety Standards and Checklist Construction

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-construction#checklist-

COVID-19 Updates and Information

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information

Reopening Massachusetts

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

The Building Department is fully operational during this State and Local Emergency. Department staff continues to review and issue permits as well as respond to complaints and conduct field inspections and under a modified policy. Staff has access to email and voice to follow up on any questions. If you need to get in touch with an inspector feel free to email or call. I would ask you to share this email with anyone in town that you know continues to work or has concerns pertaining to the continuation of construction. Inspectors are responding to complaints regarding COVID-19 compliance, especially the social distancing rule, we will take any and all action necessary to gain compliance.

Lastly, by working together and complying with the many guidelines issued we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and make construction sites safe.

Daniel F. Bennett
Building Commissioner
Town of Brookline
333 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 730-2100
dbennett@brooklinema.gov
www.brooklinema.gov


Documents Related to 5/18/2020 Notice

4/7/2020
Notice to All Employees and Workers on Construction Projects and Sites

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State and Local emergencies, I am writing to provide updated information pertaining to ALL construction sites and projects permitted by the Town of Brookline.

The Governor issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplace and facilities to workers, customers and the public on Monday March 23RD . At that time the Governor issued a list of designated businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforce related to COVID-19 that shall continue to operate, this included construction without limitation. On March 31st the Governor updated his emergency order narrowing the list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” for construction- related activities to include; workers such as plumbers, electricians, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, inspectors who provide services that are necessary to maintaining a residence or building, workers supporting the construction of housing, as well as, construction of mixed-use projects that include housing and the construction of public schools, colleges and universities. For a complete list of Essential Services (see documents below) or go to the following link on the State Website; https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services. Subsequently, the Governor issued further guidance through his legal office stating a municipality cannot pass any rule, regulation, ordinance or by-law that is inconsistent with any order issued by the Governor. In other words the Governor’s order supersedes any action taken by a municipality that is inconstant with his order. For those construction sites that are no longer considered “COVID-19 Essential Services” you must cease all construction activities and secure the site in a safe manner and notify your Building Inspector. All sites/projects that choose to continue to work as a “COVID-19 Essential Services” must submit a Health and Safety Plan (HASP) and be kept on site at all times. THE HASP MUST BE DOWNLOADED TO ACCELA AND EMAILED TO DISTRICT INSPECTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

As a result, I have adopted the (see documents below)“COVID-19 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES FOR ALL CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS” for all construction sites and projects permitted by the Town of Brookline. All construction operations within the Town shall have their own safety plan on site and follow all the guidelines and procedures outlined in the (see documents below) document. In addition I am attaching several other documents, both State and Local, for your use, guidance and informational purposes.

The voluntary request to limit construction activity is still in place. While major new construction projects did not voluntarily close down, many projects within occupied residential or commercial properties did. These were the ones the Town was most concerned about given the possible contamination of occupied residents and workers, especially construction within buildings of older residents or compromised people. I would like to remind Property Owners, Condominium Associations and Property Management Companies that you have the ability to restrict what type of work, if any, is performed on the premises you control during this public health emergency.

The Building Department is fully operational during this State and Local Emergency. Department staff continues to review and issue permits as well as respond to complaints and conduct field inspections and under a modified policy. Staff has access to email and voice to follow up on any questions. If you need to get in touch with an inspector feel free to email or call. I would ask you to share this email with anyone in town that you know continues to work or has concerns pertaining to the continuation of construction. Inspectors are responding to complaints regarding COVID-19 compliance, especially the social distancing rule, we will take any and all action necessary to gain compliance.

Lastly, by working together and complying with the many guidelines issued we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and make construction sites safe.

Daniel F. Bennett
Building Commissioner
Town of Brookline
333 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 730-2100
dbennett@brooklinema.gov
www.brooklinema.gov

Documents Related to 4/7/2020 Notice

NOTICE ON ELECTRICAL PERMIT APPLICATIONS

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1ST 2020

 ALL ELECTRICAL PERMIT APPLICATION MUST BE APPLIED FOR ONLINE


JANUARY 2, 2018 9TH EDITION OF THE MASS STATE BUILDING CODE IN FULL EFFECT

View the “2015 IRC Transition from the 2009 IRC”

View the “2015 IBC Transition from the 2009 IBC”

Attention homeowners - Roofing Safety Information (PDF)

Department Role & Services

Welcome to the Brookline Building Department. We are happy to provide information about our department’s role and our services. The Building Department is responsible for 2 major functions:

  • The Building Department oversees the construction, alteration, repair, and demolition of structures throughout town. We enforce bylaws and regulations related to zoning, historic preservation, building, plumbing, gas fitting, electrical, fire safety, and demolition. We are also responsible for the repair, maintenance and capital improvement program for town and school buildings.
  • The Public Buildings Division is responsible for all repairs, maintenance, rehabilitation, and general upkeep of all town and school buildings. Routine work orders, emergency calls, and small to medium projects are fulfilled by permanent staff. Large scale projects are often awarded to outside vendors.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Building Department to ensure the quality of life of those who live, work, and visit Brookline by promoting safety in the construction, use, and occupancy of buildings throughout town.

Relevant Boards/Committees