Building Safety Division
Contact Info

The purpose of the Building Safety Division is to administer the building codes and the nuisance codes within the County and enforce quality development improvements and property maintenance standards within the community.

The Building Safety Division provides consultation, permits, and inspections to builders, homeowners and business owners to ensure compliance with applicable building codes.

The Building Safety Division works in cooperation with County Fire, Police, Public Works, Planning and Public Utilities regarding the enforcement of the building and nuisance codes.

  • See also Permit Applications for permits in Los Alamos County not issued by the CDD Building Safety Division.

  • For all utility locates in Los Alamos County, dial 811 for New Mexico One Call or 1-800-321-ALERT(2537).

  • In accordance with the Los Alamos County Code, no building or structure regulated by this Code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has been obtained first from the CDD Building Safety Division. Most building permit applications will require a recent survey of the lot or site showing the location of all the utilities. All building permit plans must meet the 2015 International Building Code and the Incorporated County of Los Alamos Code.

    For more building permit information visit, call (505) 662-8120, or email

    Building Code Information

    All plans must conform to:

    • Building Design Loads (the criteria for Los Alamos County that are listed below)
      Ground Snow Load 30 pounds per square foot
      Wind Speed 90 miles per hour
      Seismic Design Category C  
      Subject to Damage From:
      1. Weathering - Moderate
      2. Frost Line Depth- 3' LA, 2' WR
        [36 inches in Los Alamos
         24 inches in White Rock]
      3. Termite - Slight to Moderate
      Winter Design Temp  10º F
      Ice Barrier Underlayment Required  Yes  
      Flood Hazards  September 1987  
      Air Freezing Index  650  
      Mean Annual Temp  48.5º F

    Until June 30, 2017, permit applications can be submitted under the 2009 New Mexico Building Codes.

    Commercial Building Information

    • All commercial building permit applications will require a recent survey of the site and also require a Site Plan Application (see Planning) before a building permit can be submitted. Planning can be reached by calling (505) 662-8120.The site plan must include the location of all the utilities. To obtain free utility locates, call New Mexico One Call at (800) 321-ALERT(2537).
    • The State of New Mexico's Construction Industries Division(CID) permits electrical and plumbing/mechanical work in Los Alamos County. Those permits need to be obtained separate from the application to the County. New Mexico CID can be reached by phone at (505) 476-4700.
    • A building permit is required for all new structures, additions, and any other footprint changes.Three (3) sets of all building plans, site plans, and other documentation must be submitted with the commercial building permit.
    • Upon submittal of the building permit, a plan review fee or 65% of the estimated building permit fee must be paid. The plan review fee is in addition to the building permit fee. Fees are calculated based on the valuation of the project.
    • When the plan review is complete, we will call you. Most commercial building permits take five (5) business days for Building Safety Division to review, other departments may take longer.
    • Please don't start construction before obtaining obtaining your permit card and post your permit so that is visible from the street or you will incur double fees and risk delays by removing some of your work for inspection purposes.
    • List of all required inspections is provided below.

    Residential Building Information

    • Two (2) sets of the building plans and the site plans must be provided for plan review.
    • You will be called when your permit is ready. Most residential permits take three (3) business days to process.
    • Please don't start construction before obtaining your permit or you will incur double fees and risk delays by having to remove some of your work for inspection purposes.
    • Effective immediately, To clarify section R314 of the New Mexico Residential Building Code, Wireless Smoke Alarms:

    Policy: Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where UL listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm. Only the main smoke alarm shall receive primary power from the building wiring. This will apply to additions and remodels in one and two family dwellings only. If wireless smoke alarms are used and there is attic access they can be used in place of interconnected hard wired. New home construction will have to be hardwired and interconnected.

    Applications for Building Permits

    Building Permit Applications Listed By Type Of Project

    Building Design Loads


    This section has information on climactic and geographic design criteria which designers should meet in designing a building in Los Alamos County. The Climate Zone for The Energy Conservation Code for Los Alamos County is 5B.

     Ground Snow Load   30 Lbs
     Wind Speed (mph)  90
     Seismic Design Category  C
     Subject to Damage From
    1. Weathering-Moderate
    2. Frost Line Depth- 3' LA, 2' WR
    3. Termite-Slight to Moderate
     Winter Design Temp  10
     Ice Barrier Underlayment Required   Yes
     Flood Hazards   September 1987
     Air Freezing Index  650 
     Mean Annual Temp  48.5

    Public Works Design and Construction Standards
    Revised September 2008

    This standard presents criteria for use in the design and construction of municipal Public Works Infrastructure in the County of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Material presented is intended for the use of qualified design professionals familiar with municipal infrastructure. The County has adopted NMDOT Design Standards and Serials for the constructions of roads and bridges.

    Criteria for building construction and design are provided in the Los Alamos County Code - Title 10. Criteria for fire protection and Life Safety are provided in the Los Alamos County Code - Title 22.

    Clarifications of this document shall be made by the County Engineer of Los Alamos County. Any subject/situation not addressed in this document or other County Standards shall be revised and approved by the County Engineer.

    Outdoor Lighting 16-276: All outdoor lighting fixtures shall be designed to comply with the performance standards relative to glare of the zoning district in which such area is located. The standards can also be found in the Los Alamos Municipal Code.

    Please consult the Public Works Design and Construction Standards for more information.


    Los Alamos County inspects construction on a regular basis. The inspector must have access to the work area for inspection. If the work area is in an occupied house, then the contractor/owner or their representative must be present. The building permit card must be displayed so that it is visible from the street and all permit paperwork that was issued with the permit must be on site and accessible by inspector to sign off, for all inspections.

    Depending on the type of project, you may need one or more of the following inspections from the County. You may also need additional inspections specific to the project.

    All work shall remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved. It shall be the duty of the permit holder or their agent to notify the Building Safety Division when work is ready for an inspection call (505) 662-8120. Work shall not be done beyond the point of required inspection until the work is approved in writing by the Building Safety Division.

     Permit Type  Inspection
     (*Building Official may require additional inspections)
     Residential/Commercial Curb Cuts
    1. Initial
    2. Final
     Residential/Commercial Grading & Excavation
    1. Final
     Residential Fireplace
    1. Framing (if applicable)
    2. Foundation (if applicable)
    3. Final
     Residential Carports
    1. Footing (if applicable)
    2. Foundation (if applicable)
    3. Framing (if applicable)
    4. Final
     Residential Interior Remodel
    1. Footing (if applicable)
    2. Underslab (if applicable)
    3. Framing (if applicable)
    4. Insulation
    5. Wallboard
    6. Final
     Residential/Commercial Fences over 6 feet in height and Walls over 36 inches in height
    1. Footing & Foundation
    2. Final
     Residential Large Accessory Structures over 120 sq. ft. and Residential Detached Garages
    1.  Footing & Foundation
    2. Framing
    3. Stucco/Siding
    4. Final
     Residential New Roof Structure
    1. Framing
    2. Attachment of new roof to house before decking is installed
    3. Insulation
    4. Ice Shield (if applicable)
    5. Final
     Residential/Commercial Re-roof
    1. Structural-Commercial Only (to be called for after old roof tear-off)
    2. Ice Shield (if applicable)
    3. Final
     Residential/Commercial Stucco/Siding/Eaves
    1. Air Barrier
    2. Lath/Flashing/Weep Screed
    3. Final
     Residential Uncovered Decks and Porches
    1. Footing
    2. Foundation
    3. Framing (if applicable)
    4. Final
     Residential Window Replacement
    1. Framing (applicable if changing opening size)
    2. Flashing/Final
     Full Building Permits  
    (*Building Official may require additional inspections)
     Residential New Dwelling Unit and Additions
    1. Footing
    2. Foundation
    3. Concrete Slab or Under-floor
    4. Rough Electrical (CID inspection)
    5. Rough Plumbing/Mechanical (CID inspection)
    6. Frame/Structural/Nailing(for SIPS)
    7. Sheathing
    8. Bond Beam
    9. Air Barrier 
    10. Firewalls
    11. Lath/Flashing/Stucco/Weep Screed
    12. Insulation
    13. Drywall/Wallboard 
    14. Initial Curb Cut (Engineering inspection)
    15. Final Curb Cut (Engineering inspection)
    16. Final Drainage (Engineering inspection)
    17. Final Electrical (CID inspection)
    18. Final Plumbing/Mechanical (CID inspection)
    19. Pre-Final Building Inspection (optional, at the request of the applicant)
    20. Final Building Inspection
     Commercial New Structures and Additions
    1. Footing
    2. Foundation
    3. Concrete Slab or Under-floor
    4. Rough Electrical (CID inspection)
    5. Rough Plumbing/Mechanical (CID inspection)
    6. Frame/Structural/Nailing(for SIPS)
    7. Sheathing
    8. Bond Beam
    9. Air Barrier
    10. Firewalls/Fire Resistant Penetrations
    11. Drop Ceilings/Seismic Tie Off
    12. Lath/Flashing/Stucco/Weep Screed
    13. Insulation
    14. Drywall/Wallboard
    15. Initial Curb Cut (Engineering inspection)
    16. Final Curb Cut (Engineering inspection)
    17. Final Drainage (Engineering inspection)
    18. Final Electrical (CID inspection)
    19. Final Plumbing/Mechanical (CID inspection)
    20. Pre-Final Inspection (optional, at the request of the applicant)
    21. Final Planning
    22. Final Fire
    23. Final Engineering
    24. Final Utilities
    25. Final Building Inspection

    The State of New Mexico Construction Industries Division (NM CID) completes all electrical and plumbing/mechanical inspections. A separate permit will be required. The contact telephone number is (505) 476-4700.

    For County of Los Alamos inspections, an inspection request must be called in by 5:00 p.m. to (505) 662-8120 the day before the planned inspection.

    Contractors may request a two-hour timeframe for a scheduled inspection via email to: before 8:00 am on the day of the scheduled inspection. Then, an inspector will contact you with the two-hour timeframe for that inspection which the Building Official has assigned. No two-hour timeframe requests may be made by telephone. 

    All construction must obtain final inspections for a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Occupancy. The final inspection should not be called in until the final State of New Mexico electrical and mechanical inspections have been completed. 

    Please allow a minimum of a week for all commercial final inspections.

    For more information call (505) 662-8120.

    Contact Info

    (505) 662-8120

    (505) 662-8363

    1000 Central Ave, Suite 150

    7:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Mon - Fri