Is it a must for the local authority to issue the cert. of occupancy before substantial completion?

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    Matthew Bowers (Edited )

    Not in all instances, such as when the contract only encompasses the shell and core of the building and is not intended to be occupied at the completion of the package.

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    The architect needs to be very careful.  The architect should not release the retainage unless the owner has the CoO in hand.  

    Renovation or upgrade projects or other projects obviously may not require a CoO, so the architect would have to use the criteria of "is the project able to be used for the intended purpose".  The architect would need to go to the job site and check first.

    Hope this helps & keep studying!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP,  Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

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    Mark Baker

    I would emphasize that the AIA G704 Certificate of Substantial Completion, is a contract document prepared by the Architect and submitted to the Owner and the Contractor.  It outlines the remaining items and timeframe for the building project to be considered "substantially complete." 

    The Certificate of occupancy is issued by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.  It is possible for this to be held up, not applied for, or not needed at all for the building project.  The Certificate of occupancy is not a contractual document between the Architect, Owner, or Contractor.  However, it is possible that it may be included as a condition for Substantial Completion.

    Mark, Archizam - ARE Practice Exams

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