Mechanical Unit & Geothermal Systems

(Heat pump, spa, air conditioning unit, solar energy, geothermal)

Generally speaking, if your project affects the exterior of the property, it is subject to the Site Planning and Architectural Integration Program (SPAIP) by-law and must be approved by City Council. However, restoration work on the original architectural components and identical replacement work are excluded. Article 3.1.3 of SPAIP By-law 1305.

Process of an application subject to the SPAIP by-law

Required documents for review:

  • A letter describing the scope of the proposed work;
  • A letter from the building owner authorizing the permit application, if the request is made by a third party;
  • A letter from the association of co-owners authorizing the proposed modification;
  • A copy of a recent certificate of location, showing the current conditions of the property, showing the relative location of the mechanical unit(s) to the property lines;
  • Scaled and dimensioned drawings of the visual screen, where appropriate;
  • An official cost estimate, excluding taxes, provided by a general contractor.

The additional documents listed below are required, according to the type of interventions planned:

Mechanical unit

  • Illustrated specifications of mechanical units, including dimensions and source noise level in decibels (dB);
  • The description of the spring rail antivibration suspension system if the heating or cooling units are installed on the roof of a semi-detached or attached building;
  • A start sheet in case of a generator;
  • The maximum floor area of the residence to establish the volume limit.

Solar energy

  • A plan showing the installation of the photovoltaic panels;
  • A data sheet of the photovoltaic panels or of the wind turbine including an image and dimensions.


  • A plan of the foreseen drilling, indicating the location of the drilling equipment;
  • A data sheet of the photovoltaic panels or of the wind turbine including an image and dimensions;
  • A site management document including the phasing and schedule of work, the method of retention of sludge, the occupation of public roads and municipal property.

This list is a summary. Please note that additional documents or information may be required in order to provide a better understanding of the project and contribute to the request process.

Once you have gathered all the information you can open your file at the Urban Planning Counter in City Hall or open an online application.

  • *The fee for the document analysis is 55$; the cost of the permit is separate.
  • The cost of the permit is calculated from the cost of work.
  • All files must be analyzed by the Urban Planning Department before they are referred to the Planning Advisory Committee and City Council.
  • The applicant will receive a follow-up via email.

Even if the permit has been authorized, it is not automatically issued. The permit must be paid for and certain documents must be submitted.

Information you need to bring:

  • A detailed construction cost, excluding taxes as provided by the general contractor or a project manager (tariffs By-law).
  • All other documentation requested that needs to be deposited prior to the issuance of a permit (ex. RBQ form, a site management document, asbestos report, sidewalk deposit, …).