New furnace? Water Hearer? AC Unit? Most equipment installations require permits.
Brewery Tanks, built in refrigeration & cooking equipment all require permits. The staff will need to see the specifications for the equipment, assure that the equipment is rated for earthquakes, and make sure the flooring under the equipment provides proper support. New equipment can also trigger new fire prevention systems.
You should make sure you get all the permits you need before you start your project. Some projects may trigger fees are upgrades that will cost money.