Comprehensive Building Code Update Approved in Chicago

Chicago's new building code is hailed as a major achievement for the city, labor unions, and the construction and development industries in the city.

April 12, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


The Chicago City Council adopted a new building code this week, reports Steven Vance. "The comprehensive update allows for more flexible building systems and utilizes the evolved model codes that the rest of the country is designing to."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented on the city's new building code after it won approval, touting the new code's potential to save time and money.

"Twice, Emanuel said that this big news wouldn't be significant outside Council Chambers, but we disagree," writes Vance. "This tremendous effort, led by Commissioner Judy Frydland and Deputy Commissioner Grant Ullrich, is a groundbreaking development in the field of architecture and real estate that will support Chicago to better compete on the international stage."

"The new code will be optional starting December 1, 2019, and phased in through July 2020 – currently the plan is to start enforcing it August 1, 2020, but is subject to change."

Ben Winck provided additional coverage of the new building code before the approval. "The new code paves the way for use of cost-efficient construction materials and technologies, according to a press release. The combination of a more efficient permitting process with new flexibility in construction materials will lower building costs for 'single-family homes, affordable housing units, two- and three-flat buildings' and other projects."

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