The Final Review

Burnham’s Blog

The Final Review shares the knowledge of Burnham’s experts in building permit expediting and code compliance. Learn about different jurisdictional building permit requirements, and stay up-to-date on the Americans with Disabilities Act and local accessibility standards. Follow the latest in sustainability, including building energy codes and sustainability design developments.

Illinois Legislatures Paving the Future

Jun 10, 2019 8:30:00 AM

June has just begun and Illinois State Legislature is staying productive. Last weekend, Lawmakers wrapped up and approved a variety of bills which included a new infrastructure budget, a Chicago casino, a marijuana bill and more.


Building Safety Month Week Five: Innovations in Building Safety

May 28, 2019 9:10:00 AM

The last week of Building Safety month the ICC highlights the science and technological forces that lead to innovative ways to improve building safety.


Chicago: Good-bye Aldermanic Prerogative

May 23, 2019 9:45:25 AM

Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has had a productive first week in office following her inauguration ceremony on May 20, by signing off on her first executive order which plans to eliminate Aldermanic Privilege, or Aldermanic Prerogative. Mayor Lightfoot set the tone after taking the oath of office and proclaiming “I campaigned on change. You voted for change. And I plan to deliver change to our government.”


Building Safety Month Week Four: Partners in Building Safety

May 20, 2019 9:01:00 AM

This week the ICC highlights the importance of building safety by exploring Building Codes.


What’s Wrong with This Picture? ADA Chapter 6 - Plumbing Series

May 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has very specific requirements to make restrooms accessible. A variety of factors must be incorporated into the design and construction of toilet rooms so that they are compliant with the ADA. During our accessibility compliance reviews and site inspections, we see some common violations of these standards.


Building Safety Month Week Three: Clean Water for All

May 13, 2019 10:15:00 AM

This week our focus is on securing clean water for all communities.


Building Safety Month Week Two: Training & Education

May 7, 2019 9:15:00 AM

This week we focus on training and safety development as it’s key to creating and maintaining a successfully built environment.


Chicago Self Cert Updates

May 3, 2019 12:03:55 PM

We wanted to keep the self cert architects updated on a couple items of interest.

1. Self-Certification Training Classes will be held the week of December 2nd. Click here for the enrollment application.

2. Self-Certification projects that require Dept. of Buildings pre-approval should be emailed to: in lieu of the previous method of contacting Hal Hutchinson for this approval.

Please let us know if you need any assistance with the application or navigating any of the changes at the Dept. of Buildings. Burnham is here to help! 


Building Safety: Preparing for Disasters

May 2, 2019 9:15:00 AM

This week for Building Safety Month, we will focus on informing communities how to prepare for natural disasters.


Building Safety Month 2019

May 1, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Who Needs Building Codes?


How to Navigate San Francisco's Historic Resource Assessment (HRA)

Apr 29, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The City of San Francisco is filled with beautiful, historic architecture and they conserve the buildings by categorizing them. In theory, this is a great resolution to organize and preserve buildings, but in reality it causes confusion and gray areas. In January 2019, the City of San Francisco presented the Historic Resource Assessment Program (HRA), a pilot program to provide some clarity for building owners.


Chicago Building Code Modernization; What's Next?

Apr 19, 2019 9:05:00 AM

Phase 2 of the Chicago Building Code (CBC) was approved on April 10, 2019 and the question on everyone’s mind is - what’s next?


Burnham Nationwide Helps Bring More Lou's Deep Dish to the City

Apr 15, 2019 3:45:00 PM

Lou Malnati’s is a Chicagoland staple with 53 locations in the area and come Fall 2019 we’ll see one more located on the north side of the Wrigley Building Complex. The new location will seat 240 people in the dining area and smaller private dining room, with additional space designated  for catering, pick-up and delivery orders.


How to Pop-Up in Chicago

Apr 9, 2019 9:15:00 AM

From make-up companies like Glossier to rapper/fashion designer Kanye West, or local favorites; pop-up shops promote by posting teasers on social media platforms and fulfilling through unique experiences; leaving customers wanting more.


We're Back: Administrative Hearings

Mar 26, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Let the experts that City employee’s know by name represent and resolve your violations.


20 Years in the Making: City of Chicago Building Code Modernization

Mar 20, 2019 9:10:00 AM

Last week, the City of Chicago’s Department of Building introduced an ordinance to modernize the current construction code. What some may not know is that this modernization is over 20 years in the making.


City of Chicago Building Code Change

Mar 14, 2019 7:00:00 AM

An ordinance has been introduced in the City of Chicago to adopt the Standardized International Building Code Terminology. This will be the first comprehensive change in the City of Chicago Code in almost 70 years. In 2017, Chicago took initiative by becoming one of the first major cities to align with the National Electrical Code. That code allowed for safety improvements, green initiatives and lowered costs on electrical bills.This monumental change will streamline a more efficient permit process, minimize language confusion between construction professionals, lower new construction costs and more.


Why Chicago? 2018 BOMA/Chicago Economic Impact Series Explores City’s Appeal

Feb 15, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Previously, we covered the 2017 BOMA/Chicago Economic Trends Report that highlighted Chicago’s changing Central Business District (CBD) occupancy trends and tech growth, especially in rapidly-changing areas like the South and West Loop. Though the study found that the City of Chicago is home to a growing technology sector, Chicago’s economy remains highly diverse, and downtown office space occupancy rates continue to increase. 


ADA Exit Door Signage: What's Wrong with this Picture?

Feb 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Cushing and Burnham Nationwide Partner to Answer Your ADA Signage Questions

For 90 years, Cushing has been a Chicago printer with an international reach, first opening as a blueprint shop in 1929. In the decades following, the business grew to include film conversion, on-site printing (the first manned center in Chicago), color services, CAD plotting, and now a full suite of printing services.

Cushing retains its close ties to the architecture and construction community in the present day by offering wall graphics, construction fence wraps, and building signage. In recent years, they have added wayfinding and directional signage to their offerings.

Burnham’s Code Team often consults on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant signage, including exit and wayfaring signage, and we frequently see violations during our code compliance reviews. We’re excited to partner with Cushing, to address some of the most common signage mistakes in this post as well as in upcoming presentations and collaborations.

In the coming weeks, we’ll delve into frequently asked questions customers and prospects ask of both our companies. Additional blog topics will include egress communications and informational versus directional signage.


Lincoln Yards Project First to Utilize North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework

Feb 12, 2019 8:00:00 AM

The Chicago Plan Commission approved the North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan and Design Guidelines (the Framework) in May 2017. The plan will radically transform the large industrial area along the Chicago River between Kinzie Street and Fullerton Avenue, creating opportunities for investment and redevelopment. If fully realized, Chicago’s North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan could dramatically impact the City’s economy in addition to reshaping Chicago’s built environment in industrial areas throughout the city.

In December 2018, the City of Chicago released updates to the North Branch Framework Plan, including plans for the Cortland and Chicago River Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area (the Project Area) on the city's Near North Side. The proposed district encompasses the "Lincoln Yards" planned development, the first to utilize the Framework.