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.

A Guide to Chicago's Parking Regulations

Jan 20, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Parking signs are scattered throughout Chicago, each one making city dwellers hesitate when determining where they should legally park their vehicle. The more congested the neighborhood, the more loading and standing zone signs appear. What differentiates a loading zone from a standing zone? As an applicant, which one works best for them? If needed, how does one apply for a zoning sign permit? Follow along as we review the process to obtaining a parking zone sign. 


ICYMI: Understanding the new Chicago MOPD Form

Jan 14, 2020 6:30:00 AM

On January 2, 2020, The City of Chicago - Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) released an updated form in line with the Chicago Accessibility Code which was effective as of December 1, 2019 and applicable to all permit submittals moving forward. Burnham is here to update you on the implemented changes to the form related to alteration projects. 


ADA turns 30: Celebrating the positive impact and its evolving role

Jan 7, 2020 6:30:00 AM

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becoming Federal Law. This groundbreaking legislation has impacted the lives of people with disabilities in the United States by working to prohibit discrimination in areas including employment, transportation, public accommodations and communications. The important national changes and standards are achieved and enforced through the federal government and left for interpretation by state and local government programs and services.


World's Largest Starbucks Opening with a Boost from Burnham

Nov 15, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Burnham Nationwide played a key role in the interior renovations of the four-story coffee shop and roastery. The world’s largest Starbucks will occupy the former Crate and Barrel, 43,000-square-foot space in the heart of the Chicago’s Mag-Mile.  Once opened, the new Starbucks Roastery and Store will offer tours, exclusive Chicago-inspired beverages, hard-to-find beans, on-site roasting and a full menu of pizza, salads and desserts. 


Holiday Round-Up: 2019 Construction Moratoriums

Nov 5, 2019 6:30:00 AM

Across the country, municipalities limit construction activity, building permit issuances, or street closures during certain dates and times through November and December. This is done to promote full access to retail stores, restaurants and other businesses by the public. Each municipality has its own dates, types of work prohibited, and exception policies.


Chicago Self Certification Classes Announced

Oct 21, 2019 11:15:50 AM

With the Modernized Chicago Building Code around the corner, there is plenty to forward to including Self-Certification Classes. 


Chicago: Self Certification Update -IDF/MDF/Server Rooms

Oct 16, 2019 4:03:47 PM

Per the City of Chicago Department of Buildings, Self Certification rules and regulations, any work involving a technology equipment room is not allowed to be self certified.


Burnham's Christopher Chwedyk Contributes to New AIA Guidelines for Healthier, Resilient Building Codes

Aug 6, 2019 10:20:38 AM

Before an individual can legally be called an architect, they must be licensed to practice the profession. Once they do, they may certify to their clients and community that the designs, drawings and specifications they produce will protect the health, safety, and welfare (HSW) of those who live and work in the built environment. Building officials using legislative regulation commonly referred to as building codes address routine safety issues architects follow to safeguard building occupants from hazards such as fire and collapse, while providing minimum standards for adequate ventilation and thermal comfort. This relationship between the architect, building codes and standards, enforcement, and building performance outcomes has not significantly changed in more than 100 years.


How the Modernized CBC Will Drive Your Projects

Jul 31, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The intent of the Modernization Chicago Building Code has always been to be as a hybrid-removing outdated provisions, interjecting International Building Code standards where relevant while still maintaining some of the current requirements that were deemed important for our City to maintain.


Dissecting the Modernized Chicago Building Code: Chapter 2

Jul 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Phase two of Modernizing the Chicago Building Code is in full force. We previously shared information on the new Chicago Administrative Provisions that was implemented on July 1st. The next step in the process includes publishing the new Chicago Building Code. The new CBC will publish in October 2019. It’s key to note that each Code will be published separately. Until the codes are published, we are referencing the ordinance that passed in April 2019. To follow along, you can download the ordinance here.


Dissecting the Modernized Chicago Building Code: Administrative Provision

Jul 1, 2019 9:58:21 AM

When the City of Chicago proposed to update their building code; the was goal to better align the construction requirements with up-to-date model codes and standards used in other major US jurisdictions, while maintaining long standing  local requirements that are adapted to unique Chicago conditions. This revision has taken 40 years to get to and another 20 years to finally be implemented. 


NYC: New DOB Procedure

Jun 14, 2019 7:30:00 AM

DOB NOW is the New York City's new Department of Building's self-service online tool, created to increase efficiency and expedite the permit process. 


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!