The Final Review

Chris Downes

As the Operations Manager, I am directly responsible for leading our code and project management divisions. I focus on all aspects of the Chicago Division from project start-up to delivery. I am client centric and results-oriented. Also, I am adept at developing a comprehensive plan to achieve client project goals and effectively execute this plan for complete project success.
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Posts by Chris Downes

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.


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! 


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.


The Changing Landscape of Chicago’s Fulton Market District

Apr 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Moving away from its history as Chicago’s center for food processors and distributors, Chicago's Fulton Market District has become a magnet for large companies looking to relocate to spacious offices in the loft buildings found in the West Loop.

Through Burnham Nationwide’s involvement with the approvals process for new construction projects throughout the City of Chicago and through our services provided for tenant build-outs within the district, we have become familiar with the changing nature of this historically industrial area.


5 Things You Should Know About Hotel Building Permits in Chicago

Mar 9, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Hotel building permits differ from traditional building permits in a variety of ways. In order to meet construction goals and timeframes, it’s important to understand key differentiators of hotel building permits, including hotel licenses, hotel zoning areas and the hotel inspection process. In this post, we’ll share five things you should know about hotel building permits in Chicago.


Chicago Permit Processes and 2018 Program Updates

Jul 16, 2015 11:30:00 AM

The City of Chicago’s Department of Buildings (DOB) utilizes the Chicago Building Code for all permitting. The City offers multiple plan review tracks: Easy Permit Process, Standard Plan Review, and the Developer Services Program to manage projects of different scopes and review requirements. Direct Developer Services - a subset of Developer Services - is also available for major redevelopments.  Additionally, Chicago has a Green Permit Program, and the DOB continues to accept projects into the Self-Certification Permit Program (the Program).