The Final Review

Christopher E. Chwedyk, CSI, AIA

I am a licensed architect and have over 39 years of experiences in the architectural field. I specialize in the technical requirements of building design and the practical application of building codes. I have done numerous code compliance plan reviews for the City of Chicago and other municipalities. Also, I teach courses on building codes and construction drawings in and around Chicago.
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Posts by Christopher E. Chwedyk, CSI, AIA

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.

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Building Safety Month 2019

May 1, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Who Needs Building Codes?

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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?

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2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code Preview: Residential Buildings

Oct 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM

This is the last post in our three-part series on the upcoming adoption of the 2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code (Illinois Energy Code) based on the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). In two prior posts, we discussed the history of the Illinois Energy Code, some of the differences between the current version of the IECC and the 2018 edition, and the changes to the IECC’s commercial building provisions. This post details some of the revisions to the IECC’s residential building provisions that are likely to impact the Illinois Energy Code.

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2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code Preview: Commercial Buildings

Oct 2, 2018 9:01:00 AM

In a previous post, we discussed the upcoming adoption of the 2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code (Illinois Energy Code) based on the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). We documented the history of the Illinois Energy Code and some of the differences between the current version of the IECC and the 2018 edition. This post discusses some of the specific changes to the IECC’s commercial building provisions that are likely to impact the Illinois Energy Code.

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Looking Ahead to the 2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code

Sep 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Illinois is in the process adopting the 2018 Illinois Energy Conservation Code (Illinois Energy Code). As required by state law, Illinois must adopt amendments to the Illinois Energy Code based on the latest version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), a model code that is updated on a three-year cycle. The new version of the Illinois Energy Code will be based on the 2018 IECC. Over three posts, we will preview some of the changes we are likely to see in the 2018 Illinois Energy Code.

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Chicago Department of Buildings: New Structural Peer Review Program Rules

Feb 12, 2018 10:30:00 AM

In December 2017, the City of Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) adopted new Structural Peer Review Program rules (Rules) that became effective January 1, 2018. The voluntary program to expedite the building permit process has existed in Chicago for over a decade. It is very important to be aware of the Rules which contain new requirements.

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What to Know About the Self-Certification Program in Chicago

Dec 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The City of Chicago Self-Certification Permit Program is designed to streamline the building permit process for qualified residential and commercial projects. By opting in to the program, permit applications will not require Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) plan review, as the Architect of Record certifies that stamped plans are compliant with Chicago’s building code.

The program has undergone recent changes, including a new Debt Check process required by the Chicago Department of Finance as of July 2017. We’d like to provide an overview of these changes as well as reminders of some key components of the program for professionals looking to expedite their plan review process.

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Chicago Energy Benchmarking: New Disclosure Requirements

Oct 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The Chicago City Council passed amendments (Amendments) to Chicago’s energy benchmarking requirements, the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance of the City of Chicago (Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance) on November 21, 2017.These changes were introduced in Chicago City Council on October 11, 2017. The Amendments add a new rating system, disclosure requirements, and water use reporting to the ordinance that was originally passed in September 2013 and applies to commercial, municipal, and residential buildings that are 50,000 square feet or more.

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Re-examining Residential High-Rise Sprinklers: Where Does Chicago Stand?

Aug 10, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Recent residential high-rise fires are calling attention to sprinkler and other fire safety code requirements in the United States. While the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London has received a great deal of press, the July Honolulu residential high-rise fire that killed three people is more representative of conditions in many American cities.The 36-floor Marco Polo was built in 1971, predating Honolulu’s 1975 law requiring sprinkler systems. An automatic sprinkler system would have expedited fire extinguishment and prevented the deaths.

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New Chicago Rules Regarding Building Permit Privilege Suspension

Apr 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

On March 29, 2017, the City of Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) published new rules regarding the suspension of building permit application privileges and licenses, registrations, and certifications (Rules) by the department. These Rules implement Ordinance 02016-8628, amendments (Amendments) to the Chicago Municipal Code (Code) designed to increase the Building Commissioner’s (Commissioner) ability to suspend building permit privileges and licenses, registrations, and certifications of those who don’t follow the Codes’ requirements. The new Rules became effective on April 8, 2017.

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Update on Progressive California Energy Benchmarking Law

Feb 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Energy benchmarking is being adopted by a growing number of cities. Now, California will have the first statewide energy benchmarking program for both commercial and multi-family residential buildings. The legislation mandating the California program, California Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802), was passed in 2015. The California Energy Commission (Commission) is currently developing the rules that will implement California’s energy benchmarking program.

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The 2018 International Energy Conservation Code: A Rollback of Energy Efficiency Gains?

Sep 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The next edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the 2018 version, is currently under development. The draft updates have sparked controversy because some of the new provisions appear to reverse the energy efficiency requirements of earlier IECC editions. Many stakeholders believe each new version of the IECC should improve upon the energy efficiency standards of the prior editions. Net-zero buildings may be attained by 2050 if a 5% energy efficiency gain is achieved when the IECC is updated every three years. Given there are still opportunities to shape the 2018 IECC, different stakeholders are mobilizing to eliminate the proposed energy efficiency rollbacks.

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Draft Amendments to the Illinois Accessibility Code

Aug 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) has just released their draft amendments to the Illinois Accessibility Code, the regulations that contain Illinois’ design and construction standards for accessibility. The amendments to the Illinois Accessibility Code are primarily intended to align the regulations with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, the current federal rules implementing the accessibility provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, The CDB is providing an opportunity to comment on the changes prior to their being presented as a proposed rule as required by the formal rulemaking process. The CDB’s deadline for submitting comments on the Illinois Accessibility Code amendments is August 17, 2016.

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The Proposed Illinois Criminal Building Management Offense

May 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM

As of 2017, House Bill 6036 remains re-referred to Rules Committee and there has been no further action.

A controversial bill was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly in February of this year, House Bill 6036 (HB 6036). The bill amends the Illinois Criminal Code by adding a new offense of criminal building management which would be a Class 4 felony. We at Burnham are taking a closer look at this proposed legislation, its background, and the concerns it has raised.

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Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Update

Apr 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Chicago’s energy benchmarking requirements, the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance of the City of Chicago (Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance), have been in place since 2013. The city’s municipal, commercial, and residential buildings that are 50,000 square feet or more must comply with the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. The deadlines for first time compliance with the ordinance were staggered based on building type and size. This year introduces the final phase, and all buildings covered by the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance will need to file reports by June 1, 2016.

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5 Ways to Overcome Building Code Violations

Dec 2, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Even if you’ve been in the construction business for years, building codes are constantly in flux. Being hit with building code violations doesn’t mean the end of the world for your project, but it does mean that it will take more time, work and effort to get your new building or remodeling project back on track. Building code varies based on local zoning laws and permit processes, so it can be difficult to keep up with everything you need to know to make sure your project runs smoothly. 

At Burnham, our team of code compliance experts has helped thousands of companies come back from building code violations by ensuring compliance with building code, zoning laws and other local requirements. Here are five ways you can overcome building code violations.

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Cook County Adopts New Codes; What About Chicago?

Dec 1, 2014 1:55:00 AM

 

As of January 2015 Chicago will be the only community left in the metropolitan area, as well as the only major US city, that does not use a current model building code for fire and life safety.

On November 19, 2014 the Cook County Board of Commissioners officially approved the ordinance that will update their building codes for unincorporated areas by adopting the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) for one and two-family dwellings, the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) for multiple dwellings and commercial, and the 2012 International Mechanical Code (IMC). The new Cook County Electrical Code is a combination of three electrical codes: the 1997 Cook County Building and Environmental Ordinance (which was taken from the 1970 Chicago Electrical Code), the current Chicago Electrical Code (from 1999), and the 2011 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). All should be available on the Municode.com website soon and will be made effective on January 5, 2015. The 2014 Illinois Plumbing Code and the 2012 (Illinois) International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have and will continue to govern work in the County.

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Commissioning Confusion and the New Illinois Energy Conservation Code

Apr 4, 2013 3:50:00 AM

By far, the most often asked question I have received since the beginning of 2013 has been about the requirements for commissioning in the new Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial and Residential Buildings which became effective on 1/01/13. Although much free training has been done for the design professional community over the past year by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), very little on the subject of commissioning is covered during these day-long programs. Interestingly, the DCEO website does contain a Frequently Asked Questions page with the opinions of the Illinois Energy Office (advisory only), but in the category of Building Commissioning it only indicates “Coming Soon”. However, that is only part of the problem.

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Energy Code Alert

Dec 28, 2012 5:20:00 AM

by Christopher Chwedyk AIA, NCARB, CSI, ICC, BOMA

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