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.

ReUrbanism and Hidden Benefits of Old Buildings

Aug 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (National Trust) provides historic designations and advocates for the preservation of historic buildings throughout the country. The organization assists with funding efforts to save threatened structures and proposes ways to preserve buildings as part of sustainable development. The organization advocates for Adaptive Reuse, a preservation strategy that develops existing buildings for new uses without demolition or severe loss of historic character.

One of these efforts involved the thorough study of the role of older buildings in modern cities by the Preservation Green Lab, leading to the development of the ReUrbanism Initiative and the “Atlas of ReUrbanism”, an outline of the benefits of mixed-aged cities that we’ll explore in this post.

image credit: Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

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Endangered Buildings: Preservation Advocacy Across US Cities

Jun 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Organizations across the country are calling attention to endangered historic buildings in need of preservation. Fortunately, with the rise of adaptive reuse and other inventive repurposing of older sites, cities have begun listening - using existing and historic buildings and infrastructure to accommodate demands for increased walkability, more green space, and additional transportation alternatives. However, landmark and preservation organizations play a critical education and advocacy role in preventing the destruction of important historic buildings.

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Improving Health and Well-Being: the Well Building Standard

Jun 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

There is an increasing focus in recent years on the impact of buildings on health and well-being. Several important new studies have shown the significance of designing and constructing healthier buildings. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that green buildings can be good for health in addition to improving sustainability. Building standards have also emerged, such as the Well Building Standard and Fitwel, that specifically address the well-being of a building’s occupants.

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Exploring 2017’s Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois

May 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Recently, Landmarks Illinois released their 2017 list of Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Compiled yearly since 1995, the list highlights buildings, structures, and monuments that are, according to the non-profit organization, threatened due to “deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, or inappropriate development.”

This year’s list includes three Chicago structures and four statewide designations, as well as buildings scattered throughout central and southern Illinois. We’ll take a closer look at these threatened structures as well as Burnham’s contributions to preservation efforts within the City of Chicago.  

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High to Low: Adaptive Reuse in Pursuit of Urban Parkland

May 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Cities have long been exploring avenues to provide their residents with urban parkland and accessible green areas. These public spaces are most often at a premium and require designs unique to the metropolitan landscape - rooftop gardens, urban farms, and conservatories are all common features. 

Recently, a growing number of cities have been utilizing existing infrastructure to create linear parks through adaptive reuse projects. These parks are innovatively designed to repurpose industrial elements and provide pedestrian-friendly areas in dense neighborhoods. In this post, we’ll explore examples of these types of projects and examine the ways that adaptive reuse and linear parks will continue to influence the creation of urban public spaces.

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