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.

EPA Proposed Rules:  Dust-Lead Hazard and Lead-Based Paint

Oct 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) published proposed changes to the dust-lead hazard standards for floors and window sills on July 2, 2018. After many years of delay and a court order, the Agency finally proposed stricter standards that apply to most housing and child-occupied facilities constructed before 1978. However, EPA decided not to propose a change to the definition of lead-based paint despite calls for an update in light of current scientific data. Once adopted, the standards must be followed by those working on pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities.

 

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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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Gender-Neutral Bathrooms in 2018

Jul 11, 2018 10:00:00 AM

In August 2016, we published a blog post highlighting a variety of municipal laws providing for gender-neutral bathrooms. We discussed gender-neutral bathroom requirements in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City. The post also noted that the ability of some municipalities to bring about changes is limited by state codes. We thought we would review developments regarding gender-neutral restrooms since our 2016 post.

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A Look at Ongoing ADA Title III Litigation: Kohl’s Department Stores

Jun 26, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Kohl’s has been embroiled in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) litigation over the accessibility of its department stores. These cases demonstrate that even though private parties cannot receive a financial award for ADA Title III claims, retailers are still at risk of costly and protracted private party ADA litigation seeking equitable relief. Additionally, the cases also illustrate that even if there is no specific ADA standard for a particular store element, the element could still fall under the ADA’s purview if it is found to be a barrier to accessibility and its removal is readily achievable.

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EPA Soon to Propose New Standards for Lead-Based Paint & Dust-Lead Hazards

Jun 5, 2018 10:00:00 AM

 The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) must update its definition of lead-based paint and standard for lead-contaminated dust hazards according to a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) decision filed at the end of 2017. EPA should promulgate proposed rules with updated standards by late June. These new requirements will have important implications for property owners; sellers, landlords, and real estate agents required to comply with the Lead-Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program; and those who work on most pre-1978 residences and child-occupied facilities. 

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Key Techniques to Simplify Multi-Site Expansions

May 24, 2018 5:20:00 PM

Multi-site expansions require thorough planning, precise scheduling, and intensive coordinating of many moving parts including initial research on processes for building permit filing and obtaining required licenses, filling for construction permitting in multiple municipalities, coordinating design and construction teams, and creating realistic timelines for all operations. Burnham Nationwide’s multi-site expansion division manages projects across the country and our team has years of experience with high volume, time-sensitive rollouts. 

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ADA: Understanding Accessible Means of Egress

May 18, 2018 11:13:53 AM

Accessible means of egress are a critical component of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 ADA Standards), the rules implementing the portion of the ADA (Title III) prohibiting places of public accommodation and commercial facilities from discriminating against people with disabilities. To meet the ADA’s requirements for accessible means of egress, it is necessary to also be aware of the applicable standards of the International Building Code (IBC), the International Code Council’s model code that is adopted by many jurisdictions.

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Amendments to Title III: Is the ADA Being Gutted?

Apr 3, 2018 10:00:00 AM

On February 14, 2018, the House of Representatives passed a bill amending some of the enforcement provisions of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA title prohibiting discrimination against those with disabilities by private entities providing public accommodations. The legislation, H.R. 620, ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (Amendments), has been the subject of alarming headlines such as, “The GOP Wants to Gut the Americans With Disabilities Act.” We thought we would take a closer look at the Amendments’ provisions and why they are raising so much concern.

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Updated: New Illinois Accessibility Code is In Effect

Feb 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM

The new Illinois Accessibility Code (IAC) was accepted at the October 16th, 2018 Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and as of October 23rd, 2018, the new IAC is now in effect. The CDB will be releasing a searchable, user-friendly version of the Code in the future, but the rules are available for review here at this time.

The Illinois Accessibility Code is a set of regulations that implement the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act, and applicable entities in Illinois must comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Environmental Barriers Act. Previously, we summarized the changes to the code during the draft process. Look for an update of this soon. The IAC now more closely resembles the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design but does have a number of different and more restrictive requirements.

Although the new edition can be used immediately, projects currently in progress where a specific contract for planning has already been awarded prior to the effective date of the new IAC are exempt from compliance if construction begins within 12 months. Plans must comply with the version of the Code applicable at time of contract which would be the 1997 edition.

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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, submittals 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.

Recently the program has undergone some 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. 

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Trump’s Deregulation Efforts: How’s it Going?

Oct 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

President Trump is finding that rolling back regulations is not so easy. Deregulation is a Trump administration priority, and the President’s first day in office his Chief of Staff notified agencies of a temporary freeze on all new regulations. This was followed by series of executive orders focused on cutting regulations, including the Executive Order, known as the Two-for-One Executive Order, requiring the repeal of at least two prior regulations and an incremental cost of zero for each newly adopted regulation. We have highlighted in several posts how Trump’s deregulation agenda may impact the building industry, and we thought we would review the status of this effort.

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Are You Complying with the ADA’s Handrail Requirements?

Sep 26, 2017 8:00:00 AM

It is critical to be aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III’s requirements for handrails when designing and building new or renovated places of public accommodation and commercial facilities. The ADA’s specific handrail requirements are found in the rules implementing the ADA, the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards), that incorporate the 2004 ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) developed by the United States Access Board. It is essential to strictly adhere to these handrail requirements to be in compliance with the ADA.

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Lead-Based Paint RRP in Public and Commercial Buildings: Where Does it Stand?

Sep 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) development of rules to address lead-based paint renovation, repair, and painting in public and commercial buildings has been a complex and contentious process. The Agency’s work on the rules has been significantly impacted by industry and public interest group litigation. Now, the Trump administration’s policies may also affect the regulation of lead paint renovation activities in non-residential buildings. The rules’ status has important implications for building owners and managers, contractors, developers, and anyone else involved in building maintenance and renovation.


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Building Façades: New San Francisco Requirements

Aug 17, 2017 8:00:00 AM

San Francisco has been updating its standards for building façade inspections and maintenance. In 2016, the City adopted an ordinance amending the San Francisco Existing Building Code (Ordinance) in June of 2017. The Department of Building Inspections (DBI) recently released an administrative bulletin implementing the legislation, the final phase of the new building façade inspection and maintenance requirements.

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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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ADA Parking Space Requirements: What is Wrong with This Picture?

Jul 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has a variety of requirements that apply to parking spaces. We come across parking lots that do not fully meet the ADA’s standards when we do ADA compliance reviews. Businesses and other privately owned entities that operate as places of public accommodation or commercial facilities must have accessible parking lots and structures. Even existing parking facilities have an obligation to remove barriers to access that are readily achievable. Low-cost upgrades, such as parking lot restriping to create accessible parking spaces and access aisles, are usually viewed as readily achievable.

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Avoiding Costly Delays with a Multi-Unit Residential Building Code Analysis

May 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Burnham recently completed a code review of preliminary drawings for a new multi-unit residential building in California. Our code consultants prefer to be involved at this early stage of the construction design process. An initial assessment allows us to suggest modifications and solutions to avoid building department requests for corrections that can result in project delays. The review helped the design team amend their plans, a four-story building with multiple roof decks and a large parking garage, to meet code requirements.


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