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.

Open House Chicago: Behind the Scenes of Iconic and Unusual Buildings

Oct 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) hosted their 7th annual Open House Chicago (OHC) this past weekend. The largest event of its type in North America, this year’s festival had over 200 sites across Chicago and the near suburbs during two days of open-to-the-public tours, talks, and more. Burnham Nationwide's Chicago team explored some of the new neighborhoods and places featured this year and in addition to sharing our visits, we'd like to highlight some of the most interesting spaces from the event.


River Edge Ideas Lab: Growing Chicago’s Second Waterfront

Oct 12, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Chicago’s “second coast” boasts a new riverwalk downtown and plans for major redevelopment of the industrial corridor along the Chicago River’s North Branch. The City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), in a collaboration with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Chicago Architecture Biennial, explores the river’s potential by inviting nine world-class architecture firms along the South Branch.image credit: Steven Wang


The Three Different Types of Chicago Plan Reviews

Sep 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The City of Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) offers multiple plan review tracks for residential, commercial, structural, and major development projects within the City of Chicago. Each review process is designed to expedite construction projects of various scopes and complexities and provide design and construction teams with the most efficient service per project type.

As of 2017, the City currently offers three different plan review tracks - the Easy Permit Process, Standard Plan Review, and the Developer Services Program. Direct Developer Services, a track designed for complex projects or major developments, was introduced last year.

image credit: Fineas Anton


Behind the Scenes of the Willis Tower’s $500 Million Renovation

Aug 31, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Chicago's Willis Tower redevelopment project is well underway, and the icon of Chicago architecture formerly known as the Sears Tower will see its first major upgrades since 1985. We previously covered the plans for the historic building and the start of work on the superstructure this year, but with permitting complete for demolition and the lower level retail phase of the project, we’d like to provide a behind the scenes look at the permit process so far for Chicago’s most famous skyscraper.image credit: Jack Young via Unsplash 


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.