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.

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: SelfCert@cityofchicago.org 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! 

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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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How to Pop-Up in Chicago

Apr 9, 2019 9:15:00 AM

From make-up companies like Glossier to rapper/fashion designer Kanye West, or local favorites; pop-up shops promote by posting teasers on social media platforms and fulfilling through unique experiences; leaving customers wanting more.

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We're Back: Administrative Hearings

Mar 26, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Let the experts that City employee’s know by name represent and resolve your violations.

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20 Years in the Making: City of Chicago Building Code Modernization

Mar 20, 2019 9:10:00 AM

Last week, the City of Chicago’s Department of Building introduced an ordinance to modernize the current construction code. What some may not know is that this modernization is over 20 years in the making.

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City of Chicago Building Code Change

Mar 14, 2019 7:00:00 AM

An ordinance has been introduced in the City of Chicago to adopt the Standardized International Building Code Terminology. This will be the first comprehensive change in the City of Chicago Code in almost 70 years. In 2017, Chicago took initiative by becoming one of the first major cities to align with the National Electrical Code. That code allowed for safety improvements, green initiatives and lowered costs on electrical bills.This monumental change will streamline a more efficient permit process, minimize language confusion between construction professionals, lower new construction costs and more.

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Why Chicago? 2018 BOMA/Chicago Economic Impact Series Explores City’s Appeal

Feb 15, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Previously, we covered the 2017 BOMA/Chicago Economic Trends Report that highlighted Chicago’s changing Central Business District (CBD) occupancy trends and tech growth, especially in rapidly-changing areas like the South and West Loop. Though the study found that the City of Chicago is home to a growing technology sector, Chicago’s economy remains highly diverse, and downtown office space occupancy rates continue to increase. 

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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.

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Who Needs a Chicago Business License?

Jan 31, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Large or small, if you're operating a business in Chicago, you'll most often need to acquire a City of Chicago business license. The City offers numerous resources for those applying for business licensing through their Small Business Center (SBC) in the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), where individuals may apply for new licenses, renew an existing license, or meet in-person with a Business Consultant during the application process. 

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City of Chicago Implements New Illinois Accessibility Code

Dec 4, 2018 9:30:00 AM

In October, the State of Illinois Capital Development Board accepted changes to the existing Illinois Accessibility Code (IAC), creating new state accessibility requirements.

The IAC is a set of regulations that implement the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act (EBA), the State of Illinois statute that pertains to accessibility for people with disabilities. Applicable entities in Illinois must comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Environmental Barriers Act, alongside any additional code requirements enforced locally, including those in the City of Chicago.

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Open House Chicago 2018: Photos from This Year's Sites

Oct 26, 2018 10:15:00 AM

On October 13th and 14th, the Chicago Architecture Center (formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation) hosted its eighth annual Open House Chicago and hundreds of notable buildings opened their doors to attendees. Part of network of worldwide events, Open House Chicago (OHC) continues to expands its offerings to include new buildings, businesses, sacred spaces, and more throughout the city of Chicago and near suburbs.

Burnham’s team members toured many of the buildings in this year’s event and we’d like to showcase some of the places we explored below, as well as some of the significant sites from Open House Chicago’s largest year yet. 

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Proposed Ordinance Would Relax Chicago’s High-Rise Signage Rules

Oct 11, 2018 10:45:00 AM

Wolf Point South, the third and final phase of Chicago’s riverfront mega-development designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is beginning its search for anchor tenants. Unlike the completed Wolf Point West and rising Wolf Point South, the south tower is the only mixed use building and is slated to include office space, hotel rooms, and residential units. The tower’s proposed height is 950 ft with 70 above-ground floors, though height and other design adjustments may be made before approval. The City of Chicago is seeking tenants for the final tower and is in talks with Salesforce over space in Wolf Point South - and as a result, has proposed a new ordinance modifying Chicago’s current high-rise signage rules.

On October 31st, 2018, the Chicago City Council passed the ordinance as substitute, with signage size governed by zoning district and height of sign from ground. The ordinance prohibits certain types of signs within the Chicago River Corridor Special Signage District, including banners, neon signs flashing signs, dynamic image display signs, roof signs, painted wall signs, off-premises signs, and projecting signs.

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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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Historic Preservation: 2018 “Chicago Seven” Features Jackson Park,Thompson Center

Oct 5, 2018 10:50:00 AM

Earlier this year, Preservation Chicago released their 2018 most endangered buildings list known as the “Chicago Seven.” Preservation Chicago, established in 2001, has worked to save buildings threatened with demolition at a grassroots level. The organization has successfully landmarked historically significant buildings and advocated for adaptive reuse. The majority of Preservation Chicago’s campaigns focus on this preservation method, which most often consists of repurposing structures from their original use. 

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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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Open House Chicago 2018 to Feature New Neighborhoods, Unique Spaces

Sep 27, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Now in its eighth year, Open House Chicago (OHC) 2018 will take place on October 13th and 14th and features numerous architecturally-significant buildings and behind the scenes looks at spaces rarely open to the public in almost 30 neighborhoods across the City of Chicago. The event, hosted yearly by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) - formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation - seeks to shed light on communities and architecture in neighborhoods often overlooked. 

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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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Studio Gang’s Vista Tower Continues to Rise on Chicago’s Lakefront

Aug 7, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Studio Gang’s Vista Tower (formerly Wanda Vista) surpassed a major construction milestone this summer. As of June, the supertall’s construction team completed the concrete slab for the 50th floor out of the tower’s planned 101 levels. When completed, Vista Tower will be Chicago’s third tallest building at 1,186 feet and follows Studio Gang's Aqua as the firm continues to make its mark on Chicago's skyline. 

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Cook County Hospital Redevelopment Promises New Life for Storied Building

Jul 17, 2018 10:45:00 AM

Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s $1 billion mixed-use redevelopment of the historic former Cook County Hospital building located on Chicago’s Near West Side is poised to create a host of changes for the 102-year-old Beaux Arts building. Prominent in Chicago history, the historic building was listed on four separate occasions on Landmark IllinoisMost Endangered Historic Places list after closing in 2002. 

image by Jeff Dahl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Esperanza Health’s New Brighton Park Location Unites Needed Services with New Design

Apr 24, 2018 10:30:00 AM

In September 2017, the Noble Network Mansueto High School opened its doors in the Southwest Side Chicago neighborhood of Brighton Park. The school is the area’s first Noble charter school and is the anchor for a new development adjacent to the campus that will house community non-profits as well as the Esperanza Health Center. Burnham is proud of have assisted with permitting for Mansueto High School, as well as be a part of the Esperanza Health project team.

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