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.

Winter Wrap-Up: 2018 Holiday Construction Moratoriums

Nov 6, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Many municipalities limit construction or street closures during November and December to promote full access to retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses by the public. Depending on the location and type of work, your construction team may need to be prepared for schedule changes as a result of limits on construction activity, building permit approvals, or street closures during the upcoming holiday season.

Below, we’ve collected information from our main offices on 2018’s upcoming holiday moratoriums so you and your team can best prepare for any schedule changes.


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.



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. 


Nationwide Experience Drives Solutions During Pep Boys Multi-Site Expansion

Nov 13, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Burnham Nationwide’s multi-site expansion division manages projects across the country, and the team has been involved in a large-scale rollout for Pep Boys automotive services and retailing since early 2017. After acquiring retail chain Just Brakes, Pep Boys stores began an expansion across the U.S. into new markets via remodels of former Just Brakes locations. 


Last Call for Construction: 2017 Holiday Construction Moratoriums

Nov 9, 2017 10:30:00 AM

A common practice across the country, holiday construction moratoriums limit construction activity, building permit issuances, or street closures during certain dates and times through November and December. Each municipality has its own dates, types of work prohibited, and exception policies. Below, we’ve collected information from our office locations with active construction moratoriums this winter so that your team can be prepared for any schedule changes.


How Will California’s New Affordable Housing Laws Impact Developers?

Oct 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

California’s Governor Brown signed into law a package of bills on September 29, 2017, intended to increase the development of affordable housing. The state is deep in the middle of an affordable housing crisis and has been searching for solutions. Some major California cities passed ordinances in recent years, such as San Francisco’s new density bonus programs, to stimulate affordable housing development. However, change is also needed at the state level, and the set of new California laws has important implications for residential housing developers.


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


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.


Evolving Colorado Construction Defect Laws: Latest Critical Changes

Jul 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Colorado’s problematic construction defect laws have recently seen some important developments. It has been difficult to strike a balance between protecting the rights of homeowners and the interests of developers and other construction professionals. Stakeholders have been working over the last several years to reform Colorado’s construction defect laws, blamed for reducing the building of much-needed housing in the state. A new statutory amendment and recent court decision may ease some of the pressure felt by the construction industry.


Los Angeles Construction Moratorium Ballot Initiative Defeated: Measure S

Mar 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM

On March 7, 2017, Los Angeles residents voted down a ballot initiative that included a two-year moratorium on much of the city’s new construction. The very controversial initiative, known as Measure S, was formally called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (Initiative). The Mayor of Los Angeles and a broad coalition of City of Los Angeles Council members, California State Assembly members, businesses, and organizations opposed the Initiative.


Navigating Public Way Use Permits in the City of Chicago

Nov 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The majority of construction projects in the City of Chicago require Public Way Use Permits because the Windy City has so much public property. Thankfully, Burnham has extensive experience in navigating the permit process for our clients, and we thought it would be helpful to explain how to obtain a Public Way Use Permit.


2016 Holiday Construction Moratoriums Across the Country

Nov 11, 2016 2:00:38 PM

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many businesses are working hard to wrap up projects before the end of the year. However, when it comes to construction work, many cities implement restrictions during the months of November and December. Although this is common practice across the country, different cities will have variations in how they execute these plans. Below we summarize these holiday restrictions for all the cities in which Burnham has an office.


Construction Sites and EPA’s Changing Small MS4 General Permit Rule

Oct 27, 2016 8:05:00 AM

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to release the final rule regulating small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). There is a concern these revised National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit II regulations may result in stricter requirements for construction sites. The development of the permit program for small MS4s has been a very lengthy process. We thought it would be helpful to explain the evolution of EPA’s small municipal separate storm sewer system general permit rule and its potential impact on construction sites.


Burnham Helps the Show Go On at Lincoln Center

Aug 3, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham is managing the process of issuing a Final Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (Lincoln Center), a 16.3-acre complex of buildings in Manhattan in New York City. A Certificate of Occupancy establishes the legal occupancy limits and allowable use of a building. All buildings require a CO and existing buildings are required to get a new or amended CO when construction will change their use, egress or type of occupancy. Additionally, no one may legally occupy a building until the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a CO or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO).


Streamlining New York City Building Permits: DOB Now

Jul 26, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The New York City Department of Building (DOB) is moving to a completely digital system for processing building permits and inspections. The new online portal, called DOB Now, will streamline DOB’s procedure for approving construction projects. DOB Now is currently being phased in and is an exciting development. We at Burnham are looking forward to using our own state-of-the-art electronic database to interface with DOB Now and believe it will expedite the entire approval process for New York City building permits.


How Burnham Supported Chicago’s Newest Riverfront Development: River Point

Jul 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham Nationwide facilitated the construction of River Point’s major contribution to the Chicago River revitalization. River Point, planned to open in early 2017, is a 52 story office space overlooking the confluence of the three branches of the Chicago River. Key features of this dramatic building are its newly created 1.5-acre public riverside plaza, the largest park along the riverfront, as well as an extension of the existing riverwalk. The plaza will be landscaped with gardens containing seating areas, native plants, and public art. The new riverside plaza and riverwalk are in keeping with City of Chicago plans calling for greater public access and greenspace along the Chicago River.


Chicago’s Next Skyscraper: Vista Tower

Jul 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM

We are delighted a recent Chicago Tribune article features the Vista Tower, a current Burnham project. The Vista Tower, comprised of three connected towers, will be Chicago’s third tallest building when completed. Located near the riverfront, the Vista will include a hotel, the Wanda Vista Hotel, and luxury residential skyscraper.


Burnham Expedites Construction of Los Angeles’ Newest Iconic Building: the Wilshire Grand Center

Jul 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham Nationwide is playing a key role in the construction of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Grand Center, soon to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The 1,100-foot skyscraper will be on the site of the original Wilshire Grand Hotel, a landmark of downtown Los Angeles since its opening in 1952. The owners of the Wilshire Grand, Korean Air, want to revive the hotel as an icon of Los Angeles and are developing a new complex to revitalize the downtown area. Demolition of the original 16-story hotel was completed in 2013 and construction on the new tower began in 2014.


How Modular Construction is Breaking New Ground

Mar 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

One of the hottest construction trends on our radar is  “modular construction.” You may be familiar with this trend already, or have seen some pieces of houses being transported on the highway, normally accompanied by a “large load” sign. But did you know that modular construction goes beyond just constructing homes? Entire skyscrapers are being build from these modular units, all around the world.


8 Construction Trends That Will Affect You in 2016

Dec 30, 2015 8:00:00 AM

As 2015 comes to a close, we’re looking ahead to construction trends that will affect the industry in 2016. While no one can predict the future, with the help of the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from PWC and Urban Land Institute we’ve put together a list of eight trends that we think will affect the construction industry next year.