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.

A Guide to Chicago's Parking Regulations

Jan 20, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Parking signs are scattered throughout Chicago, each one making city dwellers hesitate when determining where they should legally park their vehicle. The more congested the neighborhood, the more loading and standing zone signs appear. What differentiates a loading zone from a standing zone? As an applicant, which one works best for them? If needed, how does one apply for a zoning sign permit? Follow along as we review the process to obtaining a parking zone sign. 


NYC: New DOB Procedure

Jun 14, 2019 7:30:00 AM

DOB NOW is the New York City's new Department of Building's self-service online tool, created to increase efficiency and expedite the permit process. 


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.


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.


Changes to Sidewalk Cafe Permits in the City of Chicago

Jan 15, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Sidewalk cafes are common fixtures on city streets throughout warmer months, and last year, the City of Chicago passed an amendment to the municipal code governing sidewalk cafe permits in the city. The amendment extends the expiration date of permits issued in 2018, allowing restaurants to operate a cafe year round, and also reduces fee amounts for limited business licenses in the city. 

These licenses grant restaurateurs the ability to expand seating temporarily into the sidewalk for a set amount of time, and require both City and aldermanic approvals before business may set up outdoor seating locations. 


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. 


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


Bridging the Gap Between Have and Need at Chicago’s “Giving Factory”

May 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) is a non-profit organization that provides children with essentials for school and play. By partnering with other charitable organizations and social service providers, C2C has served 942,000 children since its founding in Boston in 2002, and in 2016, C2C opened its first branch outside of the East Coast in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Burnham Nationwide provided permit expediting for C2C’s local “Giving Factory” headquarters and in this post, we would like to provide some insights into the permitting process for the space and - most importantly - introduce the charity’s great work.


Target Store Renovations Blend Construction with Changing Consumer Habits

Mar 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Target plans to remodel the majority of its locations in a large-scale rollout over the next two years, with over 600 locations scheduled for updating by 2019. These changes will focus on refreshing existing Target locations, making the stores more digital-shopping friendly by functioning as distribution centers, and expanding their fleet of “flexible-format” store locations.


Spotlight on Chicago’s New River Point

Dec 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

River Point, the 52-story office space soon to open along the Chicago River, was recently reviewed by Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic.The article highlights some important elements of this exciting addition to the Chicago skyline and riverfront. Burnham is proud to have assisted with all phases of River Point, including helping with the tower’s substructure, the riverside plaza overbuild and the tenant build-outs. We want to call attention to some important observations in Mr. Kamin’s review.


Burnham Supports Our Client’s Ability to Expand its Financial Services in New Communities

Oct 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham is using its multi-site expansion expertise to help a financial institution grow its operations. Our client has several hundred locations and is continuing to expand in different states. To open new offices, the client relies on Burnham’s knowledge of local jurisdictions’ permit requirements and ability to obtain the necessary permits throughout the country. Burnham’s work on behalf of our client has grown to include responsibility for securing and maintaining the permits and licenses necessary for the financial institution to operate at each location.


Understanding the Building Permit Process in Los Angeles

Aug 24, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A permit from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) is required for any private property construction, alteration or repair work on buildings within the City of Los Angeles. There are five different types of building permit processes in Los Angeles, Express Permit, Counter Plan Check, Expanded Counter Plan Check, Regular Plan Check, and Parallel Design Permitting Process. In this post, we’ll share information on each of the processes in Los Angeles and when to use them. 


Burnham Uses a Unique Approach to Expedite Permits for Fusion Academy

Aug 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Fusion Academy (Fusion), a learning center where one-to-one classrooms allow students to unlock their academic potential, opened its 9th location in San Francisco in 2011. Earlier this year, Fusion planned to move into a new location in Levi’s Plaza, which required an interior remodel to meet their needs. While Fusion provides similar services to a school, it differs in a variety of major ways. Burnham Nationwide developed a solution that helped change the classification of Fusion from educational to business, which helped expedite the necessary permits in just six weeks instead of three months.


Burnham Nationwide Helped Portillo’s Meet Critical Deadlines

Jun 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Portillo’s is a national restaurant chain which operates 41 locations across the country. Despite getting its start in the Chicagoland area in 1963, for many years, there was only one location in the city. The announcement of a second restaurant, in the South Loop, was big news for fans of the chain. The new location has two floors, rooftop and ground floor patios, and seats approximately 240 people.


Expediting Permits in Denver: WeWork Comes to the Mile High City

Jun 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM

WeWork, the international provider of shared office space, decided to open its first Denver locations in 2016. Obtaining the necessary building permits in Denver can be exceptionally challenging given the incredible demand for permits due to Denver’s recent building boom. Burnham’s Denver office assisted WeWork with navigating Denver Development Services requirements and expedited their Denver permits to keep WeWork’s office buildout on schedule.


What You Need to Know About Tent Permits in Chicago

May 18, 2016 3:38:52 PM

Community and entertainment events in the City of Chicago often use tents and other temporary structures to provide short-term shelter. Tents are allowed to be erected, but the City has a variety of restrictions and requirements for these types of structures. Depending on the size of the structure, this can include receiving a permit before erecting. Tent permits in Chicago are used for events as large as Lollapalooza or as small as a neighborhood church carnival.


Six Things to Know About Building Permits in San Francisco

Apr 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Our Burnham Nationwide office location in San Francisco is open to meet the needs of our West Coast clients that need permitting services in Northern California. The San Francisco area has seen a building boom over the last few years, as tech companies chose the city over Silicon Valley and prices for office and rental space skyrocket, and construction show little sign of slowing down. If you're building in San Francisco, what do you need to know to permit your project successfully?

Here are six things to consider when applying for building permits in San Francisco:


What You Need to Know About the Department of Buildings in New York City

Apr 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The new year brings some much needed contemporary changes at the Department of Buildings (DOB) in New York City. The DOB is in the midst of fundamental reform in an effort to increase transparency, enhance public safety, and improve customer service throughout the Big Apple. In this blog post, we highlight some of the most important changes to the New York City Department of Buildings in 2016.


What You Need to Know About Building Permits in Denver

Mar 23, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The City and County of Denver issued almost 68,000 building permits in 2015, and that building permit activity represented the most permits issued in the city since before the Great Recession, according to The Denver PostThe building permit process in Denver is always evolving, and like municipalities and cities throughout the country, it can be difficult to stay on top of the Denver building code. Here are four things you should know about the building permit process in Denver.


5 Things You Should Know About Hotel Building Permits in Chicago

Mar 9, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Hotel building permits differ from traditional building permits in a variety of ways. In order to meet construction goals and timeframes, it’s important to understand key differentiators of hotel building permits, including hotel licenses, hotel zoning areas and the hotel inspection process. In this post, we’ll share five things you should know about hotel building permits in Chicago.