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 Energy Benchmarking: New Disclosure Requirements

Oct 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Mayor Emanuel recently proposed amendments (Amendments) to Chicago’s energy benchmarking requirements, the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance of the City of Chicago (Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance). These draft changes were introduced in Chicago City Council on October 11, 2017. The Chicago City Council’s Committee on Zoning, Landmark, & Building Standards approved the amendments on November 14, 2017, for full City Council review. The Amendments would add a new rating system, disclosure requirements, and water use reporting to the ordinance that was originally passed in September 2013 and applies to commercial, municipal, and residential buildings that are 50,000 square feet or more. Currently, the Amendments to the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance are before the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards.


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.


Urban Farming: Benefits and Zoning Challenges

Sep 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

 While often deemed a new trend, the history of agriculture in urban setting is both ancient and modern. Changing attitudes towards agriculture in cities based on space, place, and time have caused a shift in production to rural areas. However, as sustainability and resiliency become more important in urbanism discussions, this divide has started to change. The revival of urban farming in the United States highlights some of the new perspectives on urban agriculture along with some of the inherent challenges in bringing farming to the city.

image credit: Markus Spiske


Los Angeles’ New Comprehensive Energy Benchmarking Program is Under Way

Sep 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Los Angeles joins an expanding list of major American cities that require buildings to conduct energy benchmarking. The ambitious City of Los Angeles Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program (EBEWE Program) went into effect this year and is particularly progressive because it requires auditing and retro-commissioning in addition to benchmarking.


Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge Promotes Sustainable Savings

Aug 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge (the Challenge), formerly known as the Commercial Buildings Initiative, promotes energy efficiency and sustainable solutions through voluntary participation by City of Chicago building owners, managers, engineers, and others involved in the real estate and management industries. Part of the greater Retrofit Chicago efficiency program, the Challenge continues to provide building owners and managers with strategies and incentives for greener buildings.

image credit: Sawyer Bentson via Unsplash