Chicago Building Code Modernization

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Speaking at Chicago Building Code Meeting

LBBA Principal Trisha Girdwood was selected to participate in one of the six technical working groups tasked with reviewing the implications of transitioning Chicago’s current Building Code to the widely-accepted International Codes, overseen by Building Commissioner Judy Frydland and Deputy Commissioner Grant Ullrich. The intent is to modify the I-codes to fit Chicago’s unique conditions while remaining aligned with conventional codes which are used in all 50 United States.

These changes may save on material construction costs due to current limitations of the Chicago Building Code (CBC) which hasn’t seen a major overhaul in over 70 years. One example is Construction Types – International Building Code (IBC) allows for wood frame construction to be used more widely than CBC. Because the 2018 edition of the IBC only applies to buildings with three or more residential units, a separate section will be added to the adopted codes for smaller residential buildings in Chicago. It is likely that one of the modifications to IBC that we will see in residential buildings with 4+ units is that sprinklers will be required.

The stakeholder review process is expected to be complete in 2020 with a review by the Code Council. LBBA is honored to be asked to contribute to the working group, and we’re excited to see the new codes unroll in 2019-2020!

Chicago Building Code Tech meeting