This year the city of Chicago finally implemented its new building code, which was 70 years old with a decade of unsuccessful redevelopment. The code was reviewed and rewritten, section by section, by hundreds of experts. They went over the code, bringing it in line with the International Building Code.

“It failed in the past because we tried to do it all at once,” Commissioner Matthew Beaudet (Chicago’s first-ever Native American City Commissioner) said during Bisnow Media’s Chicago Deep Dish: Building Codes webinar on November 10th (recorded for public access).

The new code streamlines the construction process, making it more efficient and lowering building costs.

The first phase was overhauling the rules governing electrical work, elevators and escalators, followed by the transformation of the bulk of the building code. The City Council approved Phase 2 in April 2019, and the new code took effect in August this year.

The department also reformed building rehabilitation standards and the permitting process, and in the near future will do likewise for the standards for plumbing, mechanical systems and fire code updates.