Since adopting the updated Chicago construction codes in April, some sections of the code have already gone into effect. The energy code went into effect on June 1, 2019, and the administrative provision (Title 14A) went into effect on July 1, 2019. One of the requirements in 14A affects the architects and structural engineers of record who are working on parking garages, retail, industrial, and storage uses, and the project owners. 

The Chicago Department of Buildings no longer issues floor load placards, so floor load placards will need to be drawn up and certified by the project's design professional and posted in the required location. 

Where does the new rule apply?

In areas that are going to be used for mercantile, industrial, or storage purposes and have a floor designed for live loads exceeding 100 p.s.f., the design live load must be conspicuously posted on “durable signs” at or near the primary entrance to each story, room, or space (there are some exceptions in 14A-8-803.1). 

Building types where this will likely apply include data centers and parking garages.

Who’s responsible?

The owner – although this will likely be done by the general contractor – must certify that the required “durable signs” have been posted and accurately reflect the structural design, and submit this to the Department of Buildings when applying for a certificate of occupancy.

For projects that are using Developer Services (DS) and Direct Developer Services (DDS), the project’s design professional (a licensed architect or structural engineer) must submit to the project’s third-party plan examiner a signed and sealed letter that confirms that they, the design professional, will provide the live load certification and sign design for the owner (or general contractor) to place in the building.

The floor load signs can be drawn during or prior to permit review.

A sample sign to comply with the updated Chicago building code.

A sample sign to comply with the updated Chicago building code.

One more thing

Additionally, in parking garages that are exclusively used for passenger vehicles, there must be a sign posted in a conspicuous location on each level that says, "THIS FLOOR TO BE USED FOR THE STORAGE OF PASSENGER VEHICLES ONLY” (see section 14A-8-803.2).

What other administrative changes have you experienced? Have another question about the updated Chicago building code? Contact our code team, or schedule a seminar.

Read all of our blog posts about the updated building code.