Mayor Rahm Emanuel ceremoniously signed the updated Chicago building code at a reception yesterday in the Wrigley Building, overlooking a foggy Chicago River. The updated Chicago building code was adopted and went into effect when City Council passed the ordinance, SO2019-1452, on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, but it's a custom for the mayor to sign significant legislation.

Commissioner Judy Frydland overlooks Mayor Rahm Emanuel ceremoniously signs the updated building code legislation. Photo by Steven Vance

Commissioner Judy Frydland overlooks Mayor Rahm Emanuel ceremoniously signs the updated building code legislation. Photo by Steven Vance

Emanuel told a story about Commissioner Frydland’s leadership to the audience – mostly stakeholders and those who volunteered to serve on one of the six code committees – about he trusted Commissioner Frydland to drive the code modernization effort. He could not take credit for starting this important effort as it was Frydland who was successful in her initiative when multiple past efforts failed.

Frydland and deputy commissioner Grant Ullrich assembled architects, engineers, designers, union leaders, staff at the Chicago Fire Department, contractors, and developers into a stakeholder group that oversaw the six technical committees to review and revise proposed changes to the Chicago building code. The independent Chicago building code hadn't been updated in 70 years.

Now the Chicago building code is based on the model codes developed by the International Code Council, meaning that architects and contractors working in Chicago can speak the same language as their peers across the country and incorporate modern building systems into their designs.

MAPS has organized the seminar around six different building examples that are common to our clients. As buildings are designed taller, additional requirements are triggered. The seminar includes new information about low-rise residential buildings, cold-formed metal framing (light gauge structural steel), and new high-rise requirements.

MAPS has organized the seminar around six different building examples that are common to our clients. As buildings are designed taller, additional requirements are triggered. The seminar includes new information about low-rise residential buildings, cold-formed metal framing (light gauge structural steel), and new high-rise requirements.

MAPS hit the road this week with our custom seminar, teaching clients about the updated Chicago building code. We presented the changes and impacts of the updated building code to Related Midwest also yesterday.

Our presentation optionally includes a Code Analysis Guide during which Spencer Blaney, one of our licensed architects on staff, walks everyone through an updated Chicago building code analysis – universal to all types of projects – that determines construction type, and fire protection and egress requirements. This code analysis is a key first step to creating the code matrix that the City of Chicago requires on all building permit applications.