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Asif Rahman

Asif Rahman is retiring from the Buildings Department, and a transition plan is in place

The Chicago Department of Buildings announced today that Deputy Commissioner Asif Rahman is retiring at the end of the month. Heather Morrison, founder and president of MAP Strategies, said that Rahman's career at the buildings department was integral to devising many complex design solutions. "I have always appreciated Asif's technical expertise paired with his executive decision making, which led to streamlining the design and permitting process", she said. "Asif dislodged permits that were stuck in red tape, helping our community work through the intricacies of the bureaucratic system."

Left: Deputy Commissioner Asif Rahman; top: Commissioner Judy Frydland; bottom: Deputy Commissioner Grant Ullrich

Left: Deputy Commissioner Asif Rahman; top: Commissioner Judy Frydland; bottom: Deputy Commissioner Grant Ullrich

While many people in our Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) industry have also appreciated Rahman's dedication and willingness to work with designers and developers, many reforms at the Department of Buildings will ensure a smooth transition after his retirement.

The good news is that Department of Buildings Commissioner Frydland and Deputy Commissioner Grant Ullrich have been working diligently for the past three and a half years to implement a modernized permitting process and code upgrade. There's less of a need to interpret an archaic Chicago Building Code. The team will continue to implement the code and permitting upgrades through technology to further streamline the permitting process. It's refreshing to see the vision of the department, and the steps they've taken so far, to move Chicago into the 21st Century.

Commissioner Frydland has a structure in place to bridge the gap of this transition. The department will formally announce which DOB staff will be covering specific permitting and code issues.

Commissioner Frydland said, "We understand Asif's importance to the daily functions of our office and we are making adjustments accordingly, for both the short-term and long-term, to ensure we will continue to provide great service to our customers each and every day."

MAPS can answer any permitting process or code questions that you have about projects that you're designing.

Commissioner Frydland has instituted new processes at the buildings department, most significantly Direct Developer Services, which outsources technical reviews to qualified private sector reviewers for large projects. DOB has also put trade permitting applications online, and has plans to put even more permit applications online.

Finally, Chicago's City Council adopted a new building code that modernizes the Chicago Building Code and aligns it with national model codes. Many of the changes in the new building code will obviate the need for special reviews and variances of certain design proposals.

MAPS has a seminar to teach architecture firms and developers understand the new Building Code changes and how they will affect future projects. Book it now.