New Energy Code Takes Effect on June 1, 2019

May 31, 2019

The Chicago Department of Buildings is pleased to announce that energy design requirements for building projects in Chicago have been updated as part of the city's multi-phase code modernization process.

For permit applications started on or after June 1, 2019, the Chicago Energy Conservation Code (Title 14N of the Municipal Code), based on the 2018 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code, published by International Code Council, Inc., will now apply.

The code applies for new commercial and residential construction, and also for major changes in existing buildings - renovations, alterations, additions and repairs. The change from the 2015 IECC to the 2018 IECC will upgrade several requirements for commercial buildings, including enhanced requirements for the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of glass and automatic controls in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Updated forms, reflecting the 2018 IECC-based requirements have been posted on the Department of Buildings' website.

For the first time, Chicago's amendments to the IECC will be published as a full document, which will be available later this summer.

For permit applications started before June 1, 2019, the applicable energy conservation requirements are found in Chapter 18-13 of the Municipal Code. These requirements are based on the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code.

Solar reflectance requirements for roof coverings are still applicable and can be found in Section 1515 of the Chicago Building Code (Title 14B).

Energy code requirements for buildings help protect the environment and reduce energy consumption by providing guidelines for reducing air pollution, moderating energy demand and stabilizing energy costs and electric, oil, and gas supplies.

The state of Illinois offers helpful resources for energy code education and support. For free online training, visit the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center: smartenergy.illinois.edu.

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