Chicago Construction Codes

open bookThe Chicago Construction Codes establish minimum standards for the construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, and demolition of buildings and other structures in order to protect public health, safety and welfare. The Chicago Construction Codes include provisions of the Municipal Code of Chicago related to construction and rehabilitation, plumbing, heating, electrical, fire prevention, sanitation, zoning and other health and safety standards relating to buildings and structures, except provisions enforced exclusively by a city department other than the Department of Buildings. 

An electronic copy of the entire Municipal Code of Chicago, including the Chicago Construction Codes, is available from American Legal Publishing. Information on navigating these provisions is found on this page.

The City of Chicago is currently in the middle of a multi-year effort to comprehensively update its construction requirements based on widely-used model codes and standards while maintaining provisions that are well-adapted to local conditions. Phase 2 of Construction Code Modernization will be phased in between June 2019 and August 2020. For more information of Chicago's Construction Code Modernization project click here.


 

book cover: Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions

Administrative Provisions of the Chicago Construction Codes (14A)

INTERIM Chicago Fire Prevention Code (14F)

INTERIM Chicago Fuel Gas Code (14G)

INTERIM Chicago Mechanical Code (14M)

INTERIM Chicago Plumbing Code (14P)

book cover: Chicago Minimum Requirements for Existing Buildings

Chicago Minimum Requirements for Existing Buildings (14X)

set of code books

ICC 2019 Chicago Construction Codes Set

  

Navigating the Chicago Construction Codes

This section provides a guide to locating provisions on specific topics within the Chicago Construction Codes

Administration
Accessibility
Building (New Construction)
Conveyance Devices (Elevators)
Electrical
Fire Prevention
Fuel Gas
Mechanical
Energy Conservation

Plumbing
Signs
Trade Licenses
Work in Existing Buildings
Minimum Requirements for Existing Buildings
Zoning

 

Administration

icon: gearsEffective July 1, 2019, the Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions are found  in Title 14A of the Municipal Code.

View full text from ICC

Full text from American Legal Publishing

 

Accessibility

icon: accessibility symbolThe accessibility provisions of the 2019 Chicago Construction Codes (primarily Chapter 14B-11 and Section 14R-3-305) apply to all permit applications started on or after December 1, 2019, regardless of whether the project is electing to follow other provisions of the 2019 Chicago Building Code or Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code (links above).

Some buildings or projects may also be required to meet additional state or federal accessibility requirements. Existing businesses may also have obligations to provide accessible services under the City of Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (Chapter 2-160). For more information, contact the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD).

 

Building (New Construction)

icon: buildings2019 Chicago Building Code

Under the Phase 2 Code Modernization Ordinance, the 2019 Chicago Building Code (Title 14B), based on the 2018 IBC, becomes optional for permit applications started on or after December 1, 2019:

View full text of 2019 Chicago Building Code from ICC

Chicago Amendments to 2018 International Building Code from American Legal Publishing

Additional requirements may apply to regulated businesses, and these requirements are found in the applicable business license provisions in Title 4 of the Municipal Code. 

 

Conveyance Devices

icon: elevatorRequirements for elevators, escalators, and other conveyance devices are found in Title 14C (effective October 1, 2018). These requirements are partially based on and incorporate provisions of model codes published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and other standards development organizations. These documents are available for purchase from their respective publishers:

Electrical

icon: electrical circuitThe Chicago Electrical Code (Title 14E of the Municipal Code) incorporates provisions of the 2017 National Electrical Code, which is published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These provisions are incorporated by reference and not reprinted in the ordinance. A free, read-only document which compiles the model code provisions and amendments adopted by the City of Chicago, hosted by NFPA, can be viewed at: https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/codes-and-standards/free-access?mode=view&t=other&c=CHNEC2017. For frequent users of the code, this compiled version of the Chicago Electrical Code is available for purchase from NFPA in various formats.

 

Fire Prevention

icon: flame2019 Chicago Building Code and Interim Chicago Fire Prevention Code

Under the Phase 2 Construction Code Modernization Ordinance, the 2019 Chicago Building Code (Title 14B) and  Interim Chicago Fire Prevention Code (Title 14F) apply to most permit applications started on or after August 1, 2020. While the City of Chicago continues to study modernization of the Chicago Fire Prevention Code, many provisions of Title 15 of the Municipal Code of Chicago continue to be referenced in the Interim Fire Prevention Code.

For more information on these provisions, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Fuel Gas

icon: valvesRequirements for fuel gas (natural gas) installations are found in Chapter 18-28, Article XIV, and are based on the 2003 International Fuel Gas Code published by the International Code Council (ICC). A copy of the 2003 edition may be purchased from ICC at http://www.iccsafe.org/

These same requirements are referenced in the Interim Fuel Gas Code (Title 14G).

These requirements are being reviewed in Phase 3 of the Construction Codes Modernization Initiative in 2021.

 

Mechanical

icon: air currentRequirements for mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are found in Chapter 18-28 of the Municipal Code.

These same requirements are referenced in the Interim Mechanical Code (Title 14M).

These requirements are being reviewed in Phase 3 of the Construction Codes Modernization Initiative in 2021.

 

Energy Conservation

icon: light bulb with plant growing insideEffective June 1, 2019, requirements for energy conservation are found in Title 14N of the Municipal Code and are based on and incorporate the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, published by the International Code Council (ICC).

The Chicago Energy Conservation Code is also available from ICC.

 

For more information on how to show compliance with these requirements, please visit the Energy Conservation Requirements page.

 

Plumbing

icon: faucetRequirements for plumbing within buildings are found in Chapter 18-29 of the Municipal Code. Additional provisions related to the City of Chicago’s water and sewer systems, including requirements for site stormwater management, are found in Title 11 of the Municipal Code. These provisions are primarily administered by the Department of Water Management (DWM).

These same requirements are referenced in the Interim Plumbing Code (Title 14P).

 

Signs

icon: billboardSign requirements are found in both the Building Code (Chapter 13-20, Article XIII; Chapter 13-96, Articles I and II) and Zoning Ordinance (Title 17). Electrified and illuminated signs must also comply with electrical requirements in section 14E-6-600.

 

Trade Licenses

icon: ID cardTrade licenses administered by the Department of Buildings are regulated by the following provisions of the Municipal Code:

Drain Layers Chapter 4-28 (administered jointly with the Department of Water Management)
General Contractors Chapter 4-36
Excavators Chapter 4-196 (issued by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection)
Steam Boiler Erectors and Repairers Chapter 4-266
Crane Operators Chapter 4-288
Electrical Contractors Chapter 4-290
Supervising Electricians Chapter 4-292
Elevator Mechanic Contractors Chapter 4-298
Supervising Elevator Mechanics  Chapter 4-298
Plumbers  Chapter 4-332
Plumber Apprentices  Chapter 4-332
Plumbing Contractors Chapter 4-336
Stationary Engineers  Chapter 4-344
Employing Masons Chapter 4-376
Mason Contractors   Chapter 4-376
Wrecking Contractors   Chapter 4-36, Section 14A-4-407

 

Note: Expediters and expediter companies are licensed by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) under Chapter 4-6, Articles XXV and XXVI. The Chicago Fire Department also issues various licenses, as provided in Chapter 15-4.

 

Work in Existing Buildings (Repairs, Alterations, and Additions)

icon: buildings2019 Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code

Work in existing buildings, including repairs, alterations, and additions is not required to meet all requirements for new construction but must meet the requirements of the Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code. Work in existing buildings is also required to meet the applicable energy conservation requirements (see above).

Under the Phase 2 Code Modernization Ordinance, the 2019 Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code (Title 14R), became optional for permit applications started on or after December 1, 2019, and mandatory for most permit applications started on or after August 1, 2020.

View full text of the Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code from ICC

Chicago Amendments to 2018 International Existing Building Code from American Legal Publishing

 

Minimum Requirements for Existing Buildings

icon: checklistMinimum standards applicable to all buildings are found in Title 14X.  

Under the Phase 2 Code Modernization Ordinance, adopted April 10, 2019, Title 14X superseded older retroactive provisions (primarily Chapter 13-196) on July 1, 2020.

 

Zoning

icon: checkerboardThe Chicago Zoning Ordinance is Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. The Chicago Zoning Ordinance is distinct from the Chicago Building Code and is administered by the Department of Planning and Development, Bureau of Zoning. Additional land use regulations administered by the Zoning Bureau are found in Title 16.

 

Disclaimer: Not all laws applicable to construction and building maintenance are listed on this website or in the Municipal Code of Chicago. In some cases, Illinois or federal laws or regulations may impose additional requirements for a project. Please consult an Illinois-licensed architect, engineer, or attorney to determine which laws and requirements apply to your specific building or construction project.