October 29, 2014

Chicago Department of Buildings Announces Expansion of AIC Elevator Inspection Program

Based on Recommendations from the Office of Inspector General, Additional Reforms Increase Efficiencies in City Inspections, Modernizing and Streamlining the Process for Building Owners

Mimi Simon
Department of Buildings    


Chicago Department of Buildings today announced the expansion of the City’s AIC Elevator Inspection Program to include new construction buildings to further modernize and streamline the elevator inspection process to be more efficient for taxpayers and simpler for building owners. The AIC Elevator Program, which utilizes state-licensed and certified elevator inspection companies to perform routine annual inspections, was launched in 2009 for buildings in the city’s central business district and was expanded in 2012 to include large institutions like hospitals, sporting arenas and universities across the city.

In 2014, the Department of Buildings worked closely with the Office of the Inspector General to strengthen its annual elevator inspection program, which includes both inspections performed by the Department of Buildings and through the AIC program, resulting in identified operational efficiencies and the expansion of the AIC program to new construction buildings citywide.

The AIC program ensures that building owners take responsibility for maintaining their equipment as safe and operational and report their inspection status to the Department of Buildings. As additional oversight, the City performs audits of elevator devices within the AIC Program to ensure the credibility of the reported inspections.

“The Department of Buildings is committed to ensuring the safety and quality of life for the residents and visitors of the City of Chicago, and an effective and comprehensive elevator inspection program is an important part of upholding this commitment,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis. “We will continue our efforts to expand and enhance our AIC program and streamline our processes for increased efficiency and ease of use.”

Chicago’s AIC program uses completely web-based reporting for the inspections. This web-based reporting allows near real-time updates of the status of devices within the program and allows buildings to print their own elevator certificates to place in each device.  As of October 9, 2014, 98% of the buildings in the central business district eligible for the program, or 1,291 buildings, had 8,639 devices in the program. Outside of the central business district, 237 buildings had 1,258 devices in the program.

To date in 2014, the Department of Buildings has completed 2,481 annual inspections, an increase of more than 622 inspections, or 33%, as compared to 2013.

Chicago is one of the only large cities in the country that has City inspectors perform routine annual inspections, with approximately 33,000 elevator devices across Chicago. In addition to routine annual inspections, City elevator inspectors perform much more rigorous permit inspections on newly-installed and repaired elevator devices as well as hundreds of devices at street fairs and carnivals during festival season, April through October.

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