Standard Plan Review Permit Program

The Standard Plan Review Permit Program is the main permitting process for building permit applications which require architectural plans. The program is intended for all types of work and buildings such as new construction, additions, alterations, rehabilitation and repairs for building types including single family homes, apartments, condominiums, offices, retail stores, restaurants and bars. 

Prior to starting a building permit application, it is important to remember that all projects require zoning approval.

All Standard Plan Review applications are submitted through E-Plan, the City’s online building permit system. Each project is assigned a Project Manager to facilitate technical plan reviews to ensure plan compliance and issue permits. The PM serves as the applicants' single point-of-contact throughout the permit process. All steps are outlined in the Standard Plan Review Flowchart.

The Standard Review Process requires an architect to prepare the drawings and documents for the review of many code disciplines. For example: a Standard Plan Review application for new construction of a restaurant could require a minimum of 10 reviews along with other departments for permit approval such as Zoning, Landscape and Chicago Department of Transportation. Additionally, other permits may be required such as Driveway, Sewer, Water and licenses for food and liquor. 

Projects meeting the following criteria use the Standard Plan Review Process: 

  • New construction buildings not greater than 80 feet high
  • Non-residential projects up to 150,000 square feet
  • Residential projects with fewer than 50 dwelling units
  • School (Group E) projects up to 60,000 square feet
  • Foundations and excavation not more than 12 feet deep
  • Removal of non-load bearing interior partitions

Please note that larger, complex projects are required to use the Developer Services Program.