Geotech-OUC Reviews

DOB Geotechnical Review

The Geotechnical Section is a unit of the Department of Buildings (DOB) assigned to handle the Geotechnical permit review of all foundation and/or excavation works and/or soil penetrations that are 12 ft or deeper, and that are part of the building permit.  The process may require OUC submittal.

The Office of Underground Coordination (OUC) is the distribution agency within the Chicago Department of Transportation, Division of Infrastructure Management, for all requests regarding existing utility information (Information Retrieval Process - "IR") and the review/approval of construction work in or adjacent to the Public Way (Existing Facility Protection - "EFP").  For further information please visit the Department of Transportation’s OUC Website at Office of Underground Coordination.

Some Projects not Requiring a Department of Buildings Geotechnical Review

1.    Geothermal Wells:

Geothermal Wells do not require a DOB Geotechnical review.  However this type of work does require an Existing Facility Protection (EFR) from CDOT’s OUC.  This type of project are reviewed and issued by the Green Permit Section.  For the permit procedure for this type of permit review, please click onto the Green Permit Geothermal process.

2.    Sewer Connections:

Sewer connections in general are considered public way work, therefore the Applicant should contact CDOT for the required permit.

3.    Site Remediation, Site improvement or Site preparation:

Site remediation/improvement/preparation on private or public property doesn’t require DOB permit, but might require CDOT permit for public way closure and or OUC/Geotechnical review.

4.    Utility vaults 

5.    OUC expired

The OUC expires 6 months after the Response Required within the area bounded by North Ave., Halsted St., Cermak Rd and Lake Michigan, and one year from the Response Required date outside of these limits. In order to renew an expired OUC, the applicant should contact OUC of CDOT directly in which DOB has no involvement, assuming that nothing changed in the plans that require a new geotechnical permit/revision.

Geotech Discipline Review process is as follows:

 1.      The Project Manager will refer the applicant to the Geotech section for a preliminary meeting.  The applicant can also start the process by contacting the Geotech section after the building permit application has been created.  If Earth Retention and Caissons are part of the Deep Foundation system the geotech section will start the review process at this time.

Click onto the link for the Drawing Requirements for the Geotechnical/OUC review.

 2.      It is recommended that the following members of the project team attend the preliminary meeting: the Owner’s Representative, Architect, Geotechnical Engineer, Structural Engineer and the General Contractor (if available).

 3.      Applicant to attend the preliminary meeting with the drawings detailed in the Drawing Requirements for the Geotechnical/OUC Review.”  Geotech section will review the drawings with the applicant, if all information detailed in the document is included in the drawings the project will be submitted to OUC for an Existing Facility Protection review.

 4.      The Existing Facility Protection review will last 15 or 30 Calendar days at which time all the OUC members will submit all the conflicts associated with the installation of the deep foundation system, to CDOT for transmittal to the applicant.

 5.     Submittal requirements for the Geotech review is to follow the document link below.  Once all comments have been resolved the geotechnical section will complete the review.

Note: The design should follow all the CBC requirements and may include calculations that are based on the nationally accepted design manuals which may include USS; NAVFEC; USFHWA and USCORP of Engineers.  All design calculations submitted for the Geotechnical Section review should comply with the attached Guidelines.

Please click on the following link for the City of Chicago Submittal Requirements for Review of Earth Retention Systems and Other Calculations.

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