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A Quick Tip to Ensure Code Review Accuracy in Chicago

2022 1112 Ideas Post Updated
Nov 12, 2021
Spencer Blaney

One technical issue I have seen come up very frequently with architects working in Chicago is that they often refer to a version of the building code that does not include the most recent code amendments. It is actually a very easy mistake to make. We’ve covered the content of one of the most important new amendments here.

This most likely happens because the majority of people access the building code directly from a link that they've bookmarked in their web browser. The problem with this is that ICC (where the building code is hosted) creates a new URL with each new passage of amendments to the code. Until recently, even the building department’s web page linked to an outdated version of the building code because of this.

How to Quickly Ensure You are looking at the Right Version of the Building Code

The easiest and quickest way to check that you are looking at the right version of the building code is to check the URL. Chicago has passed three rounds of amendments to the code (July 24, 2019, February 19, 2020, & October 7, 2020) since the initial code adoption. This is reflected at the very end of the URL and is designated by a “P3”. If your URL ends in “P3” you are viewing the most recent version of Chicago’s Building Code. If you still see P1 or P2 then just type in the correct url ending because you are looking at a previous version.

2021 1112 Code Version

I would advise against bookmarking directly to the building code because this will need to be continually updated with each new amendment. Instead, you should bookmark this page of ICC’s site. This is the page for all of Chicago’s construction codes, not just building. This link will become outdated (see no versioning in the URL). Anytime Chicago’s construction codes get updated on ICC’s website you can be sure this link will show the most current versions.

Additionally, the official source of Chicago’s amendments to the IBC is found in Chicago Municipal Code, Title 14B. If future amendments are made, they will likely be updated here even before ICC’s website. It is important to note that Title 14B only shows the amendments to the IBC, not the full text of the code, so it is not very conducive to a practical review of the building code.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding the building code.