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Updates to the Chicago Energy Code

2022 1128 Ideas Post
Nov 28, 2022
Ed Feibel

Chicago recently made updates and changes to the Energy Code, adopting the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code as the 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code. Compliance with the new code is phased over a series of dates, with the first effective date of compliance being November 1, 2022. The following changes will apply to all new construction commercial projects. Residential buildings follow some similar, but different requirements based on the size and scale of the building.

Some of the changes that were made that could impact your project are as follows (The C number refers to a specific code citation, while the following text is a summary of the code language):

  • C402.2.1.2: Allows the minimum thickness of above-roof deck tapered insulation at its lowest point, gutter edge, roof drain or scupper, shall be not less than 1 inch.

    This section now requires a minimum thickness of insulation at the roof.
  • Table C402.4 Fenestration SHGC: Changed SHGC based on Fixed vs Operable, previously was based on direction.

    Solar heat gain coefficient is now based on the window operation, rather than the direction that the window was facing.
  • C402.5.1.2 Air barrier testing: Requires buildings or portions of the building including Group R and I occupancies to meet C402.5.2 (≤0.30 cfm/ft2 at 50Pa) testing each dwelling, sampling allowed for buildings w/ more than 7 dwellings.


Requires buildings or portions of buildings other than Group R and I occupancies to meet C402.5.3 (≤0.40 cfm/ft2 at 75Pa): Buildings must confirm that the structure meets air infiltration requirements, which is a test of how airtight the building is.

  • C402.5.11 Operable openings interlock: Occupancies with openings to the outdoors larger than 40 square feet in area, such openings shall be interlocked with the heating and cooling system to adjust setpoints or deactivate systems within 10 minutes of opening the operable opening.
  • This applies to large openings in the exterior building envelope. These openings must be integrated into the HVAC system so that the heating or cooling is not running while the large openings are open.
  • C403.8.3 Fan efficiency: Changed from Fan Efficiency Grade to Fan Efficiency Index. Needs to have an FEI of 1.00 or higher at the design point of operation, as determined in accordance with AMCA 208, VAV systems shall have an FEI of not less than 0.95.
    Fans now must meet a specific efficiency index, as determined by AMCA 208, rather than an efficiency grade, as determined by AMCA 206.
  • C405.2.1.4 Corridor occupant sensor function: Need to reduce lighting power by at least 50% of full power within 20 minutes after all occupants have left the space Excludes corridors with less than 2 fc of illumination on the floor at the darkest point with all lights on.
    Corridors will now need to be provided with occupant sensors to control the lights.
  • C405.11 Automatic receptacle control: In enclosed offices, conference rooms, copy/print rooms, breakrooms, classrooms, and individual workstations, at least 50% of all 125V, 15- and 20-amp receptacles shall have an automatic control function.
    In the listed locations, outlets that automatically turn off when not in use will need to be provided.
  • C405.12 Energy monitoring: New buildings with a gross conditioned floor area of at least 25,000 square feet need to be equipped to measure, monitor, record, and report energy consumption data at least hourly with 36-month capacity End use categories:
    1. Total HVAC system
    2. Interior Lighting
    3. Exterior Lighting
    4. Plug loads
    5. Process loads exceeding 5% of peak connected load
    6. Building operations and other misc. loads

Buildings of at least 25,000 sq. ft. will need to be provided with equipment to monitor and report energy consumption and use.

  • C406 Additional Efficiency: Previously was choose 1 from a list of 8, now needs 10 credits from the applicable table. Each credit is worth approximately 1/4%. 10 credits equals to about 2.5% savings.

    Previously, buildings had to comply with at least one item from the list of eight items in section C406.1 for additional efficiency packages for the building. In the new code, a total of 10 credits must be achieved through the updated table C406.1(1)

We will be following up on this post with some of the additional changes in the code that will take effect on January 1. Additionally, DOB has released updated compliance forms for the updated code at this link.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance with completing the new forms to document compliance for your project.