The Department of Buildings

Chicago Energy Conservation Code

The City of Chicago has been on the forefront of Energy Conservation Codes since the late 1990's, with the first Energy Conservation Code adopted in 1999. Currently, as of January 1, 2016, the Energy Conservation Code adopted by the State of Illinois, based on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) of 2015, is in effect in Chicago. The City of Chicago, however, has additional Energy Conservation Code requirements in the Municipal Code that apply as well. Where there are conflicts between the State and Municipal Codes, the most stringent requirements take precedence.

The Chicago Energy Conservation Code provides multiple paths for demonstrating code compliance including prescriptive, performance and acceptable practice approaches. User-friendly software - REScheck for residential and COMcheck for commercial buildings - provides flexibility and makes determining compliance much easier. For commercial buildings, the 2013 ASHRAE 90.1-2013 Energy Standard for Buildings is another compliance option. Please be aware that the ASHRAE and IECC codes cannot be mixed.

As part of Energy Conservation Code enforcement, all permit drawings must be accompanied by a statement (please see link below) signed by a Registered Energy Professional (REP) confirming the Energy Conservation Code compliance of the drawings. The REP must be an Illinois-licensed architect or engineer who has taken additional classes to ensure expertise in the Energy Conservation Code. The intention is to have a professional review the drawings PRIOR to submittal for building permit review. The Department of Buildings (DOB) staff will then review the submitted materials for consistency and will audit select projects for more in-depth review. Subsequently, DOB field staff will confirm that the project is constructed according to the permit drawings.

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