Streamlining Codes and Processes

While the inspection process is critical for public safety, local building code and permit inspections that are unpredictable, overly complex and opaque cost building owners money.


Preservation starts with rehabilitating buildings, and the most critical cost driver is the local building code. With relief on a handful of targeted items in the building code, owners can save money, which encourages more investment and more preservation activity.

A number of Preservation Compact partners worked together to identify key building code items to generate real savings. In response, the Chicago Department of Buildings recently announced updates to the Electrical Code and a new plumbing pilot project.

Electrical Code update:

  • Incorporates several commonsense, cost-saving changes, advocated for by The Preservation Compact, including the expanded use of flexible metal conduit and new rules for the placement of electrical disconnect boxes.
  • Clarifies that only the newly built walls and ceilings must comply with the new construction requirements in the Energy Code.

Read more about the Electrical Code update here.

Alternative Plumbing Materials Pilot Program:

  • Allows owners and developers to request alternative materials for waste and vent and CPVC for water supply in residential and mixed use buildings of up to four stories.

These plumbing alternatives represent significant cost savings for owners and developers, and are consistent with recommendations to DOB developed by The Preservation Compact and its partners. Read more about the Pilot Program here and download an application for the program here.