Mayor's Message  

Latest version.
  • In 1875, only four years after the Great Fire, the city of Chicago became a pioneer in the field of building regulations by establishing one of the nation's first building codes. We then enacted the first electrical code in 1883.

    In 1975, Chicago again led the nation in the adoption of the first major city High-Rise Code, a collection of requirements to enhance occupancy safety in buildings more than 80 feet high. More recently, we have addressed building age issues with the adoption of façade and scaffolding ordinances which help to ensure public safety and require responsible building management and conservation.

    Today, Chicago is leading the way in encouraging sustainable design and energy conservation. Overall, we recognize that the urban environment that we cherish produces unique challenges and we must have the flexibility and creativity to meet these challenges.

    The continuing process of building code review and amendment is critical to our effort to keep Chicago buildings as safe as possible, to encourage innovative design and construction and to better serve the building industry. Many highly qualified and devoted volunteers from the architectural, engineering and building community have recognized the need for modernizing the code and have taken the opportunity to assist city leaders and staff in the building code initiative. Their assistance has been invaluable and will help make the Chicago Building Code more understandable and accessible for designers, builders and developers. We thank all of the volunteers for their work and look forward to the new code chapters to be proposed in the near future.


    Richard M. Daley