April 21, 2020

Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago's Department of Buildings announced plans to comprehensively overhaul the local building codes.

The new code, which features Epsteins participation and technical expertise, aligns more closely with national standards and provides more flexibility for new construction and building renovations.

Lori Chandler, AIA, Epsteins Senior Project Architect, was directly involved in the overhaul. Specifically, she was on the Fire/Life Safety technical working group for Phase 2. Phase 2 of the Code Modernization Effort by the city involved preparing recommendations on how to align the core construction, fire protection, renovation, and life safety provisions of the Municipal Code of Chicago with the International Building Code (IBC) and related model codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC).

We reviewed all of the language for our designated chapters of the working draft, evaluated the difference between that and the current Chicago Building Code, and made changes we thought necessary to best suit the needs in Chicago while still moving towards a more universally accepted model code, Lori said.

As part of this effort, Lori wrote a white paper for the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), "Chicago Building Code Modernization: Implications for Tenant Remodels in High-Rise Buildings." Her white paper is now live and available for purchase.

Epstein's Director of Architecture, Ed Curley, AIA, who is the CTBUH Chapter Board Member, Chicago, Special Events Manager, made the following statement regarding Lori's accomplishment:

"When the members of the CTBUH Chicago Chapter board began discussing a white paper series forecasting the effects of the Chicago Building Code modernization and comparisons with the International Building Code, I immediately knew Lori Chandler would have immeasurably valuable insights to contribute.

"Loris previous involvement with the Chicago Building code modernization, her participation on the panel during the Chicago Building Code Modernization discussion event in February, and her published white paper provides the local real estate industry important understandings related to high-rise building design."