Permitting and Inspections
Permits and E-Plan
To ensure a safe and quality environment for the occupants and visitors of commercial office buildings, the City of Chicago Department of Buildings enforces the Chicago Building Code. BOMA/Chicago has worked with the Department of Buildings to improve the permitting and inspection process which is designed to promote high quality design standards as well as the conservation, rehabilitation and reuse of the City's existing buildings.
In 2012, to increasing efficiencies and modernize the permit processes, the City of Chicago Department of Buildings transitioned from a paper-based plan review system to an electronic plan review system referred to as E-Plan.
E-Plan allows a building owner’s design professional to submit plans for review and approval online electronically. The system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By eliminating the need for paper plans to be manually printed and delivered. E-Plan also allows:
- Simultaneous review of the plans by all professional and trade disciplines;
- Improved clarity in direction from City departments on changes or corrections to plans that need to be made before approval can be given, right on the electronic plans in clear type-face;
- Re-submission of corrected plans online electronically, 24/7, from the convenience of any computer;
- Real-time return approved stamped plans once necessary reviewing fees have been submitted.
The Department of Buildings has a Self-Certification program for eligible projects. Self-certification simplifies the building permit review process by having a licensed architect or structural engineer of record take full responsibility for code compliance. Plan reviews are eliminated by allowing the Professional of Record to certify that the project complies with the Chicago Building Code.