Diagram decorative image

City Council approves new building code regulations making Chicago one of the first major cities in the U.S. to exceed the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Known as the 2022 Chicago Energy Transformation Code, the measure replaces the 2019 Chicago Energy Conservation Code, continuing the city’s 20-year plan to address climate change. ESD Practice Leader for Commissioning and Energy+Eco Saagar Patel says the new code aligns requirements for energy-efficient construction and renovation with the latest guidelines in the IECC.

Patel says, “This action will help Chicago move toward cleaner energy sources and healthier and safer building environments.”

According to Patel, Chicago’s new energy code exceeds the 2021 IECC baseline and advances the city’s decarbonization commitments in several important ways by requiring:

  • Placement of windows in new buildings to minimize energy demands due to seasonal solar heat gain
  • New low-rise commercial buildings, such as warehouses, to be designed so roofs can support the future installation of solar panels
  • New residences with gas-fired appliances to be built with the electrical capacity and wiring necessary to switch to electric appliances in the future without opening walls or upgrading the electrical service
  • Improved insulation to reduce heat loss through the exterior walls of buildings with projecting balconies or parapets

The new regulations also incentivize the use of smart heating, cooling, and hot water equipment that is integrated with the electric grid to reduce demand during peak usage. It also prohibits the installation of new decorative gas lighting.

The new code follows a three-pronged initiative to save energy, prepare for a clean energy transition, and to make it easier to implement solar energy. Most requirements will apply to building permits applied for on or after November 1, 2022, with additional requirements taking effect on January 1, 2023.

Saagar Patel currently serves on the Illinois Energy Code Advisory Council as well as the the Building Decarbonization Working Group for the City of Chicago, demonstrating his commitment to ESD’s mission to improve society through the built environment.

Contact ESD’s experts for more information on how ESD can help with building automation, energy efficiency, and other carbon reduction planning.

Related News

Interested in learning more? Check out these related news items.

Brehm Sparks Conversation about EV Charging Infrastructure

Senior Commissioning Authority Aleksandr Brehm discusses the growing role of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in new building construction during a recent interview with Le monde de l’électricité en ligne (The World of Electricity Online). (Learn more about EV charging infrastructure.)

Menges Reviews Green Building Codes Across the Nation

From coast to coast, more and more state and local governments are implementing green building codes to decrease the built environment’s impact on climate change. (Learn more about green building initiatives.)

ESD Innovation Fest Returns

After a worldwide pandemic-induced hiatus, three teams from different groups and specialties gathered to share innovative ideas on this year’s theme of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). (Learn more about Innovation Fest 2022.)