Evolution of the Development of the Chicago Facade Inspection Ordinance

    Volume 1, Issue 3 (March 2004)

    ISSN: 1546-962X


    Published Online: 10 March 2004

    Page Count: 19

    Chin, IR
    Vice President and PrincipalChairman of CCHRB Exterior Wall Task Group, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL

    Gerberding, H
    Assistant Building Commissioner, City of Chicago, Chicago, IL

    (Received 16 August 2002; accepted 1 July 2003)


    In Chicago, IL, there are hundreds of high-rise buildings that were constructed starting in the 1890s. The exterior facade on these buildings includes terra cotta panels, thick stone panels, thin stone panels, brick veneer, precast concrete, poured-in-place concrete, steel panels, aluminum panels, and glass/aluminum curtain wall. After pieces of a terra cotta facade fell from a building in 1974 and killed a pedestrian, Chicago prepared its 1978 facade inspection. This ordinance was the first facade inspection ordinance in the United States. This ordinance was subsequently repealed. Due to subsequent facade failures, Chicago prepared its 1996 facade ordinance and amended this ordinance in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The amended ordinance is currently the most comprehensive facade ordinance in the United States. Approximately 70 % of eligible buildings in Chicago have complied with the ordinance. This paper presents information on the evolution and development of the ordinance.

    Paper ID: JAI11151

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI11151

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    Title Evolution of the Development of the Chicago Facade Inspection Ordinance
    Symposium Building Facade Maintenance, Repair, and Inspection, 2002-10-13
    Committee E06