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Important Building Code Changes in Illinois

Kyle Leonard

Keeping up with changes in state laws can be a full time job for municipal employees. The experts in HR Green, Inc.’s Governmental Services Business Line review and keep up with the changes in Building Codes and Code Enforcement. Unlike standard Building Codes, the Illinois Plumbing Code, the Illinois Energy Conservation Code and the Illinois Accessibility Code are all state mandated codes. HR Green urges leaders to take note of some very important changes.

The most important change to be aware of is that the Illinois Plumbing Code is no longer amendable as desired by each municipality. The changes here may come as a big surprise to local leaders. Many communities have used amendments to alter the state plumbing code, for instance, requiring cast iron  as opposed to allowing plastic piping.

Those amendments are no longer valid. If a community wishes to amend the Illinois Plumbing Code, it will now have to make an appeal to the State of Illinois and must indicate a valid “technical” reason for the requested change. Any existing structures will not be required to be brought into compliance; however, any renovations will need to meet the state standards.

The most important change to be aware of is that the Illinois Plumbing Code is no longer amendable as desired by each municipality.

The new rules will make it easier for builders who work in multiple municipalities. Consistency leads to an economy of scale when it comes to construction.

In addition, beginning May 1, 2015, Licensed Plumbing Inspectors will have to be Certified Plumbing Inspectors rather than just a licensed plumber. This could cause hardships for smaller municipalities as it may take some time for their licensed plumbers to establish these inspection qualifications.

It should not come as a surprise if the Illinois Accessibility Code, with its latest version being 1997, also comes out with an updated version. The 2015 Illinois Energy Code may be next on the list.
Fortunately, HR Green has expanded its Building Department and Code Enforcement Services to the six collar counties in northern Illinois. The experts on staff are all licensed professionals, and/or certified building and code enforcement inspectors, trained and educated in the latest code requirements and familiar with the municipalities they serve.

To learn more about the services we offer contact Frank Urbina at 815.759.8389 or e-mail him at furbina@hrgreen.com

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