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News

Rough framed apartment unit with exposed studs, PVC plumbing, conduit, insulation, and wood studs.
Announcements, News

Chicago Department of Buildings Announces Extension of Alternative Plumbing Materials Pilot Program

“On January 7, 2019 the Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) announced that a modified version of its Alternative Plumbing Materials Pilot Program has been extended for an additional year through December 31, 2019.” Under the revised program, DOB will continue to accept applications for alternative drainage and vent pipe and pipe fittings that meet certain requirements.

The program applies to the following properties:

  • New construction residential buildings not more than four stories in height; or
  • Existing building (constructed prior to 2010) of any occupancy but not more than four stories in height. Additions to such buildings also qualify.

Applicants may request permission to use any material allowed by the Illinois Plumbing Code for drain and vent pipe. Requests for alternative water distribution pipe and pipe fittings, such as CPVC, will no longer be accepted.

Visit the City of Chicago Alternative Code Approval web page for more information and application forms.

The Department launched the pilot program in October 2017 to gather information about the cost and performance of alternative plumbing materials. More than 330 have participated and it has already saved nearly $9 million for building owners and small developers working on projects throughout Chicago.

City of Chicago

How to Apply for the use of Alternative Plumbing Materials ?

The plumbing materials pilot program will accept requests through December 31, 2019. Requests must be submitted on official pilot program request forms, which are available on the Department’s web site at
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bldgs/supp_info/Alt-code-approval.html or through the resource links below.

Before submitting a request, the applicant must pay a $150.00 approval review fee. A copy of the receipt must be attached to the request as proof of payment. Requests and proof of payment must be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] Requests to approve plumbing work which was previously installed without a permit or contrary to a permit will be denied.

Each request will be evaluated by the Department to determine if permitting the alternative material will either alleviate a
practical difficulty, provide a result equivalent to the requirements of 18-29, or both.

Applicants should allow 10 business days for review. Decisions are e-mailed to the applicant. The applicant must then obtain a permit for the plumbing work and attach a copy of the approved request form to the
permit application or permit application drawings. If the work has already been permitted (but not yet performed), the applicant must obtain a revision to the existing permit at the easy permit counter on the 9th floor at City Hall. Revisions to change plumbing materials as approved through this pilot program are subject to a $75.00 fee.

Questions about the program may be directed to [email protected]

Chicago DOB Alternative Plumbing Material Resources

Cold formed steel framing installation with lateral supports
Resources

Cold Formed Steel Framing in a Structural Application

What is Cold-Formed Steel Framing?

Cold-formed steel framing (CFS) is made from sheet steel that is formed into C-sections and other shapes by roll forming the steel through a series of dies at room temperature.  Heat is not required to form the shapes, hence the name cold-formed steel. A variety of steel thicknesses are available to meet a wide range of structural and non-structural applications.

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Geopier rammed aggregate pier test pier installation
Resources

Geopier Rammed Aggregate Piers for 6 Story Building

Geopier Rammed Aggregate Piers (RAP) as a Ground Improvement System for a 6 Story Residential Building in Chicago

As the developer and owner of a 36 unit residential building at 851 W. Grand in Chicago, 3F Construction spent considerable time evaluating the most cost-effective foundation solution for the building.  After extensive research, in field testing, and one failed approach, 3F selected Geopier Rammed Aggregate Piers (RAP) as the ground improvement system.  This allowed us to construct the building on traditional spread footings.  The Geopiers worked great and exactly as advertised.  However, the City of Chicago does not formally recognize “stone column” ground improvement systems.

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Resources

Useful Links for Real Estate Developers and General Contractors in Chicago

Useful Links for Real Estate Developers and General Contractors who do business in Cook County or the City of Chicago

As real estate developers and general contractors, we use all the online tools available to us.  Keeping track of the resources in one place is a challenge.  This page is dedicated to tracking and sharing useful links to City of Chicago and Cook County resources for Real Estate Developers and General Contractors.

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Snippet of General Contractor's License Application Form in Chicago
How To

How to apply for a General Contractor License in Chicago

Chicago General Contractor’s License Application and Renewal Forms

The process to apply for or renew a General Contractor’s License in Chicago is straightforward.  However, finding the forms to do it can be a challenge.  This article will help Chicago contractors find the necessary forms.  In addition, it discusses the steps to apply for or renew a license.Read more

Modern kitchen with flat white Italian cabinets and white Chinese quartz in gut renovated single family home in Lincoln Park showing 3F general contracting capabilities
News

Chinese Quartz Tariff Hits 300%

Department of Commerce Announces new Antidumping Tariffs on Quartz from China

“On November 14, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty investigation of imports of quartz surface products from the People’s Republic of China.”  You can read the fact sheet here.   This means there will be NEW anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese quartz surfaces imported into the United States.  The tariffs will add 242.1% to 314.1% to the cost of bringing Chinese quartz surfaces into the United States. The new tariffs take effect once they are published in the Federal Register, which is likely within a few business days.

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Exterior of 5658 N Ridge Avenue before construction
Announcements

North Park Ventures to Gut Renovate 5658 N Ridge

5658 N Ridge | Apartment Gut Renovation

Chicago based real estate developer, North Park Ventures, hired 3F Construction to gut renovate 5658 N Ridge.  The property is zoned RT-4 and has 6 units today.  North Park is digging out the basement to construct 4 legal garden units.  In addition, they are renovating the existing 6 units above grade.  The project is a full gut and demolition started in November 2018.

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