Chicago Codes
New City sprinkler regulations should pass City Council

The day after the LaSalle National Bank building fire, Mayor Richard Daley and alderman Bernard Stone who heads the City Council's Buildings Committee said a proposed ordinance mandating sprinklers in older high-rises should pass in its current form.

The Buildings Committee is expected to approve the measure this Friday, with the full council's blessing expected Dec. 15.

The proposal, which was introduced after the fatal blaze at the Cook County Administration Building last fall, would require commercial and residential high-rises built before 1975 be retrofitted with sprinklers by Jan. 1, 2012. Another proposal by other Aldermen would have the compliance dates pushed up to 2008. Both Mayor Daley and Alderman Stone said they saw no need to make any changes to the proposed ordinance.

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA), a trade group that represents owners of 270 downtown buildings, also said it supports the ordinance "as it now stands."

A recent survey of BOMA members found that 87 downtown buildings either lack sprinklers are partially sprinklered. Building owners have estimated that new sprinklers could cost as much as $6 to $14 a square foot.