Condominium

How Chicago’s New Air Conditioning Ordinance Affects Condominium Corporations | Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

A new ordinance from the city of Chicago requires condominium corporations and other high-rise residential buildings to provide relief to residents during extreme heat events.

On June 22, 2022, in response to heat-related fatalities of residents of a seniors’ residence, the Chicago City Council approved several amendments to the Chicago Municipal Code that address heating and cooling requirements in residential buildings. . While most of the changes apply to retirement homes, assisted living facilities and similar facilities, some of the changes apply to high-rise condominium corporations.

What do you want to know:

  • A new City of Chicago ordinance requires condominium corporations in high-rise buildings to provide an air-conditioned “cooling room” for residents’ use when outdoor temperature and humidity levels are excessive.
  • All new high-rise condominium buildings must have cooling and dehumidification equipment to service all units and common areas.

Air-conditioned “cooling room” for residents required in all high-rise or high-rise condominium buildings in Chicago. All condominium buildings in the City of Chicago that are taller than 80 feet or have more than 100 units must provide a designated “cooling room” for residents when outdoor temperatures and humidity become dangerously high. The cooling room must have cooling and dehumidification equipment capable of maintaining a temperature not exceeding 75 degrees and not exceeding 50% relative humidity when the outside temperature exceeds 92 degrees. The ordinance also requires cold room air conditioning equipment to be permanent, but temporary air conditioning equipment can be used until May 1, 2024.

For condominium corporations whose buildings are equipped with central air conditioning systems, designating an air-conditioned meeting room or other amenity area as a “cooling room” will satisfy the requirements of the Ordinance whenever the building’s HVAC system is in cooling mode. However, buildings with a central two-pipe heating and cooling system (i.e. one pipe provides chilled water to the fan coils during the summer months and hot water during the winter months) face compliance challenges during the early spring months when Chicago’s outdoor temperatures can fluctuate wildly between freezing cold and sweltering heat during the same day. If the heat and humidity are high before the building switches a central two-pipe HVAC system from heating mode to cooling mode, the temperature and humidity in the cooling room may not meet the requirements of the building. arrangement. For this reason, associations with a central two-pipe HVAC system may consider providing separate cooling and dehumidification equipment for the cooling room required.

Condominium corporations whose buildings do not have a central air conditioning system will be required to designate a “cooling room” and provide that cooling room with its own cooling and dehumidification equipment.

New construction condominiums. New condominiums that will be over 80 feet tall or have more than 100 units must have cooling and dehumidification equipment to service all units and common areas. This equipment must be capable of maintaining a temperature not exceeding 75 degrees and not exceeding 50% relative humidity in hot weather, and the cooling equipment must be separate from the building’s HVAC system or the building’s HVAC system must be able to switch between heating and cooling in one hour.


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