CRCA - Chicago Roofing Contractors Association

CRCA Contractor, Architect, Consultant Resources


According the State of Illinois, adoption of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code is complete.  Legislation passed in 2012 with the Governor's signature increasing insulation requirements by 20%.  Plus, there's a new twist. There is now a 'air barrier' required in new construction.  For Roof Recover, Roof Replacement and Roof Repairs, there are times when R-25 and the air barrier are not required.

CRCA's Industry Affairs Committee and Leadership worked with the IL Capital Development Board to provide relief for building owners and managers in Roof Recover, Roof Replacement and Roof Repairs. The result of these CRCA Efforts resulted in State of IL 2012 Energy Code 'clarifications' published at the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. These are justification statements to be provided the AHJ at each building municipality for approval prior to building permit being issued for existing buildings. 

The effective date of the new IL Energy Conservation Code based on the International Code Council's International Energy Conservation Code is January 1, 2013, not the July 1, 2012 that was first reported in 2011.

For futher information, visit CRCA's Members Only Section of 

If you not a CRCA member, join CRCA to gain access to info that helps raise your knowledge to service customers better!

If you are a specifier, architect or roof consultant, Email CRCA for CRCA's complete 2012 Illinois IECC information.

Building Code Information

From a Building and other Code perspective, Illinois is a 'home rule' State.  As such, each community has the ability to adopt or adopt and amend a model building and other codes. 

In the Chicagoland Area, there are several building , residential, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, existing building and fire codes that may be adopted by a municipality through the local legislative process..

City of Chicago - The Chicago Building and Fire Codes are used by the city providing minimum regulations for structures within the jursdiction.  The code is available for purchase from Index Publishing at

Most of the roofing related items, including the Urban Heat Island Effect Mitigation requirements, insulation minimum thicknesses, and more are in the 2009 Chicago Energy Code. There are some requirements in the Building and Fire Code as well related to roofing.

For 2012, there is a new twist.  The 2012 Inernational Energy Conservation Code (IECC) becomes Illinois State Law 1 year from the date of publication from the International Code Council (ICC) due to legislation similar to Americans with Disabilities Act. On January 1, 2013....the International Energy Conservation Code became State Law. 

CRCA Submitted comments about the IECC 2012 insulation and air barrier requirements to the CDB, IL Energy Conservation Comission and the IL Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) which resulted in several 'Clarifications. 

SEE 2009 Chicago Energy Code FOR COMPLETE REQUIREMENTS, as it may vary.

Still not sure?  Contact a CRCA Professional CRCA Professional Roofing Contractor or CRCA's office for more info.

Chicago Suburbs & Illinois - Most of the Chicago Suburbs and the rest of the State of Illinois have adopted versions of the International Code Council's International Building Code, International Residential Code, and International Fire Code, depending on the jurisdiction. The minimum State of IL Fire Code is NFPA 101, The Life Safety Code. 

Verify with each Authority Having Jurisdiction what code is enforced in that community, as it may vary.

Key code points:

Interational Family of Codes
Chapter 15
of the International Building Code covers Roofing issues, while Chapter 16 covers wind uplift, and structural issues pertaning to the roof. 

Included in the International Building Code Chapter 15, 'Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures' are requirements for Low and Steep Sloped Roofs and more.

The International Fire Code (2012 version, published in 2011) addresses Vegetative Garden Roofs and Photovoltaic Solar Panel requirements when these systems are placed on or integrated into roofs.

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) governs the insulation requirements for roofs. Generally in the Chicago Area, the 2009 IECC Climate Zone 5 charts call for an R-20ci insulation on low sloped commercial type roofs.  There are allowances for tapered insulation.  Consult the IECC code for specific requirements.

The International Energy Conservation Code 2012 has been adapted in the State of Illinois effectve Jan. 1, 2013.  This new code increases R-Values to R-25 for 'commercial' roofs and requires a continous air barrier on the roof. For exceptions, visit the CRCA Members Only Section. If you are an archtiect, specifier, roof consultant, contact CRCA for the 'clarifications' from the State of IL on these important topics.

The International Green Construction Code adds even more R-Value to base code requirements.  Watch for completion of this International Green Construction Code, published March, 2012.

SEE CODE FOR COMPLETE REQUIREMENTS, as it may vary by jurisdication and version of the code.

Key Code Points:

NFPA Codes

NFPA 101, The Life Safety Code, in Chatper 7 and 11 cover means of egress and exit access, plus membrane structures.

NFPA 5000, the Building Construction and Safety Code covers roofing in Chatpers 1, 2, 3 (Definitions), 4, 7, 8 (Insulation-but requirements are in NFPA 900), 11, 13, 15 (Reroofing) and Chapter 34, 35, 38, 45, 48. 

CRCA is not an Authority Having Jurisdiction, and places this information for the benefit of the roofing industry. CRCA is not responsible for use of this information.  See CRCA Terms and Conditions of use for this website for comlete disclaimer. 


Consult the CODE DOCUMENTS FOR COMPLETE REQUIREMENTS, as it may vary by jurisdication and version of the code.

Contact a Professional CRCA Roofing Contractor for more info.

For information about or to purchase these codes, contact the International Code Council, or the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 

CRCA Specifications

•In the early 1970's CRCA worked with the Chicago Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) to produce Built-Up Roofing Specifications.  With the explosion of the number of roofing systems available today, and master specification programs, CRCA has not researched this area for some time and has no suggested specifications. 

CRCA research has found that CSI and CSC's MasterFormat have all roofing related items listed in Division 7.  Vegetatve Green Roofs are called 'Vegetated Protected Membrane Roofing - 07-55-63' in Masterformat 2004 and 2010. Vegetative Green Roofs, Roof Gardens, Photovoltaics and Wind Power items on rooftops are scoped in Chapter 15 of the International Buidling Code.  They must meet requirements of Chapter 15 since they are on the roof.

Technical Information

Industry Bulletins


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