CRCA - Chicago Roofing Contractors Association

Roofing Industry Resources

For Contractors, Architects, Specifiers,

Building Code Officials

Energy Codes, Crane Operator Certification and more.


Building, Fire & Energy Code Information


The CRCA Industry Affairs Committee works with the City of Chicago on many roofing specific technical and code issues. Questions to answer about ? What's the number of roofs before roof replacement (tear off) is required?

Check out the interpretations from the City of Chicago's Department of Buildings about Chicago's Ice Barrier Requirements or the number of roofs before roof replacement is needed.

This is just another way CRCA represents the industry to help provide building owners and managers with critical information from true professionals - CRCA Members.


According to the IL Capital Development Board, the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code will become state law November 30, 2015. For new and existing buildngs permitted after Nov. 30, there may be an increase in the R-Value required for Low Sloped Roofs.

The minimum amount of insulation required for low sloped roofs will move from minimum R-25 to a minimum

R-30 for buildngs permitted after November 30, 2015. 

As with all building and energy code related items, the Authority Having Jurisdication (AHJ) may or may not alter the requirements based on existing building field conditions such as low flashing heights, etc.

Watch CRCA Today for more information.


The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has been adapted by the State of IL Effective January 1, 2013.  In the IECC 2012 are new requirements for Insulation and a continuous Air Barrier.

  • IECC 2009  - R-20ci Insulation in No. Illinois
  • IECC 2012 - R-25ci Insulation in No. Illnois PLUS a Continuous Air Barrier. The IECC 2012 is required for new construction.  There are three acceptable paths to compliance for the new 'Air Barrier' requirement.
  • CLARIFICATIONS - In Roof Recover, Roof Replacement and Roof Repair categories, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 can be used reducing R-Value to R-20. No Air Barrier is required in ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

Clarifications have been provided by the State of Illinois about this new code.  All approvals for the clarifications need to be approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, (AHJ). 

•From a building code perspective, the State of Illinois is a 'home rule' state.  As such, each community has the ability to adopt or adopt and amend a model building code.  In the Chicagoland Area, there are several building and fire codes that may be adopted by a municipality.

  • City of Chicago - The Chicago Building and Fire Codes are used by the city regulating 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 Chicago Energy Code. There are some requirements in the Building and Fire Code as well.

Key code points :

  • 2009 Chicago Energy Code - Commercial Low Sloped Roofs

2009 Insulation R-VALUE required - Minimum R-20ci (ci means 'continuous insulation')

2012 - Chicago's Building Department has stated, 'We're following State of IL 2012 IECC Adaption'.

2009 & 2013 - Top surface Reflectivity - Minimum .72 initial OR .50 aged.

Top Surface Reflectivity Exceptions: Vegetative Roofs, Photovoltaics, Concrete Pavers, 15lbs. of Ballast and other materials used to hold the roof membrane in place.

SEE CODE FOR COMPLETE REQUIREMENTS and the Authority Having Jurisdiction has final word on approvals.

Contact a Professional CRCA Roofing Contractor 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, and/or NFPA 101, The Life Safety Code, depending on the jurisdiction. 

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

    Key code points:
    International 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 and rooftop structures. 

    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 addresses Vegetative Green Roofs and Photovoltaic Solar Panel requirements when these systems are placed on or integrated into roofs. The International Fire Code references Chapter 15 of the Building Code to be consistent with other rooftop structures.

    The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) governs the insulation requirements for roofs. Generally in the Chicago Area, the 2009 IECC charts call for an R-20ci insulation on low sloped commercial type roofs.  There are allowances for tapered insulation.  However, the 2012 IECC in the Chicago area Zone requires an R-25.  Consult the IECC code for specific requirements.  The International Green Construction Code adds even more R-Value to base code requirements. 


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 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. 

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.

Technical Information

• There is a lot of Technical Info in, Member Only Section. Forgot your password? Email CRCA's Office.


Industry Bulletins

Isocyanurate Roof Insulation Price Escalation & Availability Solutions


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