Major city council committee approves new cooling requirements for senior centers, large apartment buildings

Chicago (CBS) — Later Three women died in an apartment building in Rogers Park During a heat wave last month, Chicago’s aldermen on Tuesday advanced an ordinance requiring senior housing complexes and other large apartment buildings to soon provide air-conditioned cooling centers.

Ordinance Sponsored by Rogers Park Eld. Maria Haiden (49th), would require any housing complex for senior citizens to provide cooling systems in all common areas capable of keeping the inside temperature no higher than 75° and whenever the outside temperature is 92° So the humidity inside should not exceed 50%. ° and “wet bulb temperature,” a measure of heat and humidity that reaches at least 75 degrees, apart from the more common “heat index.”

In addition, any residential buildings with at least 100 residential units will be required to provide a permanent cooling system capable of maintaining an indoor temperature of 75 degrees and 50% in a common area whenever the outdoor temperature is 92. Do not exceed indoor humidity. ° and the “wet bulb temperature” is at least 75°.

In both cases, if the ordinance is approved by the full city council on Wednesday as expected, those buildings will have to install temporary cooling systems by July 31, and permanent systems by May 1, 2024.

Under city code, nursing homes in Chicago are already required to provide air conditioning that keeps all habitable spaces, restrooms and public corridors no higher than 75° when the outside temperature reaches 92°. The ordinance will add a provision requiring the same cooling level when the “wet bulb temperature” reaches at least 78 degrees.

The new cooling requirements were approved by the zoning committee’s unanimous vote on Tuesday, and go to the full city council for a vote on Wednesday.

The change was prompted by the deaths of three women at Rogers Park’s James Snyder apartment during last month’s heat wave. Three women found dead in building After the temperature in their apartment reaches 100 degreesEven after residents asked the management to turn off the heat and install air conditioning.

Hayden acknowledged that it would be a challenge for the city to force large apartment buildings that don’t already have air conditioning for every living unit.

“This ordinance, if tried to enforce air conditioning in a strict manner at all times in all units, would be very difficult to implement and enforce,” Hayden said.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Christopher Anderson, vice president of government affairs at the Chicago Association of Realtors, called for more time to be taken to discuss the ordinance with building managers and landlords before implementing the new cooling requirements.

“I think it is important to ensure that facilities specialists, building operators and maintenance personnel are involved in this process,” he said.

Andersen said that given the current state of the economy, even the nearly two-year deadline for a permanent cooling system required under the ordinance could be tough for some buildings to meet.

“Coming out of a pandemic, and possibly heading into a recession, I caution against the 24-month deadline. Supply chain constraints are still a reality. Labor due to great resignations and the city’s own permitting process Markets still suck. It’s not something most people can easily navigate,” Anderson said.

However, Chicago Building Commissioner Matthew Baudet said he believed the two-year time frame would be enough for building owners to come into compliance with permanent cooling system requirements, and pledged city officials to the new requirements. Will work with building owners to help accomplish this.

Hayden wanted his ordinance to go ahead because of the need for building owners to make temperature adjustments in the often unpredictable months of May and October, but many aldermen expressed concern for such a change to be made immediately.

Eld. Brian Hopkins (II) noted that many buildings in Chicago use so-called “two-pipe” cooling and heating systems, which can take a few days to switch from heating to cooling and back again, causing Providing heat will be difficult. Or air conditioning on specific dates in the more unpredictable spring and fall months.

Rather than proceed now with additional heating and cooling requirements in May and October, Haydn agreed to work with Hopkins and other concerned aldermen over the next several weeks to arrive at a suitable settlement in time for the fall.

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