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69 W Washington Street Room 1900
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-8200
(312) 603-9828
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Wednesday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
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Demolition Permitting

To complete a Cook County Demolition Application or Revision, please use the new Department of Environment and Sustainability (DES) Electronic Permit Processing Portal.


Before You Begin


Demolition means the wrecking or taking out of any load-supporting or load-bearing structural member of the building, whether or not there are regulated asbestos containing materials (ACM) present

What You Need

  • A Permit Number
  • Payment for Revision - $55.00

No payment is necessary if you are canceling a permit or placing a hold.

Removing permits from hold status (date change) does require fee, however.

Please be aware that if the subject property is located in unincorporated Cook County a demolition building permit is required from the Cook County Department of Building and Zoning. This can be obtained at:

Residential Demolition Permits

Residential Demolition Permit Application  is required for the demolition of a residential building with four or less dwelling units (includes garages and sheds).

The following five items, must be supplied with the permit application at least 10 working days before the start of the project. One application may be submitted for multiple buildings.

a. The Cook County Treasurer's website will give you a tax summary based on your address or PIN number. Make sure it states "paid in full" or shows a balance of $0.00. Submit this summary along with your application packet;

b. Asbestos Inspection Report OR Asbestos Permit number if abated (if applicable)

c. If built after 1982, proof of construction date such as building permit, deed, appraisal date, etc.

d. Filing Fee: $150 (one per application)

e. Inspection Fee: $150 (one per building)

  1. Copy of Cook County Property Tax Summary
  2. Plat Survey/Photographs of structure(s) to be demolished;
  3. Asbestos Inspection Report
  4. Variance Documentation (if applicable)
  5. Credit Card or Bank information for payment of fees

You are required to notify our office via Revision (available on portal) if your work hours/shifts differ from what is on your permit. Failure to do so will automatically VOID the permit.

Commercial Demolition Permits

Commercial Demolition Permit Application  is required for the demolition of a commercial, industrial, healthcare, school or residential (5 or more dwelling units). You have to submit the following five items at least 10 working days before the start of the project. One application must be submitted per building.

The Cook County Treasurer's website ( provides tax summaries based on your address or PIN number. Make sure it states "paid in full" or shows a balance of $0.00.

a. If built before 1982, an Asbestos Inspection Report OR Asbestos Permit number if abated

b. If built 1982 or after, proof of construction date such as building permit, deed, appraisal date, etc.

a. Filing Fee: $600.00 (one per application)

b. Inspection Fee: $150.00 (one per building)

  1. A copy of Cook County Property Tax Summary
  2. Plat Survey/Photographs of structure(s) to be demolished
  3. Asbestos Inspection Report
  4. Variance Documentation (if applicable)
  5. Credit Card or Bank information for payment of fees

Guide to Demolition

Construction and Demolition (C&D) materials make up 40 percent of our local solid waste stream. C&D waste comes from demolitions, Renovations and New Construction projects. Cook County passed an Ordinance  in Nov. 2012, requiring the diversion of demolition debris for all projects issued demolition permits by the County. This excludes garages, sheds, and structures with severe fire damage. The ordinance requires that all demolition projects divert 70 percent of their debris. In addition, all residential projects must show that five percent of this debris is being diverted for reuse.

Step One: Apply for Demolition Permit

Obtain a permit application. Apply for a Demolition Permit by submitting the required documents and fees to the CCDES through the electronic permit portal. CCDES staff are available, in person, to assist with the application process Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., by appointment, or by phone during normal business hours at (312) 603-8200. Office hours will be discontinued on Oct. 5, 2018.

Step Two: Sign up for Green Halo

Click on the "Get Started" button on the Green Halo website, Once set up, enter your estimated diversion plan. You MUST enter the project's permit number.

Step Three: Divert

During deconstruction or demolition, keep your permit on-site. Follow your diversion plan as much as feasible, and collect authorized waste tickets from each reuse/recycling/waste facility you use. DES may send an Inspector to observe the demolition activities to ensure they are being performed in compliance with DES regulations.

Step Four: Report

Upon completion of Deconstruction/Demolition activities, you must enter your waste ticket(s) on Green Halo's website. You will receive a confirmation email once your final submission has been approved.

You must report on the Green Halo website within forty five days of permit expiration.

More Info

Application Processing Time

Permit applications must be submitted ten days before the work start date. Permits will be issued before the ten-day period is over.


  • If you intend to demolish residential structures, the fee is $300.00 for the first structure and $150.00 for each additional structure.
  • For all commercial demolition and residential 5 or more units the fee is $750.00 per structure.
  • All fees are non-refundable for residential or commercial demolition permits.

Permit Duration

Your permit is valid for the days specified on the application. Your permit could be valid for a maximum of 30 calendar days.

Permit End Date Extensions

To extend your Permit's end date, please to apply for a Revision. The Revision fee is $55.00. Please note that we must receive your revision request at least 48 hours before the permit expires.

Please Submit Asbestos Inspection Report with Demolition Projects

DES requires Asbestos Inspection reports for all proposed demolition projects including, but not limited to, houses, garages, sheds, and commercial structures.

Structures built before 1982 require an Asbestos Inspection Report or Asbestos Permit number (if abated) to be submitted at the time of application. Proof of construction date is required for structures built in 1982 or after; this includes a building permit, deed, appraisal date, etc., which must be submitted at the time of application.

Licensed Asbestos Contractors

Cook County Environmental Control has a list of Licensed and Registered Asbestos Contractors.

Waiving the Ten-Day Waiting Period

A variance, which waives the ten-day waiting period, may be granted, but only in extreme circumstances. For example, a structure that has become a health and safety risk could qualify for a waiver.


A Hold may be applied to a demolition to eliminate the possibility of your permit expiring. Placing a permit on Hold allows you to keep the permit valid for one calendar year without expiring. It's typically used when a third party is holding up the project and you believe that your permit will expire before the project begins.

Demolishing Your Own Structure

Homeowners can demolish structures themselves. To do so, on the demolition application, under the Demolition Contractor Information, owners can enter themselves.

Substitute Photos for Plats

You can substitute the plat of survey with photos of the structures you intend to demolish.

Special Conditions

Toppling of Walls

When demolition by toppling occurs such reasonable measures for dust emission control as it is compatible with the type and structure shall be utilized. Before the demolition or toppling of any section of wall of structure, adequate wetting to suppress the dust shall be employed.

Wetting Procedures

Before the demolition of any section of wall, floor, roof, or other structure, adequate wetting procedures to lay the dust shall be utilized. All debris shall be thoroughly wetted before loading and while dumping into trucks, other vehicles or containers. In all cases at all stages of demolition wetting procedures shall be adequate to lay the dust.

Transport of Debris

Trucks shall be adequately covered or enclosed to prevent dust dispersion while in transit to point of disposal.

Structural Supports - Steel and Wood Beams - Thrusts: No Structural members shall be dropped or thrown from any floor but shall be carefully lowered to ground level by hoists.

Handling Procedures - Debris

Debris shall not be dropped or thrown from any floor to any floor below. In buildings six (6) stories or greater in height, debris shall be transported from the upper floors via enclosed dust-tight chutes or via buckets. Where chutes are used, a water wetting agent spray shall be employed to saturate the debris before it reaches the point of discharge from the chute.

Demolition Precautions

Water spray fogging nozzles shall be employed within the chute to effect entrainment of particulate matter when feasible. Where buckets are used, the debris shall be adequately wetted to preclude dust-dispersion when buckets are dumped. In the event particulate matter becomes airborne for a continuous period of ten minutes, Despite the application of the above procedures or due to freezing temperatures, preclude the use of water of laying the demolition dust, the work of demolition shall cease at once until other adequate measures can be taken.

Demolition Excess Debris

No Excess materials and debris shall be permitted to remain on the premises above grade which are susceptible to becoming airborne.

Segregation of Materials

Demolition materials shall be segregated according to combustible and non-combustible. The sorting and disposal of debris in on-site special purpose containers making certain proper precautions are undertaken for the various toxic chemicals, acids, fuel oils, cleaning fluids, paints, and other pollutants, are utilized and disposed of as prescribed by law.