This enormous abandoned warehouse in Chicago's West Loop has been converted into an amazing LEED Platinum and Energy Star-rated office space. The new headquarters of Walsh Construction -- one of Chicago's largest construction firms -- looks like it was a pretty challenging project to transform a three-story concrete frame into a four-story, energy-efficient green renovation. The wythe brick building has been fully redesigned by architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, becoming the city's first building to use SolarDuct solar thermal technology to preheat outdoor air, and it's also capped with a green roof.
The warehouse, which dates back to 1908, is a cavernous space that needed a huge amount of work; all windows and some exterior walls were removed while the rest were insulated. The designers attempted to minimize waste during construction, so bricks demolished from the exterior wall were reused inside.
The green roof system uses several water-saving systems including rainwater harvesting, which is used in the summer for irrigation in the summer. The building also features dual-flush the low-flow toilets. The roof itself was constructed of a combination of white TPO roof membrane and skylight, just some of the efficiency systems used throughout the building which are expected to bring annual energy savings of around 51 percent. Maintaining this commitment to sustainability, the design also incorporated natural ventilation within the building and thermal controllability via ceiling fans for open office areas.
Images © James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography