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Fulton Market, Cold Storage, Chicago, West Loop, warehouse, adaptive-reuse

The former cold storage building is one of the larger buildings in the West Loop / Fulton Market, and it’s a fixture of the neighborhood skyline. Judging from the renderings, the adaptive-reuse plan will seek to preserve some of its character.

The most striking aspect of the new building, which is being developed by Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay Cos., is the glass. Huge amounts of brick will be removed from the now-windowless behemoth to produce a nearly transparent new office building. In addition to offices, the developer plans to add space for restaurants and a rooftop deck to the former cold-storage building. Next door, Sterling Bay plans to add another 180,000-square-foot office building that will be topped with a green roof.

Over the winter, Preservation Green Lab released a report that quantifies the value in terms of carbon emissions of reusing old buildings instead of tearing them down and replacing them with new, energy-efficient buildings. The report found that warehouse-to-office conversions are actually at the lower end of the spectrum—it takes just 12 years for a new building that is 30 percent more efficient to overcome the negative climate change impacts caused during the construction process. However, the value of adaptive-reuse often extends beyond carbon emissions; it also prevents useful materials from being sent to the landfill, and there are of course aesthetic considerations as well.

via Curbed Chicago