Even modern buildings are suitable candidates for historic preservation. The Architect’s Newspaper tells us that Chicago’s iconic Inland Steel Building is set to undergo an eco renovation courtesy of SOM and Frank Gehry, who is part of the development team. In light of some of Gehry’s recent comments about LEED, it may surprise some to learn that the renovation plan is targeting Platinum under LEED CS 2.0! In addition to the upgrades to the structure, which incorporate some interesting elements, the way the building is leased out will drastically reduce construction waste from tenant build-outs while preserving the modernist character of the building.
The Inland Steel Building is a Chicago landmark which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally designed by Walter Netsch and Bruce Graham at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and was built in 1958.
Under the new plan, space will be leased out as an “office hotel,” which will require tenants to use the building as provided, rather than being able to do their own build-out. A system of modular partitions and other components will allow individual tenants to customize their space according to their needs, while preserving the building’s character. This will retain a consistent look for the building’s interiors that works with the modular system, and will save huge amounts of construction materials which would otherwise be used and then demolished as tenants move in and out.
The building’s systems include chilled beams for cooling, CO2 sensors, and 75% less galvanized ductwork for the air handling system. The renovated building also now sports a green roof. With these improvements, as well as the innovative lease strategy, the Inland Steel Building stands to make great strides in green building while staying true to its historic character.