Driehaus Foundation Award Winner and LEED® Certified Office Space: Infant Welfare Society of Chicago in Logan Square

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

3600 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60647 Map

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago

SMNG-A Architects
Photo courtesy Leslie Schwartz Photography

3600 W. Fullerton

3600 W. Fullerton

The Infant Welfare Society is a 3-story, 39,000 sf medical office building housing a pediatric and women’s health clinic and a pediatric dental clinic serving uninsured and underserved women and children. The project is an adaptive reuse of a former bank building most recently used as a YMCA. The building opened in April 2005, when the organization relocated from its former Lincoln Park location – the new Logan Square location is much closer to the population the clinic serves. The project has earned a LEED® Certified rating and SMNG-A won a Driehaus Foundation award for the project.

This is a project where some of the most basic decisions contribute to the project’s greenness as much as high-tech features. The reuse of an existing building likely has a greater environmental impact than any other single design decision. Although existing buildings are being rehabbed all the time in Chicago, inserting this type of use is more complex than a condo conversion. In fact, carbon fiber reinforcing had to be selectively added to the existing concrete structure to support 10,000 sf of floor area that was added on the second and third floors. These type of enabling technologies are sometimes unsung heroes that aren’t inherently green, but without which a green project might not be possible (another example is here).

Another example of basic decisions contributing is the flexible arrangement of exam rooms relative to patient circulation. This allows rooms to be shifted from one use to another as the needs of patient population change without having to consume materials with minor renovations.

Energy-savings technologies in this project are mostly no-nonense, mainstream items such as increased insulation, energy recovery ventilators, and occupancy sensors on lighting. The project received a grant for the use of a highly-reflective soy-based roof coating – since Illinois is a major soy producer this product has been heavily promoted by politicians. Materials and indoor environment strategies also focused on low-hanging fruit – 79% of construction waste was diverted from landfills and low-VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives were used.

Other project team members included owner’s representative Lillibridge Health Trust, civil engineer McBride Engineering, landscape designer McKay Landscape Architects, MEP engineer HMS Engineering, structural engineer Campbell & Associates, LEED® consultant and commissioning agent Henneman Engineering, and general contractor Pepper Construction.

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