What We Did
There is no more sustainable act than breathing new life into an existing structure, which is why we repurposed many of the building’s existing elements. 97.7% of the building’s original materials were reused during construction. This diverted an overwhelming number of materials from the waste stream and fostered a high-quality environment with a long-term positive impact. At the same time, reusing materials helped maintain the building’s original character and appearance, preserving its history for generations.
To achieve the project’s LEED Platinum status, we integrated technology such as solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and a ground-sourced variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, which allows energy to be transported efficiently through fluid pipes, rather than large air ducts. We also implemented water conservation strategies, including a green roof that prevents rainwater run-off and reduces heat in the building’s industrial setting.
Energy conservation efforts were often counterintuitive to historic preservation guidelines. For example, historic guidelines dictated that we maintain the building’s original, single-pane windows, which compared to modern windows, have no insulating value. Historic guidelines also favor exposed brick, exterior and interior, leaving no opportunity for additional insulating. With no insulation, energy efficiency was of the utmost importance.
In the interiors, we used historic preservation guidelines to our advantage and achieved a rich, nuanced dialogue between new and old. In some locations, the two are carefully delineated. In others, modern interventions blend in and take a backseat to historic character. Throughout the building, transparent and compatible finishes allow the space to flow freely. To maintain spatial continuity, we located new enclosed areas at the building’s core, stopping the walls below the ceiling plane. Extensive glass and polycarbonate finishes allow light to reach deep into the building and maintain an open visual connection throughout each floor.