Chicago, Ill. – When FitzGerald Associates Architects could no longer house their growing business in an existing 9,000 square foot converted warehouse, they seized the opportunity to acquire an adjacent space formerly occupied by an art gallery. As a strong advocate to their clients for building green, the natural choice for expanding their own workplace was one that incorporated sustainable design principles and environmentally conscious construction methods.
Aside from the many well-documented benefits of building to LEED standards, the architectural firm had several other motives for pursuing a Silver certification. By practicing what they preach, they are able to provide their clients with an example of how building green can be both effective and affordable. Having experienced firsthand the process of designing, specifying and building a LEED-certified space as well as being the end users, the architects of FitzGerald Associates have a better understanding of the whole process and its benefits.
Located in Chicago’s West Loop, the office is within walking distance of several city bus stops and train stations. The company encourages employees’ use of alternate means of transportation by offering enrollment in the city’s pretax transit program and by providing secure indoor bicycle storage and private shower facilities.
Daylight from the original building’s large windows was utilized in collaboration with individual task lights to reduce the need for artificial area lighting. The indoor environmental quality was also enhanced by the use of low VOC paints, coating and carpeting; a benefit that was greatly realized during construction as the office remained fully occupied throughout the building of the expansion.
Sustainable practices and advocacy through education are two aspects of FitzGerald’s office culture that helped this project achieve all five innovation and design credits. Green housekeeping and pest control policies were put into place and promotion of the USGBC is evident on the business website and informational flyers.
Decades before FitzGerald’s affiliation with the USGBC in 2004, the firm has employed sustainable design practices through dozens of adaptations of abandoned manufacturing buildings into residential, office and retail facilities. Since then, FitzGerald has helped their clients develop numerous traditional and modern projects that champion sustainability. It is that dichotomy, between heritage and innovation, that epitomizes this forward-thinking firm.
Established in 1919 as Rissman & Hirschfeld, FitzGerald Associates Architects is a fourth generation Chicago architectural firm. The firm offers its clients a continuum of residential and commercial design services, including development feasibility studies; site design and planning; architectural design; space planning; interior design; historical research and restoration; contract documents and specifications; permit acquisitions; and field observations. For more information call 312.563.9100.