SCB is providing architectural and interior design services for ComEd’s new office complex which includes an office building, warehouse, parking structures for fleet vehicles and employees, vehicle service facilities, and storage yards. The goals for the project include highlighting innovative technologies in sustainable building design, creating a collaborative and flexible workplace, and supporting ComEd’s commitment to education with a new community STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) Center.
The project is conceived as an advanced facility for the exploration of energy-saving strategies in design and construction and is targeting LEED Platinum, at a minimum. Floating above the rectangular mass of the office building is a layer of glazed photovoltaic panels in a series of linear arrays; each array positioned to achieve the optimal solar angle. A steel framework cantilevers the system beyond the footprint of the office plates to maximize the area of the solar exposure, while simultaneously shading the façades below, reducing glare and heat load. The building features a super-efficient exterior enclosure that minimizes heat gain through the seasons of the year, along with a highly-responsive building mechanical and management systems.
The design of the building façade responds to both the orientation and proportions of the building mass, as well as the context. The east and west façades, facing the main thoroughfare and the service courtyard respectively, are simple, long surfaces of warm, rust-colored terracotta relating to the brick bungalows seen in the surrounding residential neighborhood. The north and south façades of the building are wrapped in glass – vision glass in combination with insulated spandrel glass – complementing and reinforcing the planar expression of the long east and west elevations.