Panels Add R-Value to Chicago Renovation
Historic LondonHouse remains an architectural pillar of the “Big Four”.
September 16, 2016
Historic LondonHouse in downtown Chicago underwent an extensive renovation, starting in 2013. The transformation of this luxury hotel, completed for a grand reopening in May 2016, included insulated metal panels from Metl-Span.
“The renovation consisted of adaptive reuse of the existing building and a new 22-story glass tower addition on the adjoining property,” says Randall Chapple, AIA, SE, CSI, CCS, LEED AP, associate principal at Goettsch Partners Inc. of Chicago. “The goal was to create a boutique five-star hotel from the existing London Guarantee & Accident building. The building anchors one of the corners at the Michigan Street Bridge. Our goal was to breathe new life into the existing building and provide an addition that would complement the existing building. The location provided the opportunity to create an outstanding entertainment space on top of the building.”
When the London Guarantee & Accident Building was erected in 1923, it was one of the “Big Four” skyscrapers at the foot of the Michigan Street Bridge. The others were The Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Tower and the 333 North Michigan Avenue building.
Metl-Span insulated metal panels were installed on the back side of the addition. All American Exterior Solutions of Lake Zurich, Ill., installed more than 26,000 square feet of CF Architectural panels in the 36-inch width and almost 2,000 square feet of CF Architectural panels in the 24-inch width. Both profiles, a 22-gauge G90 outer skin in Brownstone LG with a 26-gauge G90 inner panel in Igloo White, featured a 2-inch urethane core.
CF Architectural IMPs can be installed vertically or horizontally with concealed clips and fasteners in the side joint. The 36-inch width panels with the 2-inch core provide an R-value of 14.95.
“It’s not the face of the building facing Michigan Avenue, Wacker Avenue or the river, so honestly, it was an inexpensive way to add R-value to the back of the building,” says Mike Underwood of All American Exterior Solutions. “We were presented with the opportunity to install Metl-Span windows and louvers with this system. There was a learning curve, but I think everyone is happy with the end result.”
Underwood says the real challenge was limited space to work. “We had no room to store product, so we would have a day or two’s worth of panels delivered at a time,” he says. “We were working on the back side of the building, over an alley, basically lowering panels to where we were installing and worked our way up.”
The renovated LondonHouse features 452 rooms and suites, 25,000 square feet of meeting space, ballrooms, spa, unique social spaces and restaurants, as well as Chicago’s only tri-level rooftop venue and two floors of upscale retail space.
“The metal panels allowed us to design an enclosure to the addition that would complement the existing building and provide an economical solution that met the performance needs of the façade,” Chapple says. “The metal panels met our requirements for both weather and energy performance. The Metl-Span panels provided a complete pressure-equalized system that did not need to rely on additional components to provide a complete air, vapor and weather barrier. The product support we received from Metl-Span made the design and construction process run smoothly.
“The aesthetics of the building for each façade was of great importance. Working with a manufacturer of metal panels that could assist us with the design of the façade, to achieve an economical solution while not sacrificing the performance of the façade, helped our firm achieve our goals for the project.”