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Holabird & Root Participates in International Design Competition

Lappset Group, a well-known producer and developer of playgrounds, organized an international design competition that challenged designers to create "new, inspiring, and out-of-the-box ideas for future playgrounds." Inspired by the challenge and the design opportunities, a group of Holabird & Root designers met with children, parents, and educators to discuss the ideal playground. Led by Holabird & Root's Early Education Design Specialist Maria Segal, the group focused on imagining new possibilities for playground equipment.

Click here to view our submission.


Cultural Center Dome Restoration Honored

The City of Chicago, Department of General Services received the Chicago Architecture Foundation's prestigious Patron of the Year award in the governmental category. This award recognizes the role of clients in architecture, or its patrons: those who commission, develop, and finance Chicago's distinguished architecture. The Preston Bradley Hall Dome was restored by Holabird & Root and represents another successful collaboration between the City of Chicago and Holabird & Root.


Regents Hall Receives Platinum

St. Olaf College's Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification. At nearly 200,000 square feet, Regents Hall is the largest and most complex academic facility to earn the U.S. Green Building Councils Platinum rating.

Holabird & Root's design of Regents Hall incorporates several key strategies including a green roof which helps reduce the building's heating and cooling load and minimizes its heat signature. The green roof absorbs stormwater that runs off Regents Hall, filters carbon dioxide out of the air, and filters pollutants out of rainwater.

Interior and exterior materials were selected for their sustainability and maintainability, as well as their reuse content and their proximity to the site. Abundant natural light reduces the need for artificial light in the public and perimeter spaces.

Regents Hall is also the first major science facility designed with an emphasis on green chemistry, which uses water-based and nontoxic chemicals and reduces the amount of fume hoods needed. Because of the innovative strategies employed throughout the facility, Regents Hall saves enough energy each year to power 250 homes annually.


Center for Sciences LEEDs with Platinum

Beloit College's Center for the Sciences achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council. Holabird & Root and Beloit College closely collaborated throughout the design process to incorporate innovative, sustainable features throughout the facility.

The landscaping surrounding the facility is composed of plant species native to the area. A rain garden that consists of specially selected wetland plants forms a swale through which rainwater runoff from the area around the science facility is filtered and absorbed.

One third of the roof is a living, vegetated garden that provides added insulation to keep the facility cool during the summer and warm during the winter. A large concrete rainwater cistern collects and stores rainwater runoff from the science center roof, which is then used to water plants located in the greenhouse, reducing the need to pump, treat, and consume municipal water supplies.

The facility was designed to maximize the amount of time air spends in the building while still maintaining high quality indoor air. Air that enters a lab must be exhausted from the building for safety reasons, so the design first routes air through classrooms, hallways and study areas, then enters the labs at the end of its journey.

LEED certification serves as a national benchmark for environmentally sustainable construction by measuring the performance of a building in six critical areas: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

Dome after

AIA Illinois Honors Dome Restoration

On November 5, 2009 the AIA Illinois Chapter recognized the restoration of the Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany glass dome. The project received the Crombie Taylor Award, which recognizes a project that, through preservation and restoration, has enhanced the natural and built environment of a community.

The project was the culmination of 3 years of research, study, and construction by 80 architects, restoration specialists, and artisans. The restoration of the Tiffany dome reintroduced natural light into the space and created the opportunity to celebrate public culture within an urban center.

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Holabird & Root Receives AIA Design Excellence Award

The Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized Holabird & Root's design of Beloit College's Center for the Sciences with a Design Excellence Honor Award in Interior Architecture. Holabird & Root Principal James Baird joined Beloit College's Brock Spencer and representatives from J.H. Findorff & Son and Klobucar in accepting the award at the AIA's Annnual DesignNight 2009.

Completed in 2008, the Center for Sciences is sited at the center of Beloit's campus, with a central space connecting two adjacent buildings. An AIA juror commented that "this connecting area's strategic location at the end of a street and its glass fagade provide a connection to the nearby river and other parts of campus, whether a visitor is in or outside of the building." Another juror remarked that the stacked stairs created an interior with a "very strong core and powerful geometry."

Public Works Facility Recognized

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) honored Holabird & Root's design of the Village of Oak Park's Public Works Facility with an ASHRAE Society Level Technology Award, Honorable Mention. The Public Works Facility has already received ASHRAE awards at the local and regional levels.


Grinnell College Achieves LEED Silver Certification

Grinnell College's Noyce Science Center Phase II renovation and addition project received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at the Silver level. Holabird & Root incorporated several sustainable features into their overall design including heat recovery on laboratory exhaust systems, motion sensors on fume hoods and lighting, rainwater collection for use in the greenhouse, energy-efficient windows, dual-flush toilets and low-flow lavatory fixtures, use of local and regional materials, and recycling construction waste. "Science buildings have very complex ventilation and technical systems," said Jim Swartz, director of the building project and Grinell Colleges Center for Science in the Liberal Arts, "so to receive a silver certification is especially rewarding because it recognizes the efforts to gain greater efficiencies and still remain true to our core purpose of creating a flexible and welcoming space for teaching and research." This is the second building that Holabird & Root has designed for Grinnell College that has achieved LEED certification. In 2006, Grinnell College's Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) education center became the first building in Iowa to receive the LEED certification at the Gold level.

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Milobowski Promoted to Associate Level

Holabird & Root is pleased to announce that Amy Milobowski has been promoted to the associate level. "As a firm, we try to look for outstanding individuals that will shape the future of the firm and Amy is certainly one of those individuals," said Holabird & Root Principal Jim Miller.

Amy holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. She became a licensed architect in 2003 and later became a LEED-Accredited Professional and Construction Documents Technology Certified. She became an architect because "architecture is a perfect combination of engineering and art."

Prior to joining Holabird & Root, Amy built a strong portfolio of work that included several municipal and education projects including several Chicago public schools. She has continued this work at Holabird & Root where she has led projects that include Namaste Charter Schools Renovation and Addition and the Preston Bradley Hall Dome Restoration and Renovation at the Chicago Cultural Center. When Amy is not tackling complex projects, she enjoys running, knitting, and playing soccer.

When asked about what this promotion meant to her, Amy quickly answered, "I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues for this promotion and I look forward to using my organizational skills and experience to support Holabird & Root's leadership team."

SIUE Dedicates New Early Childhood Center

On September 9, 2009, Holabird & Root's Maria Segal and Jim Miller joined campus and community leaders in celebrating the dedication of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Early Childhood Center (ECC). The new facility offers new classroom, meeting, and resource center spaces for teachers, parents, and other involved adults from both the extended campus and community partnerships. One parent remarked that her daughter's experience made the renovation worthwhile because now "theres more teachers, more one-on-one activity."

Finalists Chosen for Midewin Tallgrass Competition

Holabird & Root recently received the rare opportunity to be a part of a 100-year regional legacy. The legacy left by Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago was a celebration of regional, lakefront, and neighborhood public open space. As part of the Burnham Centennial, the Midewin Burnham Legacy Task Force sponsored a design competition that challenged firms to envision creative, sustainable, and cost-effective ways to make Midewin's resources available to the larger Chicago community. The 18,000-acre Midewin Tallgrass Prairie is the single largest open space in the Chicago metropolitan area and northeastern Illinois.

A jury that included the U.S. Forest Service, Openlands, the Burnham Centennial Committee, the Chicago Metro Section of the Illinois Chapter of APA, the Illinois Chapter of ASLA, and the Eastern Illinois Chapter of AIA selected Holabird & Root to create and present designs for two separate but integrated open-air, visitor/education areas.

The three finalists will have their designs showcased at the launch of a public involvement and capital fund-raising campaign during the fall of this Burnham Centennial year.

Click here to view our submission.

Public Works Center Earns LEED Gold

he Village of Oak Park's Public Works Center has earned a Gold rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Illinois' first public works facility to pursue LEED certification, the Public Works Center houses all of the functions of the public works and provides space for offices, shops, vehicle storage, a maintenance garage, and a fueling station. Holabird & Root was hired to design a new facility after the original Public Works Center was destroyed by fire.

Because of the size and the operations contained within the Center, the goal for the project was to achieve LEED Silver certification. By carefully considering the environmental impact of each decision the project team was able to earn enough points for LEED Gold certification. The 155,000-s.f. facility includes a 10,000-s.f. green roof garden that reduces storm-water run-off; high-efficiency lighting and plumbing strategies; provisions for solar water heater collectors; and ultra-efficient mechanical heating and cooling systems. The team created a healthy work environment by using low-emission paints, adhesives, coatings, sealants and carpets throughout the facility. Large windows were designed to allow ample daylight into the interior of the building and increase employee productivity.

Working closely with the Village of Oak Park, the Community, and the Contractor the team designed a building that meets the needs of the Village employees and the Oak Park community.

Flannery Apartments Re-Open After Devastating Fire

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents and community officials celebrated the reopening of the Flannery Senior Apartments after an 18-month, $16 million renovation completed by Holabird & Root.

On October 30, 1998, a severed gas main caused a devastating fire at the Thomas Flannery Senior Homes, forcing residents to evacuate their homes quickly and leaving the building vacant for several years. Holabird & Root was hired by the CHA to rehabilitate the building. The project included reworking the floor plan to accommodate 125 residential units, upgrading mechanical systems, and facade and site improvements.

At the reopening celebration, Holabird & Root architects presented a pictorial of the site's features including a solarium with views of the city's skyline, a vegetable and flower garden, an updated recreation room, and fully handicap-accessible kitchens and bathrooms.

Lewis Jordan, the CEO of the CHA said the project is a proud testament to CHA's Plan for Transformation, which is rebuilding and rehabilitating public housing units for families and seniors in Chicago.

ASHRAE Recognizes Oak Park Public Works

Holabird & Root's design of the Oak Park Public Works facility was selected as the first place project for the 2008-2009 ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Technology Award in the Industrial Facilities category.

Cook receives distinguished award

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association (UWMAA) Board of Trustees honored Principal Greg Cook with the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award in the Field of Business and Architecture. Cook was recognized at the Alumni Association Awards Program and Reception on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

"I am flattered to receive such recognition," said Cook. "I find it interesting how the lessons learned as a student continue to manifest themselves in professional life. I thank UWM and the School of Architecture for what the institution has meant to me and, as a result, the difference I am able to facilitate in others. I'm proud to be honored by an organization that does such fine work and develops great architects."

In 1966, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association established the Distinguished Alumnus Award to honor outstanding alumni of the University. Cook received the award for his "unyielding commitment to implementing highest design and business principles in his architectural firm, Holabird & Root, as well as in the world of architecture as a whole...and his pivotal role as a founder of the STAR Fund, which supports gifted and diverse students in UWM's School of Architecture and Urban Planning."

Click here for more information.

Segal Presents at NCCCC Conference

On April 24, 2009 Holabird & Root's Maria Segal joined with Rebecca Dabbs-Keyser from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to present at the NCCCC (National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers).

Click here to view the presentation.

Noyce-detail at vault

Tradeline website features science project

Tradeline today published an article about Grinnell College's Noyce Science Center, which was recently completed by Holabird & Root. The article discusses how changes in teaching pedagogy and the need for more space to accommodate the rapidly increasing number of programs, students, and faculty members led to the implementation of the project.

Click here to read the online article.


Office renovation achieves LEED Gold

The City of Chicago's Streets and Sanitation Office, recently renovated by Holabird & Root, achieved LEED Gold certification for its creative sustainable design solutions.

Respecting budget concerns while creating a functional and sustainable space requires innovation. Collaborating closely with the City of Chicago's project managers, the design team at Holabird & Root examined every budget decision for cost savings while ensuring the Streets and Sanitation office renovation met the client's goals. Refurbished kitchen cabinets were purchased on Ebay, an existing abandoned shaft was repurposed, and existing materials were reused.

In addition to saving money, the building was designed to encourage sustainable practices. The basement contains showers and bike racks so that employees can commute to work on their bikes. The completed renovation resulted in a LEED Gold certified project and a polished, professional space even though minimal and unconventional materials were used.

St. Olaf receives energy award

St. Olaf College's Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences this week received Xcel Energy's Best-Integrated Design award from the company's Energy Design Assistance Program. The competition evaluated more than 100 projects completed between 2006 and 2008. The award was presented during a ceremony in Minneapolis on January 12, and it was accepted by representatives from Oscar J. Boldt Construction and Holabird & Root.

Regents Hall received the award for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, the building team involved Xcel early in the design process, which helped create ideal orientation and envelope design and maximized the effects of "daylight harvesting." Xcel awarded the College $540,000 in cash incentives intended to fund the features that resulted in six gigawatt-hours of savings, along with significant natural gas savings.

The award also made note of the "great collaboration" of all participants on the St. Olaf project, including the College, the design team at Holabird & Root, the contractors, and Xcel Energy.

Click here for more information.

Mesik to present at ASHRAE Winter Conference

Holabird & Root Associate Jonathan Mesik, PE, CPD, LEED AP, and Doug Howery of Arizon-MarCraft will present a poster presentation at the 2009 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on January 27. The presentation will be based on their paper "Energy Conservation at the Oak Park Public Works Center," which will be published in ASHRAE Transactions in February.

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Oak Park Public Works Facility featured online

The Village of Oak Park Public Works Facility is featured in an article on, an online news source that is dedicated to advancing responsible development through Green building in Chicago. The article discusses the sustainable aspects of the new facility.

The project is in the process of filing the correct paperwork to achieve LEED gold certification, and if that status is awarded, the building will become Illinois' first municipal public works facility to earn a LEED certification.

Click here to view the online article.