HOK Steel Design Wins Green Building Competition

HOK School DesignTeam members from global design and engineering firm HOK’s Chicago office have won the 2014School Annex Design Competition, organized by the Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago (LBCCC). The competition tasked entrants to design a sustainable classroom building as an annex to the overcrowded Eli Whitney Elementary School on Chicago’s southwest side.

HOK’s team focused on a structural steel design strategy that connects their building to the site with a surface that people can sit and walk on and see throughout the building.

“We wanted to float our building to open up the ground plan in order to maximize open space for school/community activities and greenspace for a playground, public garden and rain water collection pond,” said Justin Warner, one of HOK’s team members. “Essentially, we designed the school as a steel trussed bridge. The building is supported at either end. The school entrance anchors at the north end and integrates into the structural grid of the existing annex to the south.”

The design also employs a bimetallic facade paneling system that responds to solar orientation and ambient temperatures in order to shade or provide light into the building.

LBCCC hopes the competition will encourage the development and construction of a fully certified Living Building in Chicago. The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certification program created in 2006 by the non-profit International Living Future Institute.

For additional information about HOK’s winning design and the competition, visithttp://lbccchicagocompetition.wordpress.