News / 2.2.17

Throwback Thursday – Technical Publishing

Featured reflective insulated glass, structurally glazed on all four sides to create an appealing smooth surface

We take a trip back to 1984 for today’s Epstein Throwback Thursday to cover the opening of the 85,000 square foot addition to the Technical Publishing office building in Barrington, Illinois. For this two-story expansion Epstein provided full-service architecture and engineering design services for a project that allowed Technical Publishing the ability to consolidate its staff into a single location, improve their working conditions, and accommodate future expansions.


The new building, which was connected to the existing one by a walkway, houses the main entrance, lobby, conference/training area, audio-visual room, conference rooms, offices, a telephone call center, and a cafeteria with a terraced café.

The Technical Publishing addition has a dynamic appearance. Its curved footprint parallels the bordering roadway and rolling terrain. Its façade was constructed of reflective insulated glass, structurally glazed on all four sides to create an appealing smooth surface.  The addition is stepped at one end where it joins the existing structure -- there it is clad in clear insulated glass to provide contrast to the reflective glass facade.  The roof is made of copper, a material that adapts well to the building's curved shape and highlights the neutral-toned exterior.


Site modifications designed by our civil engineers included relocation of the entrance road and parking lot, creation of a neutral zone adjacent to a residential area, and installation of a storm water detention basin.

Our MEP/FP engineers, further supplementing our long-standing sustainable design DNA, developed energy efficient and cost effective building management systems for the Technical Publishing addition. Specifically, our engineers designed a thermal storage system rather than a conventional 80’s style air-conditioning system. Thermal storage systems were more economical because they manufactured ice at night to cool building during the day. This system used maximum electrical power during the ‘off-peak’ evening hours, when the demand for power and cost was low. Thermal storage systems also represented a lower capital outlay due to the fact that air circulating through these systems was colder, therefore smaller and less expensive ducts, fans and motors were used. Even the refrigeration system used by a thermal storage system is smaller and more efficient because the system operates steadily over a long period as opposed to heavily during a short time frame.


Running with the construction of the addition was the renovation of the original Technical Publishing building. This part of the project featured a new power distribution system, telephone and data processing communication system (hooked up to all work stations), a building automation and energy management system, and energy-efficient lighting, as well additional parking.

Additionally, the design for the Technical Publishing addition in November of ’85 received a First Honor, National Design Award, from the Society of American Registered Architects.


Lastly, if you are curious this building is still standing although it’s not an office building – it’s now after some significant interior modifications the home to The Orchard Evangelical Church.