Late last week, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) notified us that the Epstein designed and engineered renovations for the three-story South and two-story East Wings of Whirlpool’s three-building campus Global Headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan were certified LEED-NC Silver. With Whirlpool’s LEED designation, Epstein has now either designed, engineered or assisted in obtaining LEED certification on 53 buildings throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe.
For the South Wing, which compromises 164,000 square feet on two floors, Epstein’s architects and engineers added a new lobby addition to expand and upgrade the entry. Epstein moved the auditorium and cafeteria from level two to the ground floor next to the lobby giving these important spaces a higher profile. A coffee bar, an outdoor dining terrace and a private dining function were then added to the ground floor. New conference rooms and collaboration spaces were also added throughout the newly renovated office spaces to improve communication within the staff. Upon completion of this part of the renovation the entire 280,000 square foot Global Headquarters now had all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
In addition, during the renovation of the South Wing, Whirlpool requested that windows be added to a large windowless area in the East Wing that would be occupied by new workstations. When the masonry wall was opened up it was determined that the lintels were severely corroded and the welds connecting the lintels to the spandrel beams broken due to the absence of flashing. A review of the East Wing Envelope was conducted, the cause of the water infiltration was identified, the lintels were remediated and the new windows were installed. As part of this review, Epstein also identified additional repairs needed immediately to the East Wing as well as those that could be deferred to assist Whirlpool in aligning the repairs with their capital expenditures over the following years.
It should be noted that this project also featured the renovation of Whirlpool’s four-story North Wing, which includes the Boardroom as well as the offices of the CEO and the Senior Leadership Team. This project received its own individual LEED-NC Silver certification back in 2014.
Lastly, for this entire development Epstein was part of a Design-Build team lead by Pizzuti Development which also included the general contractor, Pepper Construction, and, interior designer, Interior Architects.