Epstein served as the architect and engineer for the renovation of the Whirlpool Global Headquarters located on a campus of approximately 132 acres located on M-63 in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The Whirlpool Global HQ is composed of three buildings totaling 282,350 square feet. There is a 4-story North wing constructed in 1955, a 3-story South wing constructed in 1972, and a 2-story East wing constructed in 1982-83. All three wings have steel structures, the north is structurally independent, and the South and East Wings are connected structurally. All three wings have stone or masonry cladding and reflective glazing.
The North Wing includes the Boardroom as well as the offices of the CEO and the Senior Leadership Team. In 2013, Epstein renovated the interior and added 1,800 sf of new space for a Boardroom and new Executive offices. The existing building had ceilings as low at 7’-10”, after the renovation the minimum ceiling height in the open office space is 9’-0”. This was particularly challenging due to the 10’-0” floor to floor heights on level 2 and 3. A new central stair was added to bring natural light into the center of the building and facilitate better communication between departments. Conferencing was significantly expanded and collaboration zones were added to implement the workplace improvements that were successful at the Riverview Campus. Epstein designed all new MEP systems supported by a central plant.
The South Wing compromises 164,000 square feet on 2 floors and includes a new lobby addition to expand and upgrade the entry. In 2015, Epstein moved the auditorium and cafeteria from level 2 to the ground floor next to the lobby giving these important spaces a high 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 added throughout the newly renovated office spaces to improve communication within the staff. Upon completion of this part of the renovation the Whirlpool World Headquarters now had all new Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems.
During the renovation of the Whirlpool’s Global HQ’s the client 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.
In addition, Epstein identified additional repairs needed immediately as well as those that could be deferred to assist Whirlpool in aligning the repairs with their capital expenditures over the following years.
Lastly, this renovation and expansion was certified LEED-NC v2009 Silver.