December 21, 2021
Coming in at no. 33 in our Top 100 Project countdown is a DesignBuild project we completed for Keebler in Elmhurst, Illinois. This 85,000-square-foot project was Keebler's national center for process and product development and featured laboratories, a pilot plant and offices.
The research facility provides laboratories for product development and a highly-flexible space for the development of bakery and frying processes for Keebler’s new products. The laboratory and office wing are visually organized around a circular glass drum, which screen the process plant. The articulated façade of brick and limestone is in contrast to the solar reflective glass drum, which contains the reception area, visitor conference rooms and a mezzanine for the employee lunch room.
Variable volume air conditioning systems are utilized for the laboratories and offices and were designed to function efficiently in concert with the laboratory fume hood systems. Laboratory and pilot plant air exhaust and liquid wastes were handled in accordance with environmental concerns. Due to the uncertain nature of which products were tested, the building was designed with a great deal of flexibility. Because food products are being tested and developed, sanitary design was also an important consideration.
This milestone building was completed in 1987 and was one of a dozen projects Epstein delivered for Keebler over a 15-year period.