For the better part of the past six years Epstein's architects, interior designers and engineers have been helping renovate and modernize the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital campus in Hines, Illinois. These projects have included facility renovations, additions, roof replacements, roadways, and parking lots. Its work that we have found to be richly rewarding as we do our little part to help the VA in their mission, 'To fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.'
On this Veterans Day we thought we'd take a moment to highlight our most ambitious Hines project - the Façade Replacement of Building 200 - which is currently in construction. For this project Epstein is providing architectural, as well as MEP/FP & structural engineering services, to replace the façade of this 13-story building, which also happens to be Hines' central hub.
Epstein's tasks for this assignment include the removal of existing masonry and precast fins, windows, precast panels, precast caps, precast horizontal shades, flashing, louvers and any other items impacted by the replacement of the exterior enclosure. Our work also features the design of a new enclosure system that includes new windows, glass spandrel panels, enclosure attachments, weather membrane, flashing, interior finish modifications to join to new enclosure, insulation and interface details at the top and bottom of the tower with existing conditions.
In addition, the main design feature of this project is to allow the VA, as they, in the future, remodel the interior departments of Building 200, the ability to open-up the exterior wall by removing, some of the demountable panels installed in this renovation which will then reveal new clear vision glass already in place. This new glazing also includes fritting's which will create an irregular glass pattern appearance when viewed from the outside. This design solution will also mask the random opening of these new windows, therefore, as interior renovations take place, and new views to the outside are made, Building 200's new exterior façade will not look pock-marked or odd to Hines' visitors.
Lastly, further overall design goals of this project include:
• New enclosure to provide a new modern exterior appearance of the Hospital.
• Provide a weather tight enclosure.
• Provide an effective thermal enclosure separating the critical interior conditioned space from the unconditioned exterior to provide improved interior comfort and energy savings (based on life-cycle cost analysis).
• Incorporate innovative sustainable technologies including increasing daylighting through the inclusion of larger windows and utilization of the latest Low-E glazing technology to reduce solar heat gain.
• Provide a new modern enclosure that reduces maintenance costs.
• New enclosure to minimize impact to existing hospital operations.
This façade replacement project is being completed in multiple phases and coordinated with the ongoing operations of the hospital. Construction for this project is schedule to be complete in 2018.