News / 5.19.17

Cedar Concepts Chemical Manufacturing Facility Wins USGBC - Illinois Emerald Award

Epstein designed and engineer LEED Certified selected for its environmental stewardship

Last night (May 18th), the Epstein designed and engineered Cedar Concepts Chemical Manufacturing Facility received the Intent to Matter: Community Impact Award from the United States Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter, as part of their 12th Annual Illinois Emerald Awards. Attending the awards ceremony was Jason Chandler, AIA, LEED AP, our senior vice president and director of project management, who was the guest of Linda McGill Boasmond, the owner of Cedar Concepts, and our client for this ambitious and unique manufacturing project.


Cedar Concepts were selected by the USGBC for ‘creating green manufacturing jobs in a LEED certified factory’ and Linda was specifically acknowledged for epitomizing ‘environmental stewardship and commitment to her community by bringing jobs and sustainability to (Chicago’s) Back of the Yards neighborhood.’

The Cedar Concepts new production facility is located at 41st and Packers on a brownfield site, within the boundaries of the historic Union Stockyards, with no existing structures and several prevailing environmental hazards.  The facility consists of a new headquarters and manufacturing facility along with a tank farm, truck loading docks, a truck scale, guest and employee parking with electric car battery charging stations. 


Cedar Concepts relocated all current manufacturing operations from their original facility to this location, including most process equipment and process support equipment (i.e. chiller, cooling towers, compressors and hot box, which is used to liquefy raw materials stored in drums or totes).  Also, Cedar Concepts relocated other existing leased equipment such as the nitrogen generator and water treatment.

This new two-story facility is 60,000 square feet and is divided up into the following two main functions; business and industrial.  The business portion consists of a two-story office building of approximately 12,000 square feet with a lobby, board room, server room, private offices, workstations, and training room. This facility is also Cedar Concepts headquarters and the office exterior and interior aesthetic reflects Cedar’s brand identity. 


The 48,000 square foot industrial portion is divided into a process, packaging and storage component and consists of a reacting area, blending area and a process support space and packaging area for flaking and bagging. Additionally, there is a utilities area with maintenance shop above.  Catwalks were necessary throughout the process space and are integrated into the building’s design.  The process support space is made up of a men’s and women’s locker room and lab rooms.  The storage area is for bulk raw materials storage and finished goods.  This area also houses the “hot box”.  High hazard chemicals are utilized and stored within this process so containment, ventilation, explosion control and separation are all issues which were dictated by local building codes. 


Sustainable design and practices were very important to the client and therefore Epstein designed the building to achieve LEED BD+C Silver certification through the inclusion of wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels as well as passive solar heating systems.

Lastly, the Emerald Awards were held at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications at 360 North State Street and brought together more than 500 industry leaders working in the sustainability field and the green building community.