Addition & Renovation for New Innovation Center
IMEG provided engineering and design services for the expansion and renovation to accommodate the new Innovation Center at Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago. The project included demolishing the central hub’s colonnade building and constructing an addition between two buildings. The addition features a greenhouse, headhouse, an array of laboratories for plant pathology, molecular biology, cell biology, and tissue culture, offices and corporate rooms, a kitchen, cafeteria, and media prep suite. Each lab was highly specialized to the needs of each researcher, thus systems were designed to easily accommodate the addition of future equipment.
“Growing a Green Future” was chosen as an overarching vision of the project, and it is supported by three key objectives: “Enable Great Science”, “Evolve Work Culture”, and “Communicate Research Activity”. To promote the highest-level research and development, collaboration through transparency and proximity are key strategies in designing the new facility. The focus on employee productivity and wellness combined with a passion for plants and gardening fostered a very intentional and direct connection between the laboratories and the garden landscape.
IMEG participated in multiple meetings with each user group to coordinate the design. A single high-efficiency condensing boiler with eight internal modules to provide redundancy but save on space and cost and is a key component to the overall design success.
While the project didn’t intend to pursue LEED certification, IMEG implemented several renewable features into the design, including an energy recovery wheel to transfer energy between the outside and exhaust airstreams to conserve energy, high-efficiency lighting and advanced controls, and window shades with solar tracking.
The project posed several challenges that required innovative design solutions. Because there was no chilled water on-site, engineers designed a DX air handler with multiple fully-modulating compressors to better react to the loads. Another innovative solution reconfigured two under-utilized generators at the site in order to provide 100 percent backup for the facility.