Heavy Timber Multi-Use Building
IMEG provided structural engineering design services, along with construction administration, for the new 45,000-sf multi-use building in Chicago’s historical Fulton market district. This project was the first new heavy timber multi-story building in the City of Chicago in over 50 years.
IMEG first developed a couple of different structural system schemes for the Owner to price including a cross-laminated timber option, heavy timber option utilizing glulams, steel option and a concrete option. The Owner ultimately decided on the heavy timber option. In addition, because this was the first heavy timber project in the City of Chicago in over 50 years, IMEG was heavily involved in the permitting process and helping to get the building type approved. The City of Chicago does not view glulam construction to be the same as heavy timber in the building code, even though other codes view them as the same. IMEG then brought in exhibits and Wood Council members to show how these materials are the same and ultimately receive approval from the city.
The glulam timber members were from the Pacific Northwest and milled in Oregon and Idaho. They were used for the beams, columns and decking. With the popularity of mass timber projects taking off in recent years, this building was a good example of the use of this sustainable material. It offers an aesthetic that is already present in the historic Fulton Market district in Chicago but with new and more modern uses. The Landmarks group in Chicago played a vital role in the development of the façade to blend in with the historic streetscape. The heavy timber mimics historic design elements and returns to the root of the neighborhood.
The beams come in at 6 ¾ inches thick and vary in width from 15 to 27 inches while the columns are 12 inches by 12 inches, each weighing roughly 800 pounds.