Smoothing Out the Wrinkles

Renovation for factories, museums, old offices, schools, etc has become a small, but new light in the U.S. Many architectural and engineering firms have been pairing up together to help save timeless pieces of architecture and important iconic landmarks in many cities. As a building ages, the quality of the materials start to fail and repair is necessary. When it comes to sustainable standards, they would fall in the bottom, because it costs more, which would make property owners want to demolish and rebuild.

In the Architectural Record for 10-13 talks about various case studies and how people come around to making “face lifts” to buildings. However, in some cases when renovating buildings, there is the lack of respecting the buildings use of material, decoration, and layout of space. If we look at a case like the old industrial meat packaging factories in Chicago, IL, some of them are being gutted out to turn into offices or new high-end residential spaces. Depending on who is doing the fixing for buildings, they either do a complete renovation only leaving the bones of the building (structural elements) or have less experience on renovations and cause more harm than good.  In the cases from the article, each building has its own problems of renovation while still keeping true to the original design.

New facades, better lighting, improve ventilation, removal of toxic materials (asbestos, lead), meet ADA standards are one of many things needed to be meet by code, while still keeping with the integrity of the building. Simply addressing the problems of air leaks and façade failure, placing a new façade with newer material to withstand climates or to help reduce heat lose is easier said than done. However, being mindful of the buildings system when putting in new HVAC systems on the roof or integrating in the building could cause the building to fail or is not efficient enough to serve its purpose. Additionally, when adding an elevator to meet the requirements for ADA because the building does not have it. If you add more elements it could cause the building more stress and then there will need to be more structure systems added to support the load, which could harm the layout.

Jorgensen LaboratoryJorgensen Laboratory

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