Best Foot Forward on an Environmental Milestone

At 1611 West Division, the developers wanted to create an impressive 11-story, metal-and-glass, LEED-silver compliant apartment building.


Once this exciting project was completed, it became an environmental milestone – the first transit oriented development within the City of Chicago.


Kingspan’s Designwall 1000 building envelope  solution was selected for the project to provide two of the building’s most valued features – a great appearance and excellent energy performance. 


It is not easy to find affordable apartment rentals in Chicago. It has been quite a challenge just to get them built, and the pace of new multi-family housing construction wasn’t fast enough to meet the demand.


After a one-story Pizza Hut was demolished in 2012, developers Paul Utigard and Rob Buono decided to construct an 11-story, metal-and-glass, LEED-silver compliant apartment building on the site. The design-construction team was commissioned to get the project completed quickly. 


BENCHMARK by Kingspan Designwall 1000 architectural metal panels were specified to create the building’s envelope. Even with the project’s budget constraints, this would mean design flexibility was possible and energy performance would be excellent. To complete the look, it was installed with Kingspan custom flashing products. 


The architect, Wheeler Kearns, wanted the envelope to create a sense of presence to identify with the character and individuality of the people in this progressive community. A big box design using conventional materials satisfied the need for a fast build out and required energy performance.


Insulated metal panels have a core of continuous foam insulation that provides industry leading R-values to show thermal efficiency. The panel design also incorporates an inter locking perimeter joinery that provide superior air and water tightness. The Designwall 1000 panels not only contribute to LEED certification ratings, but also Path to Net-Zero Energy targets. 


By specifying this single-component wall system, the design team saved substantial installation costs. Faster on-site installation time compared to traditional multi-part exterior walls helped the project keep on schedule, while reducing the building’s overall demand for energy. Because these insulated metal panels weigh only 3 pounds per square foot, transport costs and installation energy were reduced. 


Kingspan’s Designwall 1000 insulated metal panels create a rainscreen wall system that offers impressive curb appeal and excellent thermal performance.


As a contributing factor to a structure’s sustainability rating, the exterior skins contain a substantial amount of recycled content. Kingspan insulated metal panels last as long as the service life expected of a standard commercial building and offer multiple end-of-life reuse options.


Today, 1611 West Division offers much that is needed from a mixed-used, high-density urban building. By eliminating parking for residents, 1611 West Division is devoted to mass transit users, bicyclists, and pedestrians, which reduces housing density and traffic congestion. The building received an unbeatable WalkScore of 100.



Chicago, IL



Kingspan Panels NA



February 2013


At the A' 18?  Visit these manufacturers to learn more about Designing with Metal:

Metl Span  Booth 515

Kingspan    Booth 1121

Centria       Booth  657

Atas            Booth  257

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Build Legacies: Metal