AIA Chicago Presents the 2019 Design Excellence Awards

Recently AIA Chicago presented the 2019 Design Excellence Awards, an annual awards program that honors the best work by Chicago architecture firms found worldwide; as well as Chicago-based projects by national and international firms.

This year, three projects Berglund Construction served as General Contractor for were recognized with a 2019 Design Excellence Award.

Merchandise Mart Art on theMART Wins Distinguished Building Award

In the spirit of Chicago’s great legacy of public art and culture, Art on theMART is the largest digital art projection in the world. This installation is a first-of-its-kind for Chicago, projected across 2.5 acres (two football fields) of theMART’s exterior river-façade, adding to the city’s vibrant public art scene.

Our work as construction manager, centered on modifications at the Chicago River Walk to create the structure and associated facilities for the projector. This included the construction of a server room, projection room, ComEd electrical vault with a new 480 V service, a food service kitchen and public restroom facilities. We also brought fiber-optic communication lines under the Chicago River and conducted vibration studies to determine the viability of the installation.

Our crews installed 108 anchors for the projector racks, all of which were within a mandatory 1/32” tolerance. Tolerances were especially tight because one millimeter of deviation at the projector installation would have created two feet of deviation of the image on the building.

The Design Architect and Architect of Record for this project was Valerio Dewalt Train.

Chicago Union Station Great Hall Restoration Wins Divine Detail Award

Named a Chicago landmark in 2002, Chicago's Union Station was designed by Daniel Burnham and successor firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and completed in 1925. The Great Hall is considered the station's main attraction with its 219-foot-long barrel-vaulted skylight that soars 115 feet above the ground. Because of extensive leaks in the existing skylight, Union Station hired Berglund to construct a new, higher-performing skylight over the original system.

The primary challenge of this project was performing the work without disrupting the station's daily operations. While Berglund was installing the skylight above, an estimated 130,000 Metra and Amtrak commuters passed through the great hall directly below. To ensure our work didn't interfere with the commuters, Berglund installed a Quick Deck system below the entire existing skylight. This system hung from the skylight's structural steel beams, so no scaffold legs would take up valuable space on the ground.

In an effort to preserve the important historic features of the building, the existing skylight system was refinished, reglazed and left in place. The new, high-performing skylight was constructed five feet above the original and increased natural light by approximately 50 percent.

As a result of continued water leaks, the interior plaster in the Great Hall was also in need of restoration. Once the new skylight system was in place, eliminating the risk of further leaks, Berglund restored the Great Hall's plaster, paint, and interior ornamentation.

The Design Architect for this project was Goettsch Partners.

The University of Chicago Physics Research Center Wins Distinguished Building Award.

The main purpose of this renovation and expansion was to co-locate physicists and theorists within a scientific and educational environment. A careful balance of private offices, lab space and collaboration areas provide a welcome atmosphere for The University of Chicago's important research and learning.

As construction manager during preconstruction, Berglund's interdisciplinary team implemented target value design to maintain budget and control cost. While all members brought valuable perspectives to target value design, key subcontractors played a particularly pivotal role as they continuously provided estimates and constructibility insights in real-time.

During the construction phase, Berglund utilized lean processes and best practice tools to deliver the project on time and within the guaranteed maximum price. Pull planning provided a significant impact on the scheduling and execution of work tasks. During three-month pull meetings, the team identified workload challenges and opportunities for efficiency resulting in a continuous flow of materials and manpower on site.

The Physics Research Center was designed to be LEED Silver and went on to achieve LEED Gold.

The Design Architect and Architect for Record for this project was Perkins Eastman.