IIT Smart Grid Technical Center

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

This project renovates an existing research space into a demonstration and training center for Smart Grid technology, a "green" electrical energy initiative that employs digital technology to distribute electricity as efficiently and economically as possible. Dark corridors with cinder block-lined walls are replaced with glazed partitions to allow daylight to penetrate deep into the floor plate, reducing the energy demand for lighting and at the same time opening up views to the campus and city.

Visitors step off the elevator into a lobby space of mirrored/tinted glass leading to demonstration rooms where Smart Grid technology is explained. Electrical risers and in-wall conduit are exposed between the layers of red-tinted glass to uncover and celebrate the means of electrical distribution to the floor. A wall of video monitors leads to the classrooms where people train for careers related to clean energy technology.

Electrical usage monitoring is integrated into the architecture to make building occupants aware of the energy they are using (and saving). Perimeter offices are bounded by floor-to-ceiling glass window walls to bring abundant daylight into the public corridor. State-of-the-art window coatings are added to the building's windows to improve thermal performance.

Architect of record

John Ronan
John Ronan Architects
420 West Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312-951-6600
Fax: 312-951-6544

General contractor

Tim Puntillo
Bulley & Andrews, LLC
1755 West Armitage Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622, USA
Phone: 773-645-5813

Consultant 1

Bob Magruder
Goodfriend Magruder Structure LLC
53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 352
Chicago, IL 60604, USA
Phone: 312-265-2645

Consultant 2

James Shults
Grumman/Butkus Associates
820 Davis Street, Suite 300
Evanston, IL 60201, USA
Phone: 847-316-9247

Consultant 3

Carl Giegold
Threshold Acoustics LLC
53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 815
Chicago, IL 60604, USA
Phone: 312-386-1400


Steve Hall
Hedrich Blessing Photographers
400 North Peoria Street
Chicago, IL 60642, USA
Phone: 312-491-1101