Zurich North America Headquarters

Schaumburg, IL
Owner Zurich North America
Architect Goettsch Partners / Grand Island, Cannon Deisgn Inc.
Construction Manager Clayco Construction
Design Build Mechanical icon Mechanical
Value of icon's Work $13,800,000
LEED Certification Platinum

icon Mechanical served as the design/build mechanical contractor for this 783,800 SF Class A single-tenant facility. Zurich’s home is the largest build-to-suit office project in the Chicago area since 2001. This facility also held the title of the Largest LEED Certified Platinum Building in North America for more than 4 years. 

icon was brought on board to provide the best value design solution. Energy efficiency was one of the main guiding principles. Chilled beams were studied as an option; however the owner was uneasy with this new technology. Using our engineering ingenuity, we came up with three designs that could achieve LEED Platinum. 

The final design included on-site energy generation, an absorption chiller to utilize waste heat from the generators, high efficiency magnetic bearing chillers and energy recovery wheels for ventilation air. The air handlers were oversized to help reduce static pressure and decrease energy consumption.

icon was responsible for all BIM coordination, with a focus on prefabrication. Pump skids were designed, detailed and fabricated in Granite City. The finished products were shipped to Chicago for installation by our subcontractor. icon project managers were on-site to oversee the subcontractors and ensure the project was successful.

This project required over 1,200 construction workers and 3,000,000 man-hours. Our workforce of pipefitters and sheet metal workers were able to avoid any lost time accidents. icon’s safety program has successfully travled to 41 states without a lost time accident.

Project Highlights

  • 783,800 SQFT Office Complex
  • Unique Design Composed of Three Primary “Bars,” Offset and Stacked – (2) 5-Story Bars & (1) 11-Story Bar
  • Largest Single Tenant Facility Built in the Chicago Region Since 2001
  • Largest LEED Platinum Certified Building in North America
  • Architectural Details Required Concealed Supply and Return Air Systems
  • Programmable Shade Systems Utilized to Adjust According to Light and Temperature
  • Only Two Core Areas (18 Structural Columns) to Bring Mechanical Systems to North Bar
  • Cantilevered Floor System Required Special Mechanical Application
  • Large Open Office Areas Required Well-Balanced Mechanical Systems

Mechanical Components

  • Hi-Efficiency Magnetic Bearing Water-Cooled Chillers with VFD
  • 1,950 Tons of Centrifugal Cooling with 200 Tons of Absorbers
  • 12 Air Handlers Providing over 559,000 CFM of Conditioned Air
  • Winter Free Cooling Heat Exchanger
  • VFD Driven Pumps and Fans
  • SCR (100% Modulating) Electric Heat
  • Energy Recovery Wheel for Ventilation Air
  • Chilled Water / SCR Electric Heat Air Handling Units
  • Zone Control
  • Interior: Cooling Only VAV
  • Perimeter: Parallel Fan Powered Terminal with SCR Electric Heat
  • Chilled Water Tenant Loop Connections – Two per Wing


  •  As of January 2020, the facility has improved its ENERGY STAR score from 65 (2017) to 87 (2019)…this means Zurich North America Headquarters is performing in the 87th percentile of all buildings within the data set. We credit this increase in score to commissioning set points and the facility team’s use of co-gen in the summer of 2018.
  • 2017 ‘Best Green Project,’ ENR Magazine’s Best Projects Awards
  • 2017 Design-Build Merit Award, Design-Build Institute of America 
  • 2017 International Architecture Award – Corporate Buildings, International Architecture Awards, The Chicago Athenaeum and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. 
  • 2017 Keystone Award, AGCMO 


Capabilities Used