This rowing training and boat storage facility is the fourth of four boathouses built as a revitalization effort of the Chicago River. It is the second of two dbHMS boathouses in this program (the first being WMS Boathouse at Clark Park), both designed by Studio Gang Architects. The Design-Bid-Build project consists of two buildings containing boat storage and rental services, an exercise area and event space.
A VRF system was implemented in Building A to serve the potentially diverse occupancy and solar heat gain loads. The building façade includes glazing at all sides and utilizes daylight sensors to automatically dim lighting outputs. Condensing units serving the VRF system are located in an enclosed mechanical space. This also provides the ability to maintain higher temperatures in colder months for increased efficiency. Conversely, for adequate heat rejection in hotter seasons a large exhaust plenum was necessary to allow for low pressure drops through the ductwork and maintain the building’s façade aesthetic.
Constructing such a large plenum was a challenge in the field while working within the fluctuating yet continuously limited budget. The solution was to create two duct streams from the condensing units that merged instead of a large single angled plenum, reducing initial costs while offering a continually money-saving option.
The project is designed and constructed to achieve LEED NCv2009 Silver Certification.