Enhanced fire safety for New Loop residential project

May 20, 2013 - In 2014, an environmentally friendly 42-story apartment building will open its doors at 73 E. Lake St. in Chicago. The state-of-the-art building, Summit on the Lake, will boast an indoor pool, fitness center, yoga/Pilates studio, business center, cyber cafe, theater and spa with a waterfall.

United States Alliance Fire Protection will install the fire sprinkler system for the 332-unit apartment building. This will include multi-zoned sprinkler systems throughout the building's 530,000 square feet, two standpipes, two fire pump zones and dry pipe automatic fire sprinkler systems protecting the 178-space parking garage.

Aaron Hoffberg, a USAFP project manager and LEED AP, is overseeing the installation of the fire sprinkler systems. The downtown location presents unique operational challenges for the Summit's build team, which must navigate busy Chicago streets, tight urban spaces and other complications, he said.

"There haven't been a lot of high rise construction projects in Chicago lately and this is one of the first projects coming out of the recession," Hoffberg said. "It's a very exciting undertaking that includes operating in a confined location and with cramped logistics."

The building is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council, a trade association that rates the environmental impact of construction projects in the United States.

The extra steps associated with obtaining LEED gold certification are well worth the effort, Hoffberg says. In the end, residents will not only have the latest amenities and fire safety technology, but they'll be conserving resources and protecting the environment.

Now a sustainable building site, the ongoing Summit project anticipates overall energy cost savings of about 15 percent once the building is operating, including improved indoor air quality, water efficiency and a green roof for residents. M and R Development is overseeing the project and McHugh Construction is serving as its general contractor. The units, which will range from studios to two bedrooms, also will include stainless steel Energy Star appliances.

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