The Obama Presidential Center
with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Atelier Ten led the sustainability vision for this world-class museum and public gathering space, which as a built project embodies the Obama Administration’s work to combat climate change. Atelier Ten focused on decarbonization with all-electric systems and a Net Zero
Energy approach, an ambitious achievement for a museum of this size. Our analysis led to the incorporation of ground source heat pumps and all-electric kitchen equipment to avoid the use of fossil fuels, and off-site renewable energy to offset the building’s electric demand.
The project will serve as a neighborhood amenity given the project’s sensitive location in Jackson Park, adjacency to Lake Michigan and the South Side of Chicago. Based on these factors, Atelier Ten developed meaningful metrics and sustainability approaches to seamlessly integrate the building into the park, enhance ecosystem health, reduce stormwater runoff and pursue SITES Silver. Impressively, water is fully managed and reused on site, eliminating runoff to the overburdened local sewer system, and reduced the building water use by 89%.
To achieve net zero energy, Atelier Ten’s analysis significantly informed the high- performance envelope and advanced all- electric design that includes ground source heat pumps, energy-efficient lighting and innovative controls strategies. To offset the building’s energy, renewables will be installed off-site to allow the urban open space and historic park to be used as a community amenity.
Going beyond building performance, Atelier Ten optimized the interior environment to create a comfortable and memorable space. The interior courtyards and façade were fine-tuned to bring daylight into office spaces, while carefully designing the apertures in the museum to provide useful daylight and increase visual comfort while protecting artifacts and artwork