Hillshire Brands Headquarters

Existing building retrofit; Hillshire Brands Headquarters; Environmental Systems Design Inc.


The Hillshire Brands’ 400 South Jefferson headquarters building is shown after renovations, which included new windows and a new roof. Courtesy: Environmental Systems DesignEngineering firm: Environmental Systems Design Inc.
2013 MEP Giants rank:
Hillshire Brands Headquarters
Chicago, United States
Building type:
Project type:
Existing building retrofit
Engineering services:
Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC
Project timeline:
January 2012 to December 2012
Engineering services budget:
MEP budget: $440,000


For the relocation of its headquarters office from the suburbs to the city of Chicago, Hillshire Brands was interested in the 300,000-sq-ft building at 400 South Jefferson. The building's owner, Sterling Bay, offered to finance a comprehensive repurposing of the existing industrial building, including a new roof, removal of walls, and new windows. The interiors of the build-out consisted of general office space and specialty areas such as test kitchens and conference space. However, the tight timeline was a challenge for the design team. The renovation schedule, from the start of design to Hillshire's move-in, was set for one year and required a fast-track design approach from all team members. ESD's MEP design team had 6 weeks to complete bid and permit documents, compared to the 8- to 10-week design schedule for a normal project of this scope and magnitude.


To meet the aggressive schedule, the entirety of the project was modeled using BIM software. ESD used Revit MEP for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The as-built building conditions had already been modeled in BIM software by the base building contractor, and both the interiors architect and lighting designer were using Revit Architecture. This gave the ESD design team the ability to coordinate with all trades and speed up the design process. The result was a complete, quality set of drawings within the tight timeframe. A comparison between photos of the constructed space and the construction documents produced in BIM demonstrates the accuracy produced by this comprehensive coordination and the overall success of the design team.


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