In September 2014, Honor Credit Union in Berrien Springs, Mich., broke ground on a new three-story, 37,000-ft² operations center. The new building would provide centralized support, offices, and technological services for the entire credit union network—and the owners wanted it up and running in just 12 months.
“The biggest challenges began with the construction schedule, timing, and winter,” says Jeff Klymson, founding principal at Collective Office in Chicago, Ill., the architect on the project. Berrien Springs is on the east coast of Lake Michigan, which is known for its long, snowy winters, so the team had to work fast to get the building enclosed before the cold set in.
Their solution: make the entire cladding using only two precast concrete panels, and get them into production as early as possible. “That way, only the interior trades were working in the coldest months of the year,” Klymson says.