The headquarters building of RLI, a publicly held specialty insurance company in Peoria, IL, had become dated and needed extensive interior and exterior repairs. Originally constructed in 1970, the 81,000 sq. ft. building‘s precast concrete facade had deteriorated significantly. To give the building a new look, RLI hired Dewberry Architects, Inc., Peoria. The firm considered many products to revitalize the building's exterior but ultimately chose zinc claddings from RHEINZINK America Inc. of Woburn, MA.
In its work to develop a plan for the building, RLI conducted employee focus groups to determine what design elements should be incorporated. Employees expressed a desire for an innovative, modern look; more natural light; natural construction materials; and flexible conferencing/working areas. “Employees were really involved in the design,“ said Jonathan Michael, RLI’s chairman and CEO. “As a result, we became much more efficient.“
A major challenge associated with the project was RLI’s need to continue operations during the renovation process. This required a three-step plan to renovate a third of operations while employees worked in other areas of the building.
The major elements of the project called for the replacement of the cracked and leaking precast concrete, the addition of center stairwells with structural reinforcement and construction of large glass curtainwall. Significant exterior sections of the roof and walls were removed for the installation of curtainwall, center stairwells, a large glass vestibule and skylights. New structural steel was required in numerous interior areas of the facility.
Various alternatives were considered for the new facade. “We showed multiple facade options including zinc as well as a variety of traditional metal panel products,“ according to Dewberry project designer Kalman Nagy. “But the zinc provided the timeless, sophisticated, inspiring look that everyone wanted. Plus, everyone liked the fact that zinc is a natural material.“
Approximately 7,000 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles in PrePATINA blue-grey and preweathered graphite-grey were utilized to clad the facade. The Flat-Lock Tiles were fabricated by RHEINZINK distributor MetalTech—USA, Peachtree City, GA.
“The RHEINZINK PrePATINA blue-grey material forms a band around the building that links the three vestibule entry areas,“ Nagy added. “It helps provide the streamlined, progressive look that defines RLI and its employees.“
The installation of the RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles was done by Climate Engineers, Eldridge, IA. Construction management services were provided by Mangieri Companies, Inc., Peoria.