The Niles North Aquatics Center, home to a year-round competitive swim program hosted by the local school district, Illinois Swimming and USA Swimming, features a new two-story addition and competition pool, in Skokie, Illinois. KJWW Engineering Consultants worked with Vulcraft Group, supplier of steel joists, steel joist girders and steel decking, to complete the project.
The 23,348-square-foot aquatic center is distinguished by its curved ceiling that creates a dramatic exterior profile. The curved roof accommodates the seating area by making one end of the building two stories high. The interior features an exposed structural ceiling, which captures natural daylighting and provides a light and airy atmosphere. Constructed with Vulcraft arched chord joist and composite floor decking, the building is LEED® certified, designed to reduce energy use by 44 percent, resulting in annual savings of 31.5 percent.
Vulcraft’s products work in unison to provide a secure and robust facility. Vulcraft’s arched chord joists were chosen because of their ability to withstand the high humidity of an indoor pool. Due to the repetitive design of the 20 exposed ceiling joists, Vulcraft was able to manufacture the material easily, in a cost-effective manner, bringing together an integral component to the design. The aesthetics of the joists were also considered because of the exposed nature of the ceiling.
The pool includes a seating area and a new eight-lane stretch pool with movable bulkhead. The mezzanine provides spectator seating for 500 and the pool deck seats 180 athletes. The renovation of the existing pool includes corridors, locker rooms, new pool and deck surfaces, support space, plumbing, roof and efficient lighting and mechanical systems.
For their work on the project, KJWW Engineering Consultants was recognized as a winner of a 2014 NuHeights Design Award by Vulcraft/Verco Group. The NuHeights Design Awards recognize outstanding design, architecture and the diverse applications of building with steel.