Fire Protection


Landmarks Illinois, 2017 Real Estate & Building Industries Council Award


Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture


RTM provided engineering and design of the MEP/FP systems for the redevelopment of a building on the National Register of Historic Places known as the Bush Temple of Music. Completed in 1902 and designed in the French Renaissance Revival “Chateauesque” style by J.E.O. Pridmore, the building was originally the Bush and Gerts Piano Company’s headquarters and showroom. It also provided space for cultural events and tenants involved in the arts.

Renovation of the six-story structure included restoration of the basement into a fitness center, first-floor retail, and the conversion of floors two through six from office use to market-rate apartments. The majority of the residential units range from 350 to 450 square feet and offer affordable rent options for interested residents. Additional amenities include a rooftop deck,
bike storage, and public and private common spaces.

The rehabilitation of the Chicago landmark required inventive MEP/FP strategies to preserve the historical integrity of the building. A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system was selected to provide heating and cooling to the apartments. This system incorporates the flexibility necessary for meeting the varied loads found in the micro apartments while its pipework’s minimal intrusion allows for the preservation of existing finishes. Due to high ceilings created by the steeply pitched roof in a few of the top-floor units, heat recovery
was utilized as an energy efficient method to maximize thermal comfort. RTM designed a dedicated outdoor air unit (DOAS) to supply tempered makeup air into the building, which offsets the exhaust requirements and any extra infiltration due to stack effect.