Living wall images courtesy of LiveWall


Civil Engineering


1.73 Acres


Novak Construction Company


RTM was contracted to perform civil engineering services to Novak Construction for the ground-up Whole Foods, located on the corner of Ashland and Belmont. The Lakeview grocery store opened in Spring 2017 and will become the chain’s second-largest store in Chicago.

Civil design includes site due diligence, utility designs, stormwater management, rainwater recapture system for live wall irrigation and an underground stormwater detention vault.

During the design phase of the project, one challenge presented to the team was the location of the building, which was in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

RTM proposed the idea of designing a “living wall” on the sides of the building that faced the neighborhood. This would not only give the building facade a softer look, but also promote a strategy to help eliminate rainwater from flowing into the overburdened sewer system. The design would allow rainwater to be captured in an underground cistern and then used to irrigate the living wall. In addition to this underground rainwater harvesting system, a separate water detention system was also put in place in order to collect overflow during the off-season winter months when the living wall would not need to be irrigated.

For successful completion of this project, RTM coordinated with various permitting agencies of the City of Chicago such as CDOT, Office of Underground Coordination, and Stormwater Management.