Schaumburg, IL – The new North American headquarters for the Zurich Insurance Group is absolutely breathtaking. The Zurich headquarters will remain in Illinois, where it continues to generate income for the state and support the local community. The building has a bold architectural design and promotes the company’s environmental consciousness; it will be considered for a Platinum LEED certification. There is a natural feel to the headquarters as it incorporates extensive landscaping, natural light permeation, a large water wall in the main lobby, and several Sika Green Roofs. To review this significant project we met with Sika’s Eric Hurst and Lance Krall, and Jim Fredericks from Sullivan Roofing, Inc.
The new headquarters utilizes multiple Sika Sarnafil systems throughout the design. Several green roofs were installed, providing several benefits in additional to aesthetics. Otto Nichols III, Project Executive from CRG Real Estate Solutions, explained to us that careful selection was taken in deciding which plants were used for the green roofs and throughout the property. An outdoor bridge on the third floor of the building connects the two sections of the structure. Both sides of this Amenity Pavilion already have full gardens with functional irrigation systems. The Sika Green Roof system used merges the protective nature of Sika Roofing Systems with a medium to promote plant growth and easy maintenance. The result is a roof that provides additional insulation, reduces storm water run-off, and improves air quality on a Pavilion to be enjoyed by Zurich’s employees.
Each of the green roofs incorporates an electronic leak detection system. Voltage passing through a grid of wire mesh underneath the roof allows leaks to be found with pin point accuracy. Any water that contacts the wire mesh causes a break in the electrical system, and so a technician can locate the exact location where voltage drops with a voltage detector. This system has several advantages over traditional testing methods for roofs with overburden, or anything installed over the membrane. Flood testing only provides a one-time assessment, whereas the electronic leak detection system remains permanently in the roof for constant detection.
While Zurich provides insurance coverage for Sika, Sika’s Roofing system provides a physical insurance for the Zurich headquarters from heavy winds and storms. Clayco, the general contractor for this project, was able to complete this incredible structure in less than 12 months. By seeing how well this entire project came together, it is clear why Zurich trusted the companies involved. We can understand why the Zurich Insurance Group is a global leader at managing risk.