By CN Staff
CHICAGO—West Chicago-based furniture company Norix has completed construction on its new headquarters and manufacturing facility located at One Innovation Drive in the DuPage Business Center.
The Heitman Architects-designed building was completed in June 2021 and was built to LEED Gold specifications to support Norix’s sustainability goals, including the extensive use of renewable energy.
The new facility opens the door to future growth, and demonstrates the firm’s commitment to sustainability. The 205,000+ square-foot facility designed by Heitman Architects also allows Norix to add new employees and extend production capabilities.
“Finally moving into this new facility has been a transformative experience for many of us, and we’ve realized that our sustainability journey is just beginning” said Scott Karl, Norix CEO. “We’re already having discussions about ways to innovate out of the limitations of current technology and set some bold goals, and our new facility at One Innovation Drive really opens up the world for us.”
Norix is an internationally recognized manufacturer of furniture for the healthcare, justice, transitional housing, education, GSA, and commercial markets, with an expertise in the ability to humanize environments that can be institutional in nature.
The new facility will allow Norix to add a significant number of new jobs and to continue its success through aggressive growth and market expansion. It is designed to support approximately 300 employees.
Said Erik Heitman, AIA, LEED-AP, project manager of Heitman Architects, a national firm based in suburban Chicago: “The Norix corporate headquarters was designed to combine the best in sustainability with an innovative interior and exterior design features that seamlessly incorporate all company functions in one setting.”
Company leadership was also focused on building a facility that would embody the firm’s culture, work environment, and serve as a foundation for attracting and retaining talent.
“We want to be a leader in the industry and this building will be part of our legacy, a symbol of what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Norix’s Karl.
Highlights of the sustainable features at the core of the building design include:
- The facility is constructed of pre-cast concrete panels and energy efficient double-paned insulated curtainwall glass with rusticated “cor-ten” steel accents.
- The site includes natural landscaping and bio swales where storm water from paved surfaces can filter back into the ground. Landscaping reflects the natural prairie environment that existed prior to the industrial park’s building, which minimizes the need to mow, irrigate, and use herbicides or fertilizers.
Sustainable design features also specifically benefit employees, encouraging them to fully embrace the company’s commitment to sustainability, including:
- The employee café, with high ceilings and expansive glass walls, lets in natural light and provides views into the landscape. The café directly connects to an outdoor patio to provide workers with outdoor experience and fresh air.
- In-house showers are designed to give employees incentive to bike to work for fitness and environmental health. Employees are encouraged to live in nearby developing suburban neighborhoods where they can walk/bike to work or share transportation.
- Preferred parking spaces will also be provided for carpoolers and provide dedicated charging stations for those using fuel-efficient cars.
Norix has made a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and this state-of-the art headquarters reflects its core mission as well as the products the firm produces.
About 90 percent of the electricity for the building and manufacturing process will come from renewable energy sources, including 3,279 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.
The facility is located on 22 acres within the 800-acre DuPage Business Center, a business park campus developed by the DuPage Airport Authority. The building’s campus setting offers room for expansion and is adjacent to a 15-acre nature area.
“From the inception of the project, Norix expressed a desire to make the project as “green” as possible and achieve a LEED certification as recognition for its sustainable efforts,” Heitman added. “The project’s owner, general contractor, architect, and engineers set a standard for green building design, construction, and operations, setting these as top priorities.”
For more than 35 years, Norix has designed furniture that meets the real-world need for humanizing challenging environments—creating products that serve the healthcare, justice, transitional housing, education, GSA, and commercial markets in ways that make those environments safe and secure.