The WMS Boathouse at Clark Park is the premier rowing center for the City of Chicago, offering year-round training and facilities. Creating a key public access point along the river’s edge, the $8.8 million facility supports the larger movement toward an ecological and recreational revival of the Chicago River. The 22,660 sq. ft. boathouse is actually comprised of two buildings: a one-story boat house for storing rowing shells, rental kayaks, and canoes and a two-story fieldhouse with a rowing tank, small offices, a community room, and an exercise area. Sustainable design strategies have been woven throughout the building, which include small rain gardens, permeable concrete on the plaza, to reduce rainwater can run-off, and daylighting to reduce dependence on electric light fixtures.
In the fieldhouse a central VAV ground-source heat-pump serves the exercise room, community room, and support spaces. VAV boxes provide airflow modulation to each zone. The unit contains an energy recovery wheel, and the ground heat-exchanger serving the unit is comprised of 8 boreholes at 450 feet deep spaced 20 feet on center. The row-tank room in the fieldhouse is served by a separate heating only, single-zone VAV unit. Humidification is controlled in the winter by modulating the outside airflow. In the summer, the unit operates in economizer mode to “flush” the space. A high-efficiency, condensing boiler provides back-up heating for the loop and serves the hot water coil in the row-tank unit.
In the boathouse high-efficiency, condensing gas-fired unit heaters provide heating. The building is designed with operable windows and clerestory windows for natural ventilation during the summer.
The project is designed and constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED©) NCv2009 Silver level certification.