Opening in 1931, the YMCA’s Lawson House is the largest SRO housing site in the Midwest with 583 rooms. New ownership of the building is planning an extensive, green renovation for the historic art deco building, while retaining the affordable units and providing new resident services. Farr Associates leading the building renovation process, ensuring affordable housing options remain in Chicago's River North neighborhood.

The project's Integrated Design Workshop tackled several important design issues– including phasing strategies for construction that will occur while the building is occupied by residents,  and how to best address the efficiency of the buidling envelope.

The project is one of seven Living Building Challenge (LBC) Affordable Housing pilots chosen in 2015. LBC created this opportunity to inspire more affordable housing projects to further explore, test and develop strategies to assist affordable housing developers in overcoming social, regulatory and financial barriers to achieving Living Building Challenge certification. The Lawson House project will share insights learned throughout the design and construction process with LBC and other affordable housing developers.

Client: Holsten Real Estate Development

Location: Chicago, IL

Year: 2019

Certification: Passive House Certification Target

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