The Technology Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) is a unique project which involved the innovative rehabilitation of a 1924 downtown commercial building into a state-of-the-art energy research center. In 2011 TBEIC, a business incubator aimed at the development and commercialization of early stage energy technology, investigated sites for their program. They selected the 1924 Kresge Building in downtown Warren, Ohio for their project. This cutting-edge research center was granted historic rehabilitation tax credits by the State of Ohio by adhering to the strict guidelines set forth by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Department of the Interior. The project was designed and constructed as a design-build venture between Phillips|Sekanick Architects and DeSalvo Construction Company.
Some of the biggest challenges for this project were related to achieving the requirements set forth by the State Historic Preservation Office. Every alteration to the building’s façade was scrutinized as well as historically significant interior areas. Additionally, the client needed a way to move large items from floor to floor in this existing multi-level building. Existing stairways needed to be made compliant with current Building Code regulations. All aspects of the regularly altered 94-year-old structure needed to be brought into compliance with current regulations.
Working closely with a firm specializing in historic preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, the owner, and the design-build contractor, Phillips|Sekanick Architects worked to obtain historic tax credit approval for the project. Frequent meetings and communications with the Preservation office as well as the local Building Officials kept the project moving forward. A large centralized elevator with front and rear entrances was added within the building with access to all levels. Careful coordination with the project Engineers allowed us to bring the building into Code compliance.