Cleveland's 32-story Celebrezze Federal Building to sport new exterior wall of aluminum and glass

Architectural Record
February 3, 2011

In President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package, $5.5 billion was marked for making the nation's existing federal buildings more energy-efficient ($4.5 billion) and constructing new federal buildings and border stations ($1 billion).

The General Services Administration, which manages the government's building stock, announced one  such retrofit on Jan. 27 in Cleveland, according to a Feb. 1 Architectural Record report. Shaped by Interactive Design Eight Architects of Chicago, the plan calls for spending $121 million to shrink-wrap Cleveland's 32-story Celebrezze Federal Building in a new exterior wall of aluminum and glass. A gap of air will be left between the old and new walls, insulating the energy-wasting Celebrezze building like the vacuum between the inner and outer layers of a Thermos.

Because the new wall is being built around the old one, no one will have to move during construction, eliminating the need to rent and furnish temporary "swing" space. Because the glass will be a high-strength laminate, the project will protect federal employees from the sort of deadly flying glass that killed scores of people in the 1995 truck-bomb attack on the Oklahoma City federal building, according to the report.

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