Highest Honor in Green Building Design Demonstrates WMS Commitment to Sustainability, Innovation and Healthy Interior Environments
Waukegan & Chicago, Ill, (March 13, 2013) – WMS Industries Inc. a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of games, digital gaming content and gaming machines to the worldwide gaming industry announced today it has received LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) in recognition for sustainable design in the construction of its new Technology Development Center at the WMS Chicago Technology Campus.
Brian R. Gamache, WMS Chairman & CEO, said, “Achievement of LEED Platinum certification for our Technology Development Center is a validation of our environmental stewardship, and a tangible example of our commitment to the surrounding community and the health and well-being of our employees.”
Reflecting the Chicago River to the east, the five-story building at 2718 Roscoe features a living roof designed to absorb sunlight, improve insulation and reduce energy usage; a rain harvesting system with underground storage; a computer-controlled, advanced building system linking sunlight to automatic window shades and lighting; and a terrace with grasses and flowering plants. The green rooftop complements ground-level improvements that include a riverside courtyard with benches, new trees and plantings, decorative lighting and bicycle racks.
Opened in August 2012, the facility provides creative space for up to 220 game designers, producers, artists, and mathematicians, with 37 conference rooms, a 180-seat auditorium with a multi-screen LCD wall providing video conferencing capabilities with WMS’ global locations, two product-testing showrooms and two game laboratories. The expansive lobby features a themed digital mural on a 100’ x 7.5’ LCD wall and four touch screen kiosks displaying company history, employee recognition, the WMS Hall of Fame and information on building energy usage metrics, local weather, and transportation updates. Employees regularly take advantage of four amenity areas: a unique glass-enclosed court for basketball, volleyball, and soccer, a weight and workout room, a 2,000 sq. ft. rooftop indoor/outdoor terrace with freestanding fireplace and conversation areas, and the ground-level Riverview Café with adjacent employee game lounge. The Technology Development Center increases the size of the six-building Chicago Technology Campus by 50 percent to 350,000 sq. ft.
Scott Schweinfurth, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and CFO, said, “The WMS facility team, led by Director of Global Facilities Todd Clark and Senior Principal Manager Bill Thomas, did a terrific job ensuring we created a truly outstanding environment for our innovative game developers. They provided general contractor services to fast track the project and implemented changes in the interior space to accommodate our growing workforce.”
Construction for the new facility began in spring 2010 with the removal of a structure at 2704 Roscoe, and a partial in-fill of the existing 3401 N. California building. The construction site presented several challenges, including the removal of two large heating oil underground storage tanks and meditation of other environmental issues. Constructed on approximately 25′ of urban rubble, the cassion installation required the expertise of some of the region’s finest engineers and contractors.
WMS’ commitment to sustainability reaches beyond construction design. For example, the Riverview Café offers menus that champion local family farmers, limit the use of antibiotics in chicken, turkey, and pork, and utilize cage-free eggs, along with other Free Trade food products. Additionally, recycling containers are available throughout WMS facilities to ensure that plastic bottles, aluminum, and paper are sorted appropriately, and high-performance electric hand dryers are available in restrooms to conserve energy and reduce paper waste.
Gamache added, “Our Technology Development Center is a living demonstration of our culture of innovation and commitment to sustainability. We are very proud our efforts have been certified by the USGBC and that we now join the ranks of the region’s highly exclusive LEED Platinum projects.”