Beautiful view of a lit interior space from the exterior of the building, designed by AKLD

Robert Crown Community Center, Evanston IL

Architectural rendering of the Robert Crown Community Center in Evanston Illinois


Delivering Best In Class Solution While Saving The Client Over $130,000!

This athletic and community center contains a complex hybrid program including two full size ice rinks, a large gymnasium for two full size courts, a branch of the public library, multi-purpose rooms, locker space and a preschool. The LEED Silver certified building’s design grows directly out of its beautiful natural setting within Crown Park. The AKLD Lighting Design team held an important role in the overall success of the project in several key ways.

Realizing the Value of a Lighting Designer from the Initial Phases of the Project:

AKLD designers began their process of creating a lighting program, initial luminaire selections, calculations, and specifications for the project with a full understanding of the client’s aesthetic, functional, and budgetary goals.

Through creatively building on ideas from the architectural design, lighting options were developed and reviewed to ensure the chosen scheme would provide the appropriate visual appeal, lighting levels, and budget for the building.

Working Together with the Project Team to Find Even Deeper Value and Savings:

Although the initial lighting design met the client’s budget goals, the General Contractor initiated a round of ‘Value Engineering’ with a target of 10% reduction on the material cost of the lighting. AKLD designers reviewed contractor suggestions and also refined components of the lighting system and the lighting controls and made revisions that met the VE target. Most of the changes occurred in ‘back-of-house’ spaces and we were able to hold our specifications on items that were key to the overall lighting design. We were happy to work together with the entire team to help the owner see some savings before the project even started.

Post-design Participation at Bidding Proved to be Highly Valuable:

This project was bid and awarded prior to the release of the final construction documents. After permit drawings were released, the Electrical Contractor submitted a substantial change order that included more than $90,000 for lighting changes. AKLD designers combed the change order documents to verify if the changes indeed validated the cost increase. While some changes did warrant additional cost, we were able to find a number of high-priced items that were not justified by any changes at all.

Ensuring the Best Value and Performance From the Lighting System:

Early in the design phase we identified that a proprietary lighting control system made the most sense for this project because of the lighting products that were selected and the functionality for the users of the building. We provided schematic narratives of the lighting control system and while specification of the system was not in our project scope, we did several reviews of the Electrical Engineering drawings to ensure that the system was detailed correctly. We also stepped in to produce colored diagrams of the lighting control system to help the entire team understand how the system would be wired and how it would function. Although the lighting control system functioned via wireless communication, there were still some important nuances to the power distribution that were important for the entire team to understand prior to installation. It was our part in the reviewing the lighting controls documents that allowed us to address these things prior to installation and to avoid costly change orders or delays.

A Better Product for a Great Rate:

Overall, we estimate that the savings we were able to help the client realize on this project were more than double our fee to do the work. Our value as team members made this project a success aesthetically, functionally, and financially. AKLD Lighting Design aided our client and the owner with the project in savings, running smoothly, on time, and without headaches.

Value Delivered:

  • Realizing the Value of a Lighting Designer from the Initial Phases of the Project
  • Working Together with the Project Team to Find Even Deeper Value and Savings
  • Post-design Participation at Bidding Proved to be Highly Valuable
  • Ensuring the Best Value and Performance From the Lighting System
  • A Better Product for a Great Rate