20 For 20 Retrospective

Tuthill Corporate Headquarters and Training Facility

Tuthill Corporate Headquarters ecological restoration


The Tuthill Corporate Campus is an example of a high-performance, integrated site and building approach that pioneered both methods and measurements to help form design and building certification standards such as LEED and SITES.


Conservation Design Forum joined the project team at the feasibility stage to provide restorative site design and engineering expertise to help the client align a vision for the campus with their corporate culture through complete integration of the building with the land.


CDF's initial site analysis revealed the presence of a rare remnant prairie previously unknown. CDF provided direction to use the site development process to restore natural hydrology as a means to protect and steward the prairie and dramatically improve degraded portions of the site. The integrative design process guided site orientation and building placement in a remarkable new direction which transformed site challenges into valuable amenities, and provides a workplace setting that connects Tuthill staff and visitors with an authentic, locally relevant landscape.


Preserving the cultural features of the site capitalized on the unique attributes in ways that exceeded programming goals; restoring a healthy ecosystem, and employing infiltration-based rainwater management in an effective and economically beneficial manner.



Size:  29 acre site

Program:  2-story 53,600 s.f. building including attached training facility and separate gatehouse, associated access drive, parking, and amenities

Completion:  1999

Construction Budget:  (landscape only) $150,000

Recognition:  U.S. EPA and Chicago Wilderness Native Landscape Award 2007; Northern Illinois AIA Award 2002; Association of Licensed Architects Merit Award 2002; Featured in Sun-Times 1999 and Chicago Tribune 1997

Project Team:  Conservation Design Forum - ecological site design

Serena Sturm Architects (formerly known as PSS Architects) - project lead, architect of record



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