McCormick Place Convention Center West Expansion

The Largest Convention Center in the Nation
I believe we achieved unprecedented levels of teamwork between contractor and owner. Your team repeatedly bent over backwards, pushing forward matters to satisfy our demands and help create teamwork of which we can all be proud.
Richard Martinez, Senior Director of Development, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
Chicago, Illinois
Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
2,600,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
LEED Certified

With 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, downtown Chicago’s McCormick Place is the nation’s largest convention center. The new West Building Expansion added hundreds of thousands of square feet of new meeting and exhibit space. Designed and built by Mc4West, LLC, the expansion opened its doors in July 2007 on budget and four months ahead of schedule.

The McCormick Place West Building Expansion provides an additional 470,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 2.2 million square feet at the convention center. The West Building also boasts 250,000 square feet of meeting space spread across 61 rooms and a 100,000 square-foot ballroom. The West Building Expansion project used 30,800 tons of structural steel framing that required its purchase at the height of steel price spikes in 2004. As a result of the design-build process, the Mc4West team overcame the burden of the run-up in steel prices.


McCormick Place is LEED Certified. At the time of certification, the U.S. Green Building Council recognized the project as the largest LEED - New Construction Certified building in the country.

The facility circulates in excess of two million cubic feet of conditioned air per minute, and in order to achieve the goal of LEED Certification, it required uniquely energy efficient systems. The mechanical systems consist of six centrifugal chillers designed to produce 26 degree glycol solution, three high pressure gas fired boilers, 74 air handling units, and many variable-volume air terminals. All are designed using energy efficient demand ventilation sequencing triggered by carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide sensors and variable frequency drives to minimize power consumption during operation. Though constructed in the West Hall, this highly efficient and modern heating and cooling systems provides heating and cooling elements to the existing McCormick Place Complex and energy center via a complex pipe and valving system consisting in excess of 15,000 feet of pipe.

Additionally, the stormwater management strategy used for this project sent nearly 60 million gallons of clean rainwater back to Lake Michigan through a 3,385 foot-long storm-water tunnel. Over 75 percent of demolition and construction debris, or 15,000 plus tons, was diverted from landfills to be recycled into aggregate for future paving. Atop the building is nearly 150,000 square feet of planted green roof, the city’s largest, and another 850,000 square feet of highly reflective Energy-Star roofing.