Late-in-the-Game LEED is No Issue in Rehab

August 9, 2018

The former Corrigan Tower was transformed from a midcentury office building to a 150-unit class-A multifamily building with ground-floor retail and a rooftop pool, now called 1900 Pacific Residences

DALLAS—The former downtown office building, Corrigan Tower, was originally built in 1952 by Dallas real estate mogul, Leo Corrigan, and was vacant for more than a decade before being redeveloped. And now, it has been transformed from a midcentury-modern tower to a 150-unit class-A apartment building with ground-floor retail space and a rooftop pool in a development called 1900 Pacific Residences.

The renovation had several headwinds that were ultimately overcome in the process. Of course, the historic nature of the building was one factor. Another obstacle was deferred maintenance due to the decades-long building vacancy.

“The building being vacant was helpful in regards to field verifying the existing conditions. It can be an awkward situation as a design team going through a building that is still occupied, in some cases with tenants that are not happy about moving,” Patrick Hazard, Merriman Anderson/Architects’ project architect for 1900 Pacific Residences, tells “The issue with the building being vacant is the deferred maintenance. While all systems were always to be replaced and the roof was always to be replaced, the lack of maintenance of these items led to leaks which led to failures. One such case is that the roof drain system clogged, causing the roof to overflow back into the building and down the elevator shaft. This caused flooding in the basement and damage to the existing elevator cabs that were to remain. Other leaks caused damage to the structure of some floors which required reinforcement.”

Another issue was setting a LEED certification goal after the project was well underway. In the end, the redevelopment project designed by Merriman Anderson/Architects was awarded LEED certification by the US Green Building Council. The building also won a Preservation Dallas Achievement Award, which honors residential and commercial historic preservation projects.

“Since the goal to gain LEED Certification came late in the project, significant modifications to the HVAC design had to be made while trying to maintain proposed chases and equipment sizes and concepts,” said Hazard.

LEED provides third-party verification that certain performance improvement strategies and sustainability features are implemented into the design of a building. Factors include energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reductions, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to those impacts.

“The issue of the mechanical design was the increase in outside air required for LEED when the equipment was already in production and duct work had already been fabricated and partially installed in new structured floor openings,” Hazard tells “This is where the team had to really come together and think outside the box to achieve what was now required without losing time or money as well as minimize increases in size because of space constraints.”

Dallas-based Merriman Anderson/Architects projects include corporate office headquarters, mixed-use master-planned developments and high-density housing along with historic renovation. Other noteworthy projects include Grandscape Lifestyle Center in The Colony, The Centrum and The Statler.