Zurich North America headquarters
Built for progress
For over a century, Zurich North America has called the greater Chicago area home. We take pride in our past while always looking forward. In 2016, Zurich moved our corporate campus a few blocks north in suburban Schaumburg. Our award-winning headquarters has earned LEED Platinum® certification1, the highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The distinctive design underscores our commitment to resilience, collaboration and innovation.
A head-turning headquarters
With windows reflecting our signature blue, Zurich’s North American headquarters often gets noticed alongside Interstate Highway 90 outside Chicago. Constructed of two main bars with a third rotated and stacked on top, the sculptural form is also functional, promoting more interaction and collaboration among employees than a traditional office tower might. The design also bathes work spaces in natural light.
- 40 acres
- 13 acres of native savanna landscaping and more than 600 trees
- Terraces, walking trails and water features
- Rainwater harvest and reuse
- Over an acre of green roof space
- Covered parking with charging stations for electric vehicles
- Access to public transportation
- 783,800 square feet
- Sit-stand desks for about 2,500 employees and contractors
- Enclaves for small group meetings
- Automated blinds to optimize natural light and energy usage
- Social hubs to ease communication
- Coffee bar and cafeteria featuring a salad bar and various ethnic food selections
- Fitness center with classes including guided meditation
Input: A team effort
Ideas and preferences for our new headquarters were crowdsourced from the more than 2,500 Zurich employees and contractors on our corporate campus. Those ideas were shared with our design partners, including the following:
- Developer and design-builder: Clayco Inc.
- Architect: Goettsch Partners
- Broker: JLL
- Interior design firm: CannonDesign
- Landscape design firm: Hoerr Schaudt
- Interior builder: Executive Construction, Inc.
As proposals were conceived and submitted, dozens of Zurich employees worked in prototype environments for weeks at a time to test which features would best support innovation and teamwork to serve our customers.
Outcome: Economic and environmental benefits
Unveiled in September 2016, the headquarters became the largest LEED Platinum®-certified structure of its kind in the United States and the only one of its kind in Illinois.2
On the one-year anniversary of Zurich’s headquarters, the company reported a 30% reduction in water and electricity consumption compared with its previous location.
A number of the design ideas submitted by employees are now being implemented in other Zurich offices around the country.
Zurich’s business activities continue to contribute approximately $1.3 billion in economic impact to the Illinois economy annually.3
Honors and achievements
Since opening in 2016, Zurich North America’s headquarters has received multiple honors. Among them:
- 2017 Green Design – Slag Cement Association
- 2017 International Architecture Award – The Chicago Athenaeum
- 2017 Best Green Project – Engineering News Record Midwest
- 2017 Build to Suit Project of the Year – Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards
- 2017 National Award of Merit, Office Buildings – Design-Build Institute of America
- 2017 Building Team Silver Award – Building Design & Construction Magazine
- 2017 Finalist, Excellence in Design (Architecture) – Design-Build Institute of America
- 2017 Outstanding Economic Development Project – Illinois Chamber of Commerce
- 2017 Finalist, Merit Award for New Construction Suburbs – Chicago Building Congress
- 2017 Merit Award for Interior Build-Out – Chicago Building Congress
- 2016 Intelligent Buildings Conference, 2016 Digie Award – Corporate HQ or Campus
- 2016 Award of Merit – Structural Engineers Association of Illinois
KAMP Remembrance Garden
On September 11, 2001, Zurich lost four people—John Keohane, Peggy Alario, Kathy Moran and Lud Picarro—in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In their honor, Zurich created the KAMP Leadership Award and the KAMP Remembrance Garden. KAMP represents the first letter of each employee’s last name.
When Zurich North America built its new headquarters, a prominent place next to a reflecting pond was reserved for the KAMP garden. The KAMP Memorial Stone and KAMP Legacy Tree were relocated there from our former campus. In another tribute, our employees voted to name one of the central roads on campus KAMP Drive.
Today, employees often take walking breaks alongside the garden, where the tranquility helps them fulfill another facet of KAMP: Keeping a Meaningful Perspective. That’s something the KAMP namesakes exemplified in their lives and careers.
1 The LEED Platinum® trademark is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and is used with permission.
2 Civil + Structural Engineer. “Zurich Insurance’s New North American Headquarters Achieves LEED Platinum Certification.” 1 November 2016.
3 Regional Economics Applications Laboratory Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. June 2013.