"Summit Engineering has consistently
provided us with practical designs with quick
turn-around times."

Lenny Severini, Charles Leonard Steel Services, LLC

Commercial Building Design

580 Main Street Reading, MA Building Design


In 2008 Summit Engineering completed the renovation of the 1960s era building in Reading, MA, as a consultant for McHenry Architecture. The two firms, both based in Portsmouth, NH, worked collaboratively on this complete façade retrofit and building addition.

Specific Challenges

The two-story, 20,000 square-foot building suffered from outdated architecture and little interest from potential tenants when a new building owner decided an improvement was necessary. At the time, the second floor of the building was mostly empty and the entry to the second floor office space was difficult to locate.

Solutions and Resolutions

McHenry Architecture’s entry tower concept was an attractive addition that anchored the building entry. Summit provided the structural design for a new façade system and cantilevered roof entry structure. The project involved both conventional light wood framing and cold-formed steel, both of which Summit is well familiar. Additionally, the exterior windows were replaced with a more energy efficient curtain wall glazing system.


The end result of this project was a sleek modern look to an existing building that was no longer confusing to navigate. The renovation immediately increased interest from perspective tennants. The building is now home of several burgeoning businesses; including a bank, a restaurant, a driving school and other retail businesses. The design-build project showcased Summit’s ability to work hand in hand with an architectural firm to reinvigorate an outdated and underutilized commercial space.

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