"Summit Engineering has consistently
provided us with practical designs with quick
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Lenny Severini, Charles Leonard Steel Services, LLC

Commercial Building Case Study: Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union


The following case study showcases the transformation of property located at 585 Merrimack St. in Lowell into the new home of Jeanne d’Arc Credit Union, a 100+-year-old full service, member-owned community-based financial cooperative with over 55,000 members and more than $900 million in assets. The project began in 2011 when Jeanne d’Arc Credit Union purchased the Lowell Community Health Center’s two buildings on Merrimack Street with plans of turning them into its Main Office and Loan Center. The goal was to create a modern office building designed to blend well with the historic neighborhood.

Specific Challenges

Leaders at Jean d’Arc Credit Union planned to construct a brand new three-story building, consisting of approximately 13,600 square feet of space, multiple drive-through lanes and ATMs, and plenty of parking. The design of the steel-framed building included an open floor plan with a monumental center stair case, as well as continuous storefront windows with brick veneer above and below on the exterior. Contaminated soils found during foundation excavation required soils remediation.

Solutions and Resolutions

Summit provided the design for the for the steel framed building with the open layout and center staircase. A structural steel moment frame system was designed to address building lateral loading.  Engineers at Summit also incorporated hung lintels/storefront support framing to address the brick banding and continuous storefront window systems. In response to the contaminated subsurface conditions, a partial basement was added to the building as a result of the need for significant removal of soil, and minimize the amount of fill material required.


Summit utilized a traditional design/bid/build method to complete this project. While challenging, this project was a true example blending knowledge in historical restoration with new-aged commercial building design. The job, which ended in early 2014, ended up being the second new building Summit completed for Jeanne d’Arc Credit Union. It’s a prime example of projects earned through maintaining existing client relationships.

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