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Case Study: Main Street Lofts ft. CUPACLAD

October 18, 2023

Natural slate cladding from CUPACLAD meets modern design goals and provides savings through easy installation.

The City of West Chicago, situated on the western side of DuPage County, holds the distinction of being one of Fortune‘s Top 10 Places to Live in 2022. As the city evolves to become more modern, some neighborhoods work to maintain the traditional look and feel of Chicago’s more historical architecture.

One of these neighborhoods in the heart of West Chicago, mandated that 80% of the building exteriors in their zoned area must be made of masonry or stone. This proved to be a challenge for the architects working on the upcoming Main Street Lofts project.

cupaclad case study
cupaclad case study

North Arrow Partners, the architecture firm working on the project, struggled to keep the modern design they desired while also meeting the 80% criteria. Their examination of materials led them to focus in on slate and ultimately choose CUPACLAD for the project as it could perfectly deliver the modern aesthetic they desired

North Arrow Partners meticulously evaluated slate offerings from multiple vendors. Their final decision rested on the CUPACLAD 101 LOGIC natural slate. Randy Bees, the firm’s VP of Architecture, credited a CUPACLAD representative for their insightful guidance, from providing samples to conducting on-site installation demonstrations. Bees appreciated the hands-on training extended to their stonemason and engineering support. North Arrow Partners added they were impressed with the CUPACLAD representative’s support from start to finish and praised CUPACLAD’s great customer service.

The easy installation process of CUPACLAD 101 LOGIC provided significant cost savings during the project, and the slate’s aesthetic appeal, durability and low maintenance also played a pivotal role in its selection. The Illinois Housing Development Association (IHDA) appreciated these factors about CUPACLAD®’s slate, which ensured a seamless approval process. Upon the design’s completion, North Arrow Partners received positive feedback on the Loft’s appearance from the community. Now the firm is considering using CUPACLAD slate on its future projects.

CUPACLAD slate’s origin traces back to northwestern Spain. The metamorphic tectonic slate is uniquely crafted, a characteristic not found elsewhere. Jesse Settle, the Brickworks Manager of Advanced Cladding Systems for Western North America and Canada, collaborated with North Arrow Partners on the Main Street Lofts project. Settle accentuated the superior durability of CUPACLAD compared to other slate products.

cupaclad case study
cupaclad case study

There’s a reason why the manufacturer gives a 100-year warranty on the slate. Anything that could’ve happened to that slate, happened 500 million years ago, hundreds of meters below the sea floor. It’s very durable and is going to last forever on that building,” Settle stated.

Not only is CUPACLAD slate durable, it’s lightweight, allowing for easy installation with a boom crane. Settle explained that this eliminates the need for intricate scaffolding, which saves money and time on the necessity for additional structural reinforcements.

Everybody wants to have a material that can resist the elements and last a long time. That’s what you have with CUPACLAD slate,” Settle added.


CUPACLAD® 101 uses invisible fixings, making the slate the main feature of the façade.

cupa clad case study

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