December 22, 2011
The Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recognized the superior performance of Sieben Energy Associates (SEA) at its December 6, 2011 awards luncheon. SEA was presented with two “Excellence in Engineering” awards for energy efficiency projects completed at Chicago skyscrapers during 2011.
The first award highlighted SEA’s success at the 65-story 311 South Wacker Drive Building. SEA’s engineers helped implement energy efficiency measures that yielded energy savings of greater than 1.3 million kilowatt-hours, equivalent to 6% of the multi-tenant office building’s annual energy consumption. SEA pursued the project under the sponsorship of a Commonwealth Edison’s Smart Ideas for your Business monitoring-based commissioning energy efficiency pilot program.
Together with the 311 South Wacker Drive Building’s professional management, CB Richard Ellis, and ComEd program consultant, PECI, SEA exceeded the energy savings target by more than 30%. The project demonstrated that monitoring-based commissioning is an effective tool in the battle to make large buildings more energy-efficient.
Monitoring-based commissioning combines energy engineering with information technology. Streams of data reflecting the daily performance of the building’s heating and cooling systems are collected and analyzed. For example, SEA engineers examined data reflecting equipment performance at different times of the day and under different outside temperature conditions to find opportunities to run the 311 South Wacker Drive Building’s systems more efficiently.
The second “Excellence in Engineering” award recognized the energy savings achieved by SEA’s retro-commissioning of the 1.1 million–square–foot, 44-story 205 North Michigan Avenue Building. Retro-commissioning is a specific type of energy efficiency project that involves recalibrating a building’s heating and cooling system to meet present-day operating requirements. Current needs are often quite different from original needs when the building was constructed and first occupied years or even decades in the past. The buildings—and their occupants, functions, equipment, and technologies—can change dramatically over time.
SEA worked with the 205 North Michigan Avenue Building’s professional management, MB Real Estate, to identify more than 2 million kilowatt-hours of energy savings. This level of savings, which represents 13% of annual energy usage at this all-electric office tower, significantly exceeded the target established at the start of the project.
Reduced energy use at the 205 North Michigan Avenue Building will yield more than $160,000 in annual operating cost savings. True to the intent of retro-commissioning, no capital expenditures for new equipment were required. Instead, the savings were generated from several inexpensive operational fixes, such as modifications to existing practices and adjustments to existing equipment. By focusing on the implementation of operational measures, the building’s energy efficiency investment was recovered from cost savings within six months.
The two “Excellence in Engineering” awards for 2011 are the latest in a string of awards for the energy engineering team at SEA. In 2010, SEA won the same award from the Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE for its retro-commissioning of the Baxter Healthcare headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. In 2009, SEA won for its commissioning of the PCC Austin Family Health Center in Chicago. Please see photos in the Illinois ASHRAE chapter’s Winter Newsletter.
Sieben Energy Associates, a Chicago-based energy consulting firm, has been helping its local, regional and national clients achieve their energy efficiency and sustainability goals since 1990.
Contact: Sarah Alice Barnes
312.899.1000 x 10