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Memoori Smart Building Research – Some Building Systems Are Born Smart, Others Have Smartness Thrust Upon Them

“Some building systems are born smart, some achieve smartness and some have smartness thrust upon them,” Shakespeare might have said if he were a 21st century mechanical engineer or facility manager working in Chicago. Taking center-stage in the ambitious Midwest city is a smart building retrofit worthy of applause. Completed in 1990, 311 South Wacker Drive is an iconic post-modern 65-story skyscraper. At 961 feet tall, it is the seventh tallest building in Chicago and the 21st tallest in the US. Its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC), however, were less impressive until the building’s owners, Zeller Realty Group, found an innovative way to drag the outdated building into the smart world. More >

MIDWEST ENERGY NEWS – In Chicago, hi-tech solution helps low-tech systems run more efficiently

When commercial real-estate firm Zeller Realty Group bought a postmodern staple of Chicago’s iconic skyline in 2014, it faced an energy-inefficiency quagmire. Like many buildings built prior to the late 1990s, 311 S. Wacker’s heating and air conditioning systems were controlled by pre-digital, mechanically operated pneumatic thermostats, which collected no data and could not be centrally controlled. The usual, pricey solution would be to rip out all the old analog HVAC infrastructure and replace it with direct, digital equipment. Instead, Zeller embarked on what it calls the “smartest energy efficiency retrofit in Chicago.” More >

Green Building News – ComEd Awards Largest Energy Incentive Check in History for Chicago Commercial Building

CHICAGO — An event was held at 311 S. Wacker in Chicago on Feb 22. to introduce local building managers and owners to its recent energy efficiency retrofit. Building tours were given to the attendees of the event in an effort to encourage them to deploy the same energy retrofit solution for their buildings. The event was held jointly by Zeller Realty in Chicago, (owner of 311 S. Wacker), JLL in Chicago, and Cypress Envirosystems in San Jose, Calif. ComEd, the main utility company in Chicago, was there to explain the rebates available to other business managers and owners for undergoing similar energy retrofits, according to Harry Sim, chief executive officer of Cypress Envirosystems. More >

Site Selection Magazine – What Gets Measured

Retrofit to Remember

Partners including JLL, ComEd, Zeller Realty and Cypress Envirosystems gathered in Chicago in late February to show off what they called "The Smartest Energy Efficiency Retrofit in Chicago" at 311 South Wacker, a 65-story building originally completed in 1990. Bob Best of JLL described Zeller's goal of making the 1.4-million-sq.-ft. tower a model. First step: Replaced the thermostats with 944 wireless pneumatic thermostats through Cypress. Then apply JLL's IntelliCommand smart building system, now operating in more than 120 buildings around the world. Next, stir in the largest energy incentive check for a commercial building in history: $402,318.50, presented by ComEd in 2015. More >

Building Operating Management (BOM) – System Performs Pneumatic HVAC Fault Diagnostics

SMARTPneumatics, a fault diagnostics system for pneumatic HVAC terminal units, uses the data provided by Cypress’s Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT) to automatically identify and prioritize faults so operators can ensure their buildings perform optimally over time. SMARTPneumatics can identify faults such as stuck actuators, damper oscillation, undersized heating or cooling capacity, need for calibration, and pneumatic infrastructure problems such as leaks. More >

AEE’s Energy Engineering Journal – Case Study on Existing Buildings Getting Intelligent Solutions

Intelligent buildings promise the ability to significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs by constantly monitoring and optimizing millions of data points from equipment and sensors. However, only newer buildings with modern automation systems can take full advantage of this. Older buildings that employ pneumatic and analog control technologies, typically constructed before 1999, must undergo very costly and disruptive upgrades to enable them to be smart. In recent years, innovative non-invasive technologies were introduced that significantly reduce the cost to retrofit an existing building compared to conventional direct digital controls (DDC) upgrade. This article describes the project at 311 South Wacker Drive, a 65 story hi-rise acquired by Zeller Realty in early 2014. This 1.4 million sq-ft Class A office tower in Chicago was upgraded to an intelligent building at 70% lower cost than using DDC, achieving a 1.7-year payback. More >

Envise and Cypress Envirosystems Team to Retrofit Batmale Hall at City College of San Francisco

Envise, a building systems integrator uniting building automation, mechanical service, and analytics was recently awarded a retrofit project at City College of San Francisco’s Batmale Hall. In addition to Envise, the project team consists of Trinity EMCS and Cypress Envirosystems. Envise will be providing mechanical and electrical upgrades to the existing hot and chilled water systems, air handler economizer upgrades, and wireless direct digital controls for the pneumatic variable air volume boxes.  The project is the first project at City College of San Francisco funded by the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) which allocates revenue to local education agencies to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. More >

Building Operating Management (BOM): Zeller Realty, ComEd, Cypress Envirosystems, JLL: Project Upgrades Tenant Experience at Chicago Office Building

Chicago — The illuminated crown at the top of 311 South Wacker (see photo) is prominently featured in the Chicago night skyline. The 1.3-million-square-foot Class A commercial office building was built in 1990 and acquired byZeller Realty Group in 2014. The new owner significantly upgraded the infrastructure and amenities to provide an upscale tenant experience, committing to projects that aligned with its environmental sustainability goals. Total project cost was $878,197. With incentives from the ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Program, Zeller upgraded the building's energy management system and common-area lighting. It installed and connected 944 wireless pneumatic thermostats to an Internet-enabled energy management system that tracks and controls electricity use through a computerized network of monitors and sensors.   More >

Zeller Realty Group News — State-of-the-art Energy Saving Systems at 311 South Wacker generate $402K Energy Award from ComEd

ComEd presents its largest energy award for a commercial building to Zeller Realty Group Chicago – ComEd presented a Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Award of $402,318 to 311 South Wacker–its largest award given for a commercial real estate project. Zeller Realty Group, the building’s property manager, installed a state-of-the-art energy saving system and LED lighting to earn this substantial award for the West Loop office tower. “311 South Wacker is the first major office tower in Chicago to install wireless Pneumatic thermostats connected to a cloud-based intelligent building system. A total of 944 thermostats were installed by our engineering team in record time,” said Consolato Gattuso, Vice President of Technical Operations, Zeller Realty Group. “The system allows sophisticated algorithms to utilize real time data to make operational energy saving decisions.” More >

JLL News – 311 South Wacker: Smartest Building in Chicago

Zeller Realty had a vision when it bought 311 South Wacker, a 1.4-million-square-foot iconic office tower in downtown Chicago, in 2014 – to make it the city’s model of energy efficiency. With the help of ComEd, JLL and Cypress Envirosystems, they have done it. First, the site team replaced the old thermostats with wireless pneumatic thermostats through Cypress Envirosystems. 311SWackerphoto More >

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