Willis Tower looks to go green, from the rooftops on down

Rooftop gardens part of plan to improve efficiency.

11/02/2009


 

Growing up in the southwest suburbs, Sara Beardsley had a view of the Chicago skyline from her house, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune . Today, she is transforming that skyline, but you won't find her work glorified on a $6 mug or gracing postcards.

Most of her impact is invisible as she attempts to reduce one of the largest carbon footprints in Chicago -- that of Willis Tower. Beardsley, a senior architect at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in Chicago, is managing a $200 million to $300 million project to "green" the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

The building was completed as Sears Tower in 1973, the heyday of energy ignorance, which means the skyscraper has single-pane windows that leak around the edges and let in hot air in summer and cold in winter, lights everywhere and inefficient electric heating throughout.

"Each old window is like a car driving around," Beardsley said. "And people don't think of it that way -- it's just a window. But I think maybe we need to start thinking about it that way."

Buildings account for about 70% of all Chicago emissions, according to the Chicago Climate Action Plan. If the largest 10 buildings in the Loop were targeted for greening projects, Beardsley said, it would reduce the energy needs of the Loop by more than 10%.

Read the full story.

 



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.