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Going Green is Catching!

The Sears Tower

ENVIRONMENT-US-USA-ENERGY-TOWERIt has been known that commercial buildings take a lot of energy to keep them going.

The Sears Tower (Chicago) is going to be renamed to the Willis Tower later this summer and is now going to undergo a $350 million “green” retrofit for the 110-story office tower.

The plan calls for a reduction in its electricity consumption by 80 percent and water usage by 40 percent.

To achieve the savings, owner American Landmark Properties and its partners plan to:

– Replace the 1973 tower’s 16,000 tinted single-pane windows and create a “thermal break” between Chicago’s frigid winters and hot summers and the interior.
– Install gas boilers equipped with fuel cells, which generate electricity, heat and cooling.
– Revamp the tower’s 104 elevators and 15 escalators to cut their electricity usage by 40 percent.
– Conserve 24 million gallons of water with new restroom fixtures and “condensation capture.”
– “Harvest daylight” by installing systems that automatically dim lighting based on available natural light.
– Install solar panels to heat water.
– Erect wind turbines on building setbacks, if possible.
– Plant green roofs that will be among the highest in the world to reduce storm runoff and the urban heat island effect.
– Replace granite plazas and walls surrounding the tower with terraced park space, trees, glass storefronts and an interactive digital display.

They feel that will all of these changes that they could qualify for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

And not to be outdone …

The Empire State Building

empire_state_onpageThe Empire State Building’s retrofit aims to prevent the release of 105,000 metric tons of CO2 annually—the same amount Washington, D.C puts out in nearly 10 days.

* Window insulation: This would include the refurbishment of glass  windows, using existing glass and sashes to create triple-glazed insulated panels with new components that dramatically reduce both summer heat load and winter heat loss.
* Radiator insulation: Added insulation behind radiators would be used to reduce heat loss and more efficiently heat the building perimeter.
* Tenant lighting improvements: Introduction of improved lighting designs, controls, and plug load occupancy sensors in common areas and tenant spaces to reduce electricity costs and cooling loads.
* Air handler replacements: Replacement of air handling units—devices used to condition and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system, or HVAC—with variable frequency drive fans to allow increased energy efficiency in operation while improving comfort for individual tenants.
* Chiller/air-conditioning plant retrofit: Reuse of existing chiller shells—chillers are used in AC units to cool and dehumidify air—while removing and replacing “guts” to improve chiller efficiency and controllability, including the introduction of variable frequency drives.
* Whole-building control system upgrade: Upgrade of existing building control system to optimize HVAC operation, as well as to provide more detailed submetering information.
* Ventilation control upgrade: Introduction of demand control ventilation in occupied spaces to improve air quality and reduce energy required to condition outside air.
* Tenant energy management systems: Introduction of individualized, web-based power usage systems for each tenant to allow more efficient management of power usage

These retrofits are to cost about $20 million with the end result of reducing the utilities by 30 – 50 percent.

Do you feel the movement? When our tallest buildings are “going green”, then there is something afoot!

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26 Responses to “Going Green is Catching!”

  1. Countertop Lighting Fixtures - Home Management - ForexBlog Says:

    […] Going Green is Catching! | Forced Green […]

  2. corrin Says:

    I’m so glad they are updating the building…but I wish they wouldn’t change the name!
    .-= corrin´s last blog ..Best Picture Ever =-.

  3. American Idiot Says:

    I am so glad I found your site. These are the types of things I like to read and hear about. What fantastic news and a great example for the rest of the country.

    Before I finished reading the article, I was thinking, wouldn’t it be awesome if they used solar and wind turbines on the buildings too, and there it was, already on the list of things to do, if feasible.

    I love it. Great post, thanks for sharing!
    .-= American Idiot´s last blog ..Ask Yourself: Global Climate Change =-.

  4. askcherlock Says:

    This sets a great precedent and I hope many others will follow. I saw a piace the other evening aboout the glass look-out stands on the Sears Tower. You must not be afraid of heights to step out there, but the view is magnificent.
    .-= askcherlock´s last blog ..Get Me Some Comfort Food—-QUICK! =-.

  5. Sadie Says:

    That’s really cool that they’re going green. I don’t like that they’re changing the name, though. That’s like changing the name of The White House or something…
    .-= Sadie´s last blog ..Weight Loss Tea =-.

  6. Karen Says:

    It is going to be hard to think of the Sears Tower with a different name! Who is Willis?

  7. yanjiaren Says:

    This is great news Linda. I love to see urban sites getting rekitted ala green.
    .-= yanjiaren´s last blog ..INTERMISSION : BLOC PARTY – ONE MORE CHANCE.. =-.

  8. Vanessa Says:

    It is important nowadays to convert our house or offices into a going green place. This would help save our environment and thus we could save up more on our energy consumptions.

  9. wilson Says:

    Hmm…, why it have to change the name, Linda? I thought Sears Tower is a very good name, and it should keep the name! By the way, I’m happy that the Willis Tower is joining the green movement…
    .-= wilson´s last blog ..The Best Way to Avoid the Cross-spread of Germs! =-.

  10. RE Ausetkmt Says:

    well this is great news. now if we can just get our federal gov. to start the greening program on our federal bldgs, schools and hospitals. that would bloom the green movement in america.

    great post
    .-= RE Ausetkmt´s last blog ..Use Your SUPER Power Bloggers – Lets Save The Children =-.

  11. spygrrl Says:

    Thank u, once again for informing me of this positive news.

  12. Shauna Says:

    What a great proposal – I hope this encourages more people to become green and change their way of life.

  13. Diane Scott Says:

    Amazing not just in the doing but the statistical savings! You always do such a killer job keeping the rest of us up to date! Thanks!
    .-= Diane Scott´s last blog ..Alternate Ways to Make Money Online =-.

  14. Says:

    Going Green is Catching! | Forced Green…

    It has been known that commercial buildings take a lot of energy to keep them going….

  15. Shane Says:

    Very cool info. So much money to do this it is really great that organizations now are willing to pay.
    .-= Shane´s last blog ..Resveratrol – What You Need to Know about this Piece of the Anti-Aging Puzzle =-.

  16. Charles Says:

    That is a great article. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Linda Says:

    Hi Charles … You are welcome and come back again!

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