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Case Study

Multi-tenant office tower soars with LEED® Platinum sustainability

Though Chicago’s Hyatt Center was built in 2005 to modern standards, building owners wanted to raise sustainability to the next level at the 48-story, 1.5 million square-foot multi-tenant office tower. Ownership set a goal of LEED certification and engaged Jones Lang LaSalle, already property manager of the facility, to direct the initiative.

After a feasibility study of the building in “as is” condition, our LEED specialty team determined that with a diligent effort, the facility had an excellent chance of obtaining Platinum level certification, the highest recognition available.

We developed a plan to guide our LEED professionals, building management and ownership through the rigorous LEED process toward the most successful possible result. Besides this team, we collaborated with many consultants and contractors including commissioning expert, pest management, janitorial, lighting, building and landscape architects to execute the LEED requirements.

Our team also actively engaged tenants through informational sessions, surveys and newsletters to involve them as much as possible in the certification process. One strategy that produced major benefits was a thorough retro-commissioning of Hyatt Center by experts from Jones Lang
LaSalle’s Engineering and Operations group. Besides providing six valuable points toward LEED certification, the retrocommissioning produced major energy savings with little or no upfront expense through efforts including:

  • Implementing standard temperature settings throughout the building, which 
    maintained steady summer and winter cooling and heat, and improved tenant comfort.
  • Reducing weekend HVAC service to “on request,” saving $34,000 annually - 25 
    percent of costs.
  • Reducing overall building static set-point from 1” to 0.8”, saving approximately $33,000 annually.
  • Balancing outside air intake with the relief fans and fan-powered boxes, saving 
    $45,000 annually.
  • Reducing operation hours of lobby fans from 24/7 to run “as necessary.”
    Additionally, our team identified two lighting retrofit opportunities for further 
    energy reduction:
    • Replacing elevator incandescent lamps with LED strips, reducing energy usage by 
      89 percent and increasing tenant comfort, while
      paying back the investment in 3.1 years that included an 18 percent utility 
    • Converting 1,130 lamps and 96 garage fixtures to energy-efficient products, 
      receiving a 50 percent utility rebate that reduced payback to less than five months.

In the end, the submission resulted in a 2010 LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings certification, a first for a multi-tenant Chicago office building, and one of the earliest for a comparable building in the U.S.  Also, Hyatt Center raised its ENERGY STAR score to 86. In addition, the sustainability efforts contributed to the property winning the 2008-2009 BOMA Office Building of the Year
honors at local and regional levels.

Equally significant were Hyatt Center’s solid sustainability gains. Energy consumption has been reduced by approximately 15 percent, producing a yearly savings of about $200,000 and adding an estimated $2.5 million to the value of the property.

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