You may already now that Sears Tower is getting a huge energy retrofit costing $350 million because it’s got a lot of media attention. Still, it’s really good to see old office towers see the benefit of spending a lot of money on increasing efficiency of their buildings.
Operators of the nearly 36-year-old, 110-story building say they have cut annual electricity consumption by 34 percent since 1989 and that increased energy efficiency has reduced annual CO2 emissions by 51 pounds since 1984.
Proposed renewables at Sears Tower.
Their five-year renovation plan is expected to bring base building electricity consumption down by 80 percent. The reduction is estimated to be equivalent to 68 million kilowatt hours or 150,000 barrels of oil a year. The retrofit project is also expected to slash annual water consumption by 24 million gallons. And the work is expected to create 3,600 jobs.
The improvements, detailed on the Sears Tower website, are to involve replacing and glazing the 16,000 single-pane windows; and upgrading boilers, elevators, escalators, lighting restroom fixtures and water management systems.
Sears Tower and hotel.
Wind turbines, solar panels to heat water for the building and green roofs are to be installed on various terraces and tiered roofs of the complex.