The Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse is a fully occupied, 1,462,000 sf, 30-story glass and steel high-rise in downtown Chicago. Construction for the building was completed in 1964, when energy costs were not a major concern. The primary objectives of the GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) for the courthouse building's modernization project were to identify inefficient building infrastructure systems operating beyond their life expectancy, to implement significant systems upgrades to existing equipment with minimal disturbance to tenant services, and to enhance portfolio management and control and improve facility energy efficiency.
Three discrete infrastructure upgrades were implemented to improve building performance and refine operational energy efficiency:
- Replacement of legacy equipment beyond its useful life
- Modernization of the building DDC (Direct Digital Control) monitoring and control system
- Installation of an advanced lighting control system
Additional infrastructure renovations included the replacement of 20 existing courtroom air handling units with modern units featuring outside air ventilation measurement control functions to reduce energy consumption during unoccupied periods.
The advanced lighting control system will reduce facility energy consumption to the equivalent of that of 43 homes a year, and the modernization of the mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems will produce an anticipated 10-15% reduction in overall facility energy consumption.