John Hancock Center

Chicago, Illinois

The John Hancock Center is one of the signature buildings of the Chicago skyline. It was completed in 1969 and is home to office space, residential condominiums, retail, dining, and a top floor observatory. 

ESD identified low-cost and no-cost energy saving opportunities for the John Hancock Center’s base building HVAC systems. We collaborated with the building engineering and operating staff to review the operation of the HVAC systems, set up trending, and implement the selected measures. Many of the implemented measures were controls related, such as lowering the duct static pressure for supply fans, implementing an enthalpy-based economizer cycle, and an optimum start sequence.

Over 1,569,200 kWh of annual electricity savings were identified, measured, and verified through the implementation of four low-cost retro-commissioning measures. The combined implementation cost of all four measures was $58,904, which included a controls contractor and in-house labor costs. Since the retro-commissioning study fee was paid by ComEd, the simple payback of this project was just over six months.

In a separate project with the John Hancock Center, ESD provided engineering services for the tower’s renovation of its observatory. This overhaul focused on intensifying the visitor experience with the TILT Experience – consisting of a moveable glass and steel platform that angles out from the building over the city views – and renovations to the observatory floor and concourse for more retail, exhibit, and queue areas.