Elara Solves Equipment Delay In Time for Cooling

Project Background

Century Tower, a historic residential building in Chicago, had embarked on a project with a contractor to replace the building’s obsolete VFD on its lone water-cooled chiller. However, due to supply chain issues, delivery of the new VFD was anticipated to be pushed several weeks past June 1, 2023, which is the latest timing for the City of Chicago transition to cooling. To address the problem, the contractor proposed securing a rental chiller for a substantial cost to provide cooling as required and to enable work to continue over the summer season. In addition to this cost, additional costs would be involved to facilitate this process and provide the necessary support systems. Beyond the significant, and unanticipated increase in the cost due to the supply chain delays, physical site constraints also presented complications as to where to locate the 55’ trailer housing the rented chiller so that site access and operations were not impacted.

Project Solution

After being contacted by the building’s management and ownership inquiring if any other approach was possible, Elara’s team quickly reached out to local equipment vendors directly and was able to locate an in-stock chiller that would meet the building’s needs and could be installed well ahead of the June 1, 2023 cooling target. Once this new, more efficient, and more reliable chiller was identified, Elara secured a proposal to complete the chiller replacement, thus negating any need for a temporary chiller. The solution identified by Elara resulted in over $200,000 of avoided costs associated with the temporary chiller and other costs and complications involved. In addition to creatively solving a major problem for the building’s ownership/management team, Elara is now in the process of securing incentive funding to further reduce the overall cost of the project. Finally, as this chiller was originally installed in 2007, the new machine offers improved energy efficiency and reliability. The new chiller is a dual-compressor model which offers added redundancy over the existing chiller.  

“Century Tower was faced with a critical chiller repair heading into the winter last year and unfortunately, like many projects, was hit with significant lead time delays for parts and pieces. With cooling season quickly approaching, we turned to Elara Engineering to assist with possible solutions. Elara was able to use its experience and network to find us new equipment that was readily available and that fit our specifications. Additionally, Elara lead us through the ComEd rebate program to help alleviate costs. Our property team was incredibly grateful that a potential problem turned into a great solution for the building.”

Mark Dudasik
Director, Capital Projects
Golub & Company

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