Elara Wins ASHRAE Technology Award for MEP Upgrades

Elara Engineering’s design team has earned a 2022 ASHRAE Region VI Technology Award for energy retrofits that included innovative MEP upgrades at Hanover House in Chicago’s Near Northside Neighborhood. In addition to the recognized achievement, Elara’s team was able to secure $33,924 in incentive funding for obtained energy efficient equipment.

Constructed in 1962, Hanover House (21 Goethe) is a 19-story, 166-unit, 165,000 square-foot building with a heated pool, sundeck, common laundry, heated indoor parking lot, and commercial space that currently houses a restaurant.

Master Plan

Before design work was initiated, Elara’s Master Plan identified and prioritized projects to replace/enhance major MEP systems in phases based on Condominium Association financial constraints and a stated goal to reduce carbon emissions. Prioritization and planning enabled full occupancy of the building throughout construction and utilized creative sequencing to reduce the overall cost of all projects.  Additional efforts to reduce project costs while addressing the need for larger cooling capacity included a 30-day load study that avoided the need and cost to increase the building’s electrical service.

Phase I Projects

First prioritized projects replaced the existing heating boiler plant, dual temperature and hot water pumps, and makeup air unit (MAU) with a new, modular condensing boiler plant, rooftop MAU, and open protocol DDC system as well as new horizontal dual temperature, domestic and cold-water piping.

Phase II Projects

Second prioritized projects installed a new high-efficiency chiller that utilizes multiple compressors and refurbished the building’s existing cooling tower.

Project Innovations

Because inadequate dehumidification and spatial constraints within the building’s penthouse negated a “like-kind” replacement of the building’s undersized MAU, ventilation to corridors is now provided via a new 100% outdoor air, rooftop MAU equipped with MERV 14 filters and a dehumidification strategy that uses hot air bypass.

Additional information about this and other Elara projects can be found here.