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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Touhy Atrium Building
1011 Touhy Ave
Des Plaines, IL 60018
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The Touhy Atrium building located 1011 East Touhy Avenue is a Class B building with a total square footage of 153,777 square feet.  The building is located within the City of Des Plaines, at the intersection of Higgins Road and Touhy Avenue. The property is a part of the O'Hare sub market, and directly north of O'Hare International Airport, with excellent visibility from the Northwest Toll Road, which forms the southern property line.


In 2000, plans were made for Phase 1 of the renovation of building mechanical systems.  The objective of this phase was to identify energy saving opportunities, improve upon the working environment within the building, and to enhance the overall energy efficiency of building.


Beginning in 2001, the central fan system, which was a prime opportunity for energy savings, became the first renovation target. In order to achieve those savings, the constant speed fans were converted to variable speed through the use of frequency drives. The variable speed fans were now able to successfully track changes in ventilation demand, increasing or decreasing air volume, as conditions warranted.


To fully exploit the potential energy savings of the frequency drives, the air distribution system was examined. The system of mixing boxes, dampers and pneumatic actuators was prone to overheating, under cooling and failure as a means of controlling the indoor environment. In place of the existing ventilation mixing boxes, perimeter fan powered and interior variable air volume boxes were installed. The installation of the boxes provided for superior temperature control, energy efficiency and enhanced comfort levels, throughout the building.


Concluding Phase 1 of the mechanical renovation was the installation of a state of the art digital energy management system. This system provided the necessary tools for the successful monitoring of the indoor environment and the efficient operation of the building mechanical systems.


Phase 2 of the renovation program began in 2003. Although Phase 2 was limited to a relatively small portion of the building, the magnitude and overall importance of the work was equal to Phase 1.


During March of 2003, demolition of the original chiller plant began. In place of the original chiller, a new 450-ton variable speed machine was installed. At peak efficiency, the new equipment was capable of operation at .20 kW per ton. While less dramatic, it was estimated that the new equipment would result in an overall 35% reduction in refrigeration related energy consumption.


In addition to the replacement of the chiller plant, was the demolition of the twenty-five year old single cell cooling tower. The installation of a new, two cell cooling tower provided for greater efficiency and superior reliability. Augmenting the towers were frequency drives which converted the towers from a constant speed, to variable speed and more efficient operation.


Including the upgrade of the digital control system during 2004, system upgrades required an investment of three million dollars. This investment is broken down as follows.

Following an analysis of the building lighting system, it was determined that a savings of greater than 30% could be achieved by the change to T8 lamps, with electronic ballasts.


While the primary emphasis of the retrofit was with the building common areas, where 95% of all fixtures have been completed, the program rapidly expanded to include all tenant areas. As of 2005, requests for replacement of T12 lamps are no longer accepted, and all requests are completed using energy efficient lamp and ballast products.


Taking advantage of newer technologies, several additional programs have been implemented during the past eighteen months. All lamp service requests for the replacement of incandescent lamps now require the use of compact fluorescent lamps. Exit and directional signage are being retrofit with LED products, and exterior lighting is achieved through the use of HID fixtures and lamps.


We distribute notices to the building tenants regarding our energy enitiatives to solicite their help and keep them up-to-date on Transwestern's focus on energy savings.   



Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Transwestern Investment Company, LLC or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
Transwestern Investment Company, LLC

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2007 (76)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 162533 sf

Year Constructed: 1987

Contract Type: Performance Contract
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant
   Other Technologies/Strategies