Chicago-based Golub & Company, an international real estate investment and development firm, has gained incentive bonuses from utility ComEd for energy efficiency improvements completed at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive, a mixed-use building in Chicago.
In January 2013, Golub Realty Services requested a ComEd Smart Ideas Opportunity Assessment for its 680 N. Lake Shore Drive property. A ComEd engineer conducted an on-site facility assessment and identified energy-efficiency opportunities eligible for Smart Ideas incentives, leading Golub to install 18 variable speed drives (VSDs) on HVAC supply and return fans throughout the building. VSDs vary the rate of speed at which the fans operate according to the actual needs of the equipment, instead of the fans running continuously at full speed.
Golub’s HVAC improvements reduced the building’s energy use by more than 500,000 kWh annually, for an estimated cost savings of $34,919 per year. The project also qualified for a Smart Ideas incentive of $54,780, which shortened the payback period by more than one and a half years. The cost savings are passed through to the condo owners and tenants, increasing the appeal of the building by significantly lowering its operating cost for years to come. The thermal comfort of building occupants is unaffected by the installation of the VFDs.