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311 South Wacker Drive

Project Photo
PROJECT SNAPSHOT: 311 South Wacker
Measures implemented Wireless pneumatic thermostats connected to an energy management system; Lighting
Total project cost $879,197
Estimated annual energy savings 4,384,242 kWh
Estimated annual cost savings $329,000*
Incentive received $402,318
Estimated payback period without incentive 2.7 years
Estimated payback period with incentive 1.4 years

*Estimated annual cost savings are based on an electricity rate of 7.5 cents per kWh.

Photo by Dave Burk © Hedrich Blessing 2011

Project Summary

The illuminated crown at the top of 311 South Wacker is prominently featured in the Chicago night skyline. The 1.3 million square-foot Class A commercial office building was built in 1990 and acquired by Zeller Realty Group in 2014.The new owner significantly upgraded the infrastructure and amenities to provide an upscale tenant experience. Zeller Realty Group committed to projects that aligned with their environmental sustainability goals.

The Solution

With incentives from the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, Zeller Realty Group upgraded 311 South Wacker’s energy management system and common area lighting. They installed and connected 944 wireless pneumatic thermostats to an Internet-enabled energy management system that tracks and controls electricity use through a computerized network of monitors and sensors. As part of the building retrofit, 296 inefficient T12 fluorescent lamps were replaced with T8 fluorescent lighting and 95 high-wattage PAR lamps were replaced with LED lights. The new lighting offers a decrease in electricity use as well as improved light quality, uniformity, output, color and appearance. Additionally, the new lights have a much longer life, which creates operational maintenance savings.

Project Benefits

Zeller Realty Group received a total of $402,318 in incentives when they implemented the energy management system enhancement and lighting retrofit projects. The annual cost savings from 311 South Wacker’s reduced electricity use is an estimated $329,000. Facility management gained the ability to use real-time data to make operational energy savings decisions. The new LED lighting is visually appealing and saves energy. Additionally, state-of-the-art technology investments are appealing to potential tenants. “311 South Wacker is the first major office tower in Chicago to install wireless pneumatic thermostats connected to a cloud-based intelligent building system. A total of 944 thermostats were installed by our engineering team in record time,” said Consolato Gattuso, Vice President of Technical Operations, Zeller Realty Group. “The system allows sophisticated algorithms to utilize real time data to make operational energy saving decisions.”

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