vice president for Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD), has
almost 30 years experience designingbuilding mechanical systems. In
addition to his work on Chase Tower, Johnson participated in the
renovation of a number of Chicago office buildings including 175 West
Jackson and the U.S. Customs House. He currently manages the
Commercial Interiors group at ESD which focuses on engineering
building systems for commercial interior and corporate projects,
including upgrades to existing facilities.
Chase Tower celebrated its 40th
birthday by realizing substantial efficiency gains (and utility
savings) after a five-year, four-phase mechanical systems upgrade.
Ductwork, VFDs, and chilled water upgrades all have the 60-story
space feeling young on the inside.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.