Energy Performance Contract, Builder for New School Highlight Meeting of PBC Commissioners

Kevin Smith, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

The Board of Commissioners for the Public Building Commission of Chicago took steps today to enter into an energy performance contract which would make the Daley Center a more efficient building in terms of energy utilization.

The Commissioners also voted to award a contract for construction of a new elementary school in the City’s South Shore community and to accept a request from the Chicago Park District to undertake the design and construction of two new harbors along the city’s Lakefront.

With the board’s vote, the PBC will authorize its property management company, MB Real Estate, to contract with the firm NORESCO. After a comprehensive energy audit of the Daley Center, the firm would then provide an estimated $5.3 million in energy conservation measures to the Daley Center.

“Through this contract, we will fund improvements to the Daley Center that will improve operational effectiveness and that will reduce our operational expenses,” said PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi. “Improvements include HVAC upgrades, lighting retrofits and water conservation efforts which are anticipated to garner $525,000 savings per annum in energy and utility costs. Further, these measures are anticipated to allow the Daley Center to achieve a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star rating of 75, thus earning the building the right to display the Energy Star plaque.

“This rating would put the Daley Center in the top 25 percent of similar size and type buildings in terms of energy efficiency and also would enable the Daley Center to apply for certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Operations and Maintenance program,” Cabonargi concluded. “This is an effort that reflects, I believe, the approach we bring to every project we carry out in the City of Chicago, an approach that balances sound financial practices with our responsibility to future generations as good stewards of the environment.”

The PBC will make no initial capital expenditure for the facility upgrades. The structure of the Guaranteed Energy Performance Contract is that payments only begin after the project is substantially complete and the energy savings are being realized. NORESCO was selected from among seven energy saving companies who submitted their qualifications for the project.

Also approved by the PBC Board of Commissioners was the awarding of a $26 million contract for the construction of the new Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Paideia Community Academy at 7500 S. South Shore Drive. The replacement school, which will follow a prototype design features 106,000 square feet over three stories. Along with standard classrooms, the school will have pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms as well as science and computer labs, art and music classrooms, a library, a gymnasium and dining facilities to serve 900 students.

The building is expected to achieve “Silver” level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The contract was awarded to the joint venture of Sollitt/Brown & Momen, which submitted the lowest of six qualified bids on the project.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners approved a request to provide planning and formulation services for the development of two new Chicago Park District harbors, one of them to be located at Dime Pier near the mouth of the Chicago River south of Navy Pier and the other to be located just south of the 31st Street Beach. Both projects were developed consistent with the Chicago Lakefront Harbor Framework Plan commissioned by the Park District in 2007.

The Board also accepted a report to pre-qualify 12 companies, based on their qualifications and financial conditions, for the Michael Reese Hospital Demolition/Deconstruction/Abatement project.

The PBC manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its other sister agencies. Mayor Richard M. Daley serves as the PBC’s chairman. Additional information about the PBC and its projects is available at the agency’s Web site: