2016-2017 Energy Conservation Project

The MWRD Energy Efficiency Program is designed to identify and install energy conservation measures in MWRD buildings to reduce energy consumption and operating/maintenance costs.

The retrofit work at Calumet and Stickney Water Reclamation Plants included the replacement of 20,000 obsolete lighting fixtures with LED lighting, steam blanket insulation installation, and HVAC and control upgrades. Once complete, the entire program will cover more than five million square feet of space and is guaranteed to reduce annual utility consumption by $1.4M or an estimated 18% annually.

125th Street Boiler Replacement

At the 125th Street Pumping Station, the existing boilers were well beyond their expected service life and in need of replacement. The PBC replaced the existing 100 HP steam boilers with new high-efficiency fire-tube steam boilers. The new boilers have been sized to better match the heating load of the building, with improved turn-down capability for more efficient low-load operation.

This project is part of the MWRD Energy Efficiency Program designed to identify and install energy conservation measures at MWRD facilities to reduce energy consumption and operating/maintenance costs.

Thomas Hughes Children’s Library Renovation

Renovations Give New Life to Harold Washington Children’s Library

The redesigned Thomas Hughes Children’s library at Harold Washington Library Center is no longer the traditional stuffy, quiet space equipped only with books, desktop computers, wooden chairs and tables. The newly redesigned, 24,000-square-foot Thomas Hughes Children’s Library now boasts bright, welcoming colors, seating nooks built into bookshelves, plush lounge seating blocks, and active play areas with 3-D printers, green screen, exhibit areas, puppet shows and singalongs. The entrance was moved closer to the elevator, making it easily accessible for parents and caretakers to get to the second floor with strollers, and the redesign includes a private nursing suite as well as a family restroom with adult and child-sized toilets.

“The renovations were intended to offer interactive activities that would support early childhood development, engage families and foster creativity – as well as a meeting space for parents”

– Brian Bannon, Chicago Public Library Commissioner

Upon entrance, children are greeted with artwork created at neighborhood branches before walking into the maker space where the 3-D printer, laser cutter and sticker makers are stationed to encourage kids to create things–like a sundial– and to learn, for example, about solar eclipses. There’s a new studio for such activities as story hour, special visits from reptiles and messy art crafts. At the center of the library is a plaza, a venue for singalongs and puppet shows.

The rest of the room is divided into three “neighborhood” sections for various age groups: the “early learner neighborhood,” aimed at children under 5, features a section for story time, a sensory bin filled with crumbled paper and fuzzy pompom balls and a comfortable seating area. The bookshelves are much lower than the ceiling-high ones to allow kids to explore and select picture books. The “elementary learner neighborhood” was designed for children ages 6 to 10 and includes a woodblock and Lego brick building area near where kids can make paper fortresses. The “tween neighborhood” includes a digital media space with cameras and a green screen to superimpose backgrounds, among other tech tools geared towards kids ages 10 to 13.

Follow this project on Twitter @PBCChi  #THCLRenovation

View the contract details for this project here.

Richard Edwards Dual Language Fine & Performing Arts IB School Annex and Renovation

This two-part project includes the construction of a 3-story annex and renovations to the existing school building. Renovations were required in all areas affected/damaged by roof water infiltration, and damaged masonry water infiltration includes the first and second floor classrooms, gymnasium, auditorium and ancillary spaces. The required exterior repairs include a new roof system, masonry tuckpointing and lintel repairs. There will be upgrades to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as it relates to the existing roof, and facade element failures.

The 50,000-square-foot annex was completed in 2016. The annex houses a lunchroom/multipurpose room, kitchen, and 24 classrooms. Three spaces in the main building were also renovated for educational use. Two modular units were demolished or removed upon completion of the annex, and a new playground was installed.

Chicago Vocational Career Academy

The Project implements the redevelopment of the existing Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA) school and will consist of the abatement and demolition of the Anthony Wing, interior renovations of the built 1940 existing facility, MEP upgrades including to the central plant, exterior facade repairs, roof replacements, landscaping, right-of-way improvements, along with site development with restoration work. Program renovations will be provided in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Career & Technical Education (CTE) (Navistar, Culinary, Cosmetology, Carpentry, Allied Health, and Horticulture). Site development includes environmental management, civil and landscape work.

Social Media:

  • Follow this project on Twitter @PBCChi #CVCA
  • More Pictures on Flickr


  • 2015 ASHRAE-IL Excellence in Engineering Award