Just like the Empire State Building, the famed Sears Tower in Chicago will be soon receiving some major eco upgrades to become more energy efficient. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is responsible for the upgrade plans as well as a brand new 50-story luxury hotel to be built right next to the tower. The eco upgrade will reduce energy consuption by 68,000,000 kWh per year or the equivalent of 50,000 barrels of crude oil. Costs for the renovation are estimated at $350 million dollars for tower, which will soon be renamed Willis Tower.
For 24 years, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world, and in less than 4 years the tower will be upgraded to use 80% less energy. This huge reduction in energy demand will be the result of many sustainability and energy efficiency projects like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and building systems management.
Improvements will include replacing all 16,000 single pane windows with more efficient, modern windows as well as updating the tower’s 104 high-speed elevators. Energy will be generated on site with the use of renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, photovoltaics and solar hot water heating. Green roofs will be added to reduce stormwater runoff and improve insulation, as well as add some beautiful roof-top viewing areas to see the amazing city skyline. Advanced lighting control systems, mechanical systems upgrades and more water efficient water fixtures will also be installed.
In addition to this gargantuan endeavor, a 50-story luxury hotel will be built by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to compliment the tower. A new public plaza at the base of the tower as well as a large commercial space for shopping and restaurants will welcome visitors to the updated energy efficient building. The project will not only save a staggering amount of energy, but will also employ 3,600 people.