Tribune Tower Boiler Replacement

About This Project

When the Facility Manager at Chicago’s Tribune Tower invited Kroeschell to bid on replacing the landmark facility’s steam boilers, it was pretty clear from the beginning that this would be anything but a normal project.

Challenge

When the Facility Manager at Chicago’s Tribune Tower invited Kroeschell to bid on replacing the landmark facility’s steam boilers, it was pretty clear from the beginning that this would be anything but a normal project.

To begin with, the existing boilers, installed in 1966, would have to come from an equipment room located six stories below the main floor of the structure. Once the old equipment was removed, all new equipment would then have to be placed into the same equipment room, making for a monumental challenge. Additionally, the Tribune Tower is a hive of activity from visitors and the businesses located there. This meant that no downtime could be tolerated during the project.

Solution

Kroeschell began work in May of 2012. The approach was to:

  • Dismantle two (2) existing high-pressure water-tube boilers on site, and keep one in operation at all times for producing tenant domestic hot water.
  • Remove the old boilers in pieces and use both an abandoned coal shaft and elevator shaft to transport old equipment out, and new equipment into place.
  • Have the five (5) new, low-pressure water tube boilers brought down in pieces and reassembled on-site.
  • Demolish and remove the last existing boiler after the new boilers became operational.

Results

In October of 2012, Kroeschell completed the installation of the five (5) new 120 Bhp, stage fired boilers, a new feed-water system and steam and condensate piping. This guarantees the Tribune decades of service as well as considerable savings in energy. New electronic controls were also added in the turnkey project that not only covered demolition of the existing boilers but the concrete boiler pads too.

The Tribune applied for and received a rebate check from the local gas company for $234,629.85.

With a fully modernized boiler system in place, future generations of Chicagoans as well as visitors from around the world will be able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the crown jewel in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

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Customer Profile

The Tribune Tower is a 34-story neo-Gothic office building completed in 1925 and located at 435 North Michigan Avenue. The tower has all of the traditional elements of a skyscraper plus heritage expressed in flying buttresses, spires, grotesques, and more.

Category

Commercial, MEP Design-Build Engineering