The Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, a 330,000-square-foot medical research building that was completed in 2009 for the University of Chicago Medicine - Division of Biological Sciences, provides labs, a vivarium, and office space. Research groups include the Institute for Pediatric Molecular Sciences, devoted to the genetic influence of childhood diseases.
The client retained Grumman/Butkus to retro-commission the facility in two phases between 2014 and 2015, as part of the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
|2016||Excellence in Engineering Award, ASHRAE Illinois Chapter|
Though the intent of RCx was to identify and implement low-cost, short-payback energy conservation measures, the G/BA team discovered significant problems early in its investigations and discussions with building staff. Air-handling units would often shut down in response to low-temperature safety switches; humidifiers would behave erratically in response to pressure changes; and the steam pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) required constant maintenance. The building exhibited extreme negative pressures, leading to elevator shutdowns and curtain wall frosting. The building staff believed system capacity must be inadequate.