Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Chiller Plant Replacement, Design

Chiller Plant Replacement, Design - Downers Grove, IL


Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital encompasses about 1.07 million square feet and has been serving Downers Grove and the surrounding suburbs for more than 30 years. The hospital pursued a chiller plant replacement to provide a more energy efficient cooling system, improve reliability, reduce staff labor related to chiller plant maintenance, and eliminate CFC-containing refrigerants in compliance with the Montreal Protocol.

The project included replacement of three (of four) main chillers serving the hospital, as well as new chilled water and condenser water pumps. The three chillers that were replaced were more than 30 years old. Good Samaritan, in consultation with Grumman/Butkus Associates, developed a master plan for upgrading the cooling systems. Once funding was secured, the chillers were pre-purchased based on lowest life cycle cost, reducing the total construction period and optimizing chiller selection. The chosen equipment consists of high-efficiency, 1,100-ton dual-compressor centrifugal chillers with variable frequency drives and new premium-efficiency motors.

G/BA worked with Advocate and the Energy Center of Wisconsin to secure $197,463 in energy efficiency incentives as part of ComEd’s Smart Ideas program. The upgrade is projected to save more than 1.9 million kWh of electricity annually, resulting in roughly $198,000 of savings a year.


Source Award
ASHRAE Illinois Chapter 2014 Excellence in Engineering Award


  • The new chillers, which are larger than the units they replaced, were installed in the existing plant building. Extensive field investigation and close coordination were necessary to fit the new equipment into the available space while preserving appropriate clearances for servicing. Chiller layout and piping design were optimized to allow for future removal of the chillers without major disruption to plant operations.
  • The chillers were selected based on the most favorable life cycle cost over a 30-year period. The owner and GBA worked closely with the construction manager to fine-tune the design to meet the owner’s budget.
  • The project increased the reliability of the cooling systems so that patient care may be maintained with the facility’s continued high level of indoor air quality, in support of the overall health care environment. The main chiller plant now has N+1 redundancy even on a peak design day; chilled water pumps and condenser water pumps also provide N+1 redundancy.
  • The new chillers use refrigerant R-134a with no ozone depletion potential, replacing three R-12 chillers. The project is estimated to reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint by 1,362 metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to taking 287 passenger cars off the road.
  • Control upgrades help the staff operate the plant efficiently. The system allows continuous monitoring and trending of basic plant parameters; staff can easily make adjustments to optimize operation.