Advocate Condell Medical Center

Libertyville, IL

Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, IL, exterior view.


GBA  handled retro-commissioning of hospital’s chilled water, steam and heating hot water, and air-handling systems, supported through utility incentives from ComEd and North Shore Gas. The project resulted in verified energy savings of $88,854 annually, with a project payback period of 0.4 years.


Advocate Condell Medical Center is an acute care facility with 277 beds; it is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Lake County, IL.

  • Systems analyzed in this retro-commissioning project included the 1,800-ton chiller plant (made up of three 600-ton electric centrifugal chillers and three cooling towers); the heating plant (made up of two 300-hp and two 200-hp natural gas fire-tube steam boilers and associated steam-to-hot-water heat exchangers); the domestic hot water heating systems; and 26 air-handling systems.
  • The steam boilers are located in two separate boiler rooms that previously operated independently, even though the piping is connected. All non-operating boilers remained in a warm/standby condition at all times to easily accommodate a boiler failure. After retro-commissioning, boiler plant sequencing was modified so all four boilers will operate together as one plant, with only one boiler remaining in a warm/standby state at any given time. This retro-commissioning measure had a simple payback of 11 months: it was implemented at a cost of $13,685 and projected to save $14,389 in annual natural gas consumption.
  • The air-handling units’ economizer modes were deactivated when the chiller plant operated at or above an outside air temperature of 50°F. This practice eliminated much of the energy savings benefit of the economizer. Modifying the sequence after RCx allowed the economizer to operate any time the outside air temperature is less than the return air temperature (typically around 74°F). This strategy was projected to save $21,000 in electric costs per year at a simple payback of three months.
  • Increasing the hours of the existing unoccupied operating room reduced airflow mode to more closely match the actual occupancy of the operating rooms saved about $16,300 dollars in annual energy costs.

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