Chicago Tribune Company, Freedom Center

Chicago, IL

Chicago Tribune, Freedom Center, press room


Inappropriate air distribution, poor temperature and humidity control, and negative pressurization in the pressroom were adversely affecting printing operations. The solutions implemented eliminated print quality problems and saved a significant amount of energy.


ASHRAE Society, Technology Award, Second Place (Industrial Facilities or Processes, Existing), 1991

United States Department of Energy, Energy Innovation Award, 1991

Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources, Energy Award, 1991

ASHRAE Region VI, Technology Award, First Place (Industrial Facilities or Processes, Existing), 1990

ASHRAE Illinois, Energy Performance Award, 1989

HVAC System Upgrade, Engineering Design

Freedom Center is a 700,000-square-foot newspaper printing plant in downtown Chicago.

  • Each of the facility’s 10 press lines was served by a high-pressure (17-in. static pressure) bag-type dust collector, nominally sized at 6,000 cfm, which exhausted the air to the outside. This system was retrofitted to allow recirculation of nearly 60,000 cfm to the pressroom make-up air-handling unit, saving roughly $140,000 per year in heating costs.
  • Each of the quadrants of the pressroom is served by a 125,000-cfm air handling system – 650,000 cfm in all. These systems were converted to variable air volume, saving more than $175,000 per year ($162,960 capital cost, 0.92 year payback) and correcting space pressurization problems.
    • Converting dust collectors to recirculation resulted in savings of more than $140,000 per year ($119,901 capital cost, 0.80 year payback).
    • Savings are from actual utility bills and electric sub-meters monitored by the facility’s direct digital control system; capital costs are based on contractors’ bid prices.


View More Projects

Interested in learning more about how GBA can assist with your facility objectives? Our portfolio is a great place to start. 

Skyscraper board room

430 N. Michigan (Realtor Building)

A large-scale vertical expansion called on GBA's analytical, design, and commissioning skills.

Hallway with rehab equipment

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Pediatric & DayRehab Center

This outpatient center serves children and adults; GBA provided engineering design services for the adaptive reuse project.

Exterior of Todd Building, University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky, Lee T. Todd, Jr. Building

An ASHRAE Level 1 audit,  retro-commissioning, and a lab ventilation assessment improved sustainability.