McClurg Court (Arrive Streeterville)

Chicago, IL

Apartment interior


GBA provided a study, conceptual design, and engineering design for a generator replacement to improve capacity for standby power in the two-tower, 45-story multifamily residential building completed in 1971.

Standby Generator Replacement, Analysis and Design

GBA has performed several projects at McClurg Court (Arrive Streeterville), a high-rise residential building in Chicago’s Loop. A recent multi-phased effort consisted of an initial assessment of the building’s existing emergency generator; a conceptual design project to identify potential courses of action; and finally a design project to allow implementation of the desired solution. The initial study assessed the existing emergency generator and its ability to carry additional loads (notably, fire pumps and hot water circulating pumps). This study, performed in 2016, indicated that the existing 400-kW generator (installed in 2003) was not sufficient to address proposed additional loads. In the conceptual study, the GBA team explored three options:

  • Replacing the 400-kW diesel-fueled generator with an 800-kW unit in the same location, doubling capacity. An existing bulk storage tank below the current generator in the garage would be usable for the new diesel unit.
  • Replacing the existing fire pumps with diesel-engine-driven pumps, which would continue to operate during power outages.
  • Installing an additional diesel-engine-driven generator in a new location.

Analysis of the options included issues of cost, fit (inside or outside the existing generator room), rigging path, interface with existing fuel storage and pumping systems, exhaust routing, structural support, and code considerations. After weighing the findings of the conceptual design, GBA and the client decided on Option 1, replacement of the existing generator with a larger unit. Though slightly more costly initially, this solution did not require any additional building area; was expected to create the least disruption during installation; provided adequate power to operate both the heating system and the fire pumps; and avoided maintenance and testing requirements that would’ve been necessary if existing fire pumps were to be replaced. Installation of the new generator is on hold pending other projects at the facility.

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