Rotary International, Chiller Plant Replacement

Evanston, IL

Rotary International, chiller plant


GBA provided engineering design for 370,000-square-foot office building in suburban Chicago, including replacing the chiller plant, as well as new chillers, cooling towers, and system conversion to primary-variable flow.



ASHRAE Illinois Chapter, Excellence in Engineering Award, 2010



One Rotary Center is the worldwide headquarters of Rotary International; the 18-story building was erected in 1977.

  • Two existing 520-ton chillers using R-11 refrigerant were replaced with two new chillers using R-123 refrigerant.
  • The existing chillers were rated at 0.8 kW/ton, compared with the replacement chillers at full load ratings of 0.56 kW/ton and an NPLV of 0.47 kW/ton. Both replacement chillers are equipped with variable-frequency drives.
  • The chilled water distribution system was converted from constant flow to variable-primary flow.
  • System modifications simplified the piping system and reduced the number of pumps used by two.
  • Chillers were pre-ordered and pre-selected by the owner based on life cycle cost analysis.
  • The project included a mechanical room refrigerant leak detection system, ventilation, and purge exhaust required to meet ASHRAE Standard 15 requirements.
  • ComEd, the local electrical utility, provided an incentive of $60,000, based on the efficiency of the new chillers.


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