University of Chicago, Ratner Athletics Center

Chicago, IL

Ratner Center, pool


GBA performed retro-commissioning services at the 151,100-square-foot Gerald Ratner Athletics Center as part of ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Program. The building consumes more than 1,700,000 kWh and 258,000 therms annually. The project resulted in verified energy savings of $59,651 annually with a project payback period of 0.44 years.


The Ratner Center was completed in 2003 and includes two gyms, a two-level fitness facility, an Olympic-sized pool, a dance studio, and meeting rooms and offices. The building is accessible to both varsity athletes and recreational users.

  • The retro-commissioning effort focused on the operation of two variable air volume and two constant volume air-handling units (AHUs).
  • Retro-commissioning measures (RCMs) were identified through functional performance testing, staff discussion, and review of the building automation system (BAS).
  • RCMs included equipment scheduling, demand control ventilation, supply air temperature reset, and discharge static pressure reset.
  • One of the identified measures made significant modifications to the control sequence for two constant volume AHUs. The temperature control was adjusted to allow more free heating and reduce simultaneous heating and cooling.
  • With remote access to the BAS, GBA was able to consistently monitor the HVAC equipment throughout the project and download trend data at any time. This helped the RCx team identify specific problems with implemented sequences and reduce the cost for controls contractor troubleshooting.
  • Annual energy savings are expected to be 22% of the annual energy consumption.

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