77 Wacker Drive leverages innovation to benefit tenants and the grid

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Architecturally, 77 West Wacker is a distinctive blend of traditional and contemporary. But everything about how the building is managed and operated is innovative and forward-thinking – in particular, how they improve service to tenants as well as to the grid.

The property management team from JLL leads the effort to make it happen. Earlier in 2015, the team earned 77 West Wacker the 2014 TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and successfully achieved BOMA 360 Designation.

JLL employs a sophisticated building automation system to achieve optimal comfort and energy efficiency performance on a continuous basis. They also access energy price forecasts through such sources as the Johnson Controls GridConnect platform. Armed with that information, they decide when to do such things as precool the building — or adjust heating — during non-peak times so they can use less energy and still provide comfortable environments during extreme weather conditions.

Additionally, they use GridConnect to view real time energy pricing so they can shift usage to when prices are more favorable, thereby reducing their costs as well as load on the grid. Increasingly, digital controls are replacing the pneumatic controls with which the building was originally equipped. Digital controls enhance their ability to adjust system operation for maximum efficiency and savings. Due to these efforts and more, 77 West Wacker earned LEED Gold certification in 2011 and looks to be recertified in 2016. The benefits of doing so are widespread.

Not all innovation at 77 West Wacker is technological. The JLL team provides educational programs to help tenants better manage energy usage within their spaces. That benefits the tenants, the entire building, and the grid. Accordingly, these programs will become an even higher priority in the years to come.
“What we do to be a green building reduces our expenses,” said JLL’s Myrna Coronado, Vice President/General Manager at 77 West Wacker. “But it also adds value from an ownership perspective and attracts a better caliber of tenant who wants to be in a green building like ours.”

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