Sears Tower, tallest building in the US, to go green

June 28, 2009 / 1 Comment

The Sears Tower in Chicago is to undergo a “green” change that will cost a cool $350 million. The plan is to make the 110-story office tower,the tallest building in the United States as well as in the Western Hemisphere at a height of 1,450 feet, “a beacon for environmentally sound space.”

The Sears Tower Sears Tower, tallest building in the US, to go green

American Landmark Properties, which owns Sears Tower, expects to cut the building’s electricity consumption by 80% and water consumption by 40%. Sears Tower, built in 1973, will be renamed Willis Tower later in the summer of 2009.

The 9-point “green” plan for Sears Tower includes the following measures:

  1. Replacing the tower’s 16,000 tinted single-pane windows and creating a ‘thermal break’ between Chicago’s chilly winters and hot summers and the interior.
  2. Installing gas boilers equipped with fuel cells, which generate electricity, heat and cooling.
  3. Revamping the tower’s 104 elevators and 15 escalators to reduce their usage of electricity by 40%.
  4. Conserving 24 million gallons of water with new restroom fixtures and ‘condensation capture.’
  5. ‘Harvesting daylight’ by installing systems that automatically dim lighting based on available natural light.
  6. Installing solar panels to heat water.
  7. Erecting wind-turbines, if possible.
  8. Planting green roofs in order to reduce storm runoff and the urban heat island effect.
  9. Replacing granite plazas and walls surrounding Sears Tower with trees, terraced park space, glass storefronts, and an interactive digital display.