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Chicago Condo Replaces Decades Old Boiler in Tight Space

A luxury condo in the Gold Coast of Chicago was looking to replace a boiler that had been in use since the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, the boiler took up 75% of the mechanical room making it very difficult for the installation to take place.  The old boiler was massive, but only had an output of 6 million BTU’s with 80% efficiency.

It was necessary to replace the boiler but since the unit was put into the basement of the building before the building was erect the entire structure was built around the boiler. The contractors considered getting an external boiler that would pump in heat from an external source until they learned it would save $200,000 to work around the existing boiler. It was ultimately decided to work in the small space of the mechanical room rather than get an external boiler.

Because of this decision, contractors couldn’t work at the same time.  This caused an obstacle in scheduling work for HVAC, plumbing, electrical and emo contractors needed to coordinate in a tight schedule , made tighter because the water could only be shut off between midnight and 6 a.m.

Adding to that issue, the 50 year old boiler and pipes had sentiment in them clogging the showers and sinks.  A schedule was determined that allowed for each contractor to have time in the 30 ft x 20 ft room (20 ft x 20 ft of which was taken up by the boiler) to complete the work. To ease the space issue, eventually the mechanical room was demoed and an old, unused boiler was used in another space and tied into the water system. The mechanical room was then re-designed and ready for the new boilers.

In the end the project was completed on time and within budget. The new boiler was a success. Instead of having a large, low efficiency boiler, the condo now has four small boilers at 2 million BTUs each, totaling 8 million BTUs. It was also 95% efficient, so the building got more heat allowance, more efficiency, and more free space in their mechanical room.

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