G&W Electric builds new sustainable habitat

(This is an excerpt from the full case study available for download)

After years of searching for a new headquarters and manufacturing center, G&W Electric Co., a supplier of power automation systems, switchgear and cable accessories, relocated from Blue Island to Bolingbrook, Illinois.

The move allowed the business to double the space of its headquarters and manufacturing facility. G&W undertook a major renovation and expansion of an existing building, pledging to build a state-of-the-art high performance facility. The renovation and expansion not only helps G&W meet the demand of its growing customer base and maintain its industry design standards, but it also improves the working environment for its staff of more than 400 employees.

To support its pledge, G&W established ambitious sustainability goals and pursued Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

When G&W considered how to make the 371,000 square foot facility more energy-efficient, they contacted the ComEd and Nicor Gas New Construction Service. The New Construction Service supported G&W and its architectural and engineering team early in the design process by providing energy and economic analysis and other technical assistance at no cost. The New Construction Service identified various energy conservation measures and modeled the building's energy use to illustrate the impacts of the design prior to building renovation and construction.

Several energy modeling iterations were completed, including analysis that predicted the energy savings associated with improving roof insulation, window properties, lighting in the manufacturing areas, process related air compressors and the HVAC system.

The energy savings measure with the greatest impact was the lighting design, which came in 65 percent better than the IECC 2009 code baseline at 0.47 watts per square foot.

This analysis helped lead to a cost-effective and energy-efficient building that G&W will now call home for another generation.

For more information, please visit the ComEd and Nicor Gas New Construction Service website.

(photo courtesy Epstein/Ballogg Photography)