From: Reuters
Published June 25, 2009 09:58 AM

Tallest U.S. building to get "green" retrofit

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere will undergo a $350 million "green" retrofit that its owners said on Wednesday will make the 110-story office tower a beacon for environmentally sound space.

Plans call for the 1,450-foot Sears Tower to reduce its electricity consumption by 80 percent and water usage by 40 percent. It will be renamed the Willis tower later this summer in a deal with new tenant global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings.

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To achieve the savings, owner American Landmark Properties and its partners plan to:

- Replace the 1973 tower's 16,000 tinted single-pane windows and create a "thermal break" between Chicago's frigid winters and hot summers and the interior.

- Install gas boilers equipped with fuel cells, which generate electricity, heat and cooling.

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