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Project Summary

It was not your typical installation. Automated Logic (ALC) and Chicago-based Automated Control Technologies (ACT) recently completed a building controllers retrofit project for the Kemper Insurance Company’s seven-building headquarters - but not before unraveling and eliminating a complicated network of both proprietary and obsolete controls.

“On top of that, the documentation for the existing systems was minimal, yet we had to keep every facility operating, including the client’s national data center and its laboratory,” commented Greg Franzo, president of ACT. “We had Y2K compliance issues. And we were working under fixed budget and time constraints. Yet Kemper and its property manager, Cushman & Wakefield, were solidly committed to systems consolidation under a single manufacturer’s platform. We achieved that with the BACnet communications protocol.” The ALC-ACT team was awarded the project over two major competitors. The installation, impacting a massive complex of HVAC equipment, included integration of third-party chillers and fire alarm systems and the replacement of a tangle of pneumatic, DDC and closed-loop electronic controls. The team also found and corrected a number of design deficiencies and errors in the original installation.

Altogether, the project included more than 3500 automation points. The implementation of energy demand-based strategies, including equalization and optimization of equipment run times, is already resulting in energy savings. Future equipment upgrades are in the planning stages now.

“What was key to winning the project? We convinced the owner of our expertise and capabilities. We achieved a level of comfort with the decision makers. And we approached the project as a team partner, not a profit-seeking vendor. In addition, Cushman & Wake-field management was familiar with Automated Logic products from previous projects. They really appreciate the power of the Automated Logic solution,” Franzo continued.

“The system is energy efficient, superior to its competitors and running as expected,” added Dan Borah, C&W’s Chief Engineer at the Kemper complex. “We particularly like its graphics, its standalone workstations and the ability for trained operators to make changes as needed. Both Tom Whalen, our General Manager at the site, and I have been pleased with the results.”

Client: Kemper Insurance
Location: Long Grove, IL
Controls Contractor: Automated Logic – Chicago, Lisle, IL
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