In 2011, 1650 Arch Street underwent a stunning transformation that firmly re-established its Class A status. The 27-story skyscraper’s entrance facade received new lighting and signage, and the lobby was redesigned to exude sophistication and enhance function. Curiously, the most important improvements were virtually invisible, unless you happened to visit the 15th floor mechanical room.
With a goal of improving energy efficiency in the 1974 building, Behringer Harvard hired BBA to design upgrades to the HVAC, fire and life safety systems, resulting in energy cost and usage savings. BBA also provided mechanical and electrical design services connected with the lobby renovation. BOMA honored the project for its smart renovation.
At the core of the project was replacement of the building’s original water-cooled chiller plant of two 1,250-ton chillers with three new 650-ton centrifugal chillers. Replacing chillers in a downtown high-rise office building takes ingenuity and meticulous planning. After closing 17th Street on a winter Sunday, the three new 650-ton centrifugal chillers were hoisted by crane to the mechanical space on the 15th floor, and the old chillers, which had been disassembled for easier extraction, were removed.