WEC Energy Group Chiller Replacement

electrical system


Operations Evaluation

Due to our extensive experience, Strang was asked to team with WEC Energy Group to evaluate their existing facilities and operations. These ongoing facility conditions assessments, focused primarily on renovating their mechanical and electrical systems. This included existing operational conditions, inspecting code compliance, health, safety, and life cycle stages. The recommendations from the assessments are to be used for long-term planning, maintenance, and replacement of systems and facilities.

Specific focus for WEC has been placed on the following: assessing existing engineered system conditions and maintainability for major utility facilities; assessing monitoring and controllability of mechanical systems; identifying recommendations for life-cycle performance retrofit opportunities; and prioritizing deficiencies and estimated repair costs. Lastly, due to an aging and inefficient chilled water plant serving WEC’s 428,000+ SF headquarters office building, Strang identified their cooling equipment was in desperate need of replacement.


Chiller Replacement

Strang engineered a solution to replace the chilled water plant which included two, 300-ton, water-cooled centrifugal chillers and an indoor cooling tower. A primary/secondary piping arrangement was modified to maximize energy efficiency.

The building automation system was also upgraded to allow for complete owner control. Control valves on the indoor air handling units provide for the minimum flow requirements of the chillers. The integration of two air-cooled chillers for the colder months (when the cooling demand is not as significant) reduced overall energy consumption for WEC. This also allowed for better temperature control and equipment life expectancy by more closely matching the required cooling loads.

Pabst Mansion Facility Condition Report

Historic Pabst Mansion


Preserving History

Completed in 1892 the Mansion served initially as the Pabst family home. Now it serves as a legacy to the city’s brewing industry and a historical monument.

In preparation for addressing a backlog of deferred maintenance issues and needed capital improvements, the Pabst Mansion Board of Directors authorized a full building condition assessment of the facility. The assessment included the full exterior envelope, specific known structural conditions, and a review of a historic elevator and the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. The building was also evaluated for code issues and ADA requirements.

Strang’s challenge was to ensure the preservation of the building so future generations could experience this slice of history. The vision of the space is to use the mansion for education, tourism, and study–to tell a story of Milwaukee’s past by showcasing the ornate rooms, furnishings, and artwork inside this 127-year-old building. Strang’s work on the facility assessment identified the work needed so the mansion can be available for a long time to students, art scholars, tourists, and anyone else interested in history.


Extensive Assessment

The 20,000-SF building has had multiple restorations including upgrading windows, restoring bedrooms, purchasing original furniture from the Archdiocese, and bringing back original artwork from the Pabst family. Making sure the ceiling doesn’t leak, that heat and humidity are maintained, and ensuring weather does not compromise the integrity of the walls and windows, were all necessary elements to restoring and maintaining the structure and operation systems of the Pabst Mansion. With Strang’s assessment of the building envelope, structure, and systems our team’s final recommendation addressed these problems while complying with standards for Historic Restoration.

Following the in-field assessments, Strang reported determinations of cause (where possible) and severity of observed conditions. We outlined recommendations to address these conditions and a preliminary opinion of costs was developed. This was incorporated into a recommended multi-year work plan that could be refined and reorganized according to funding, operational/program development, and building conditions. Strang’s evaluation showed that The Pabst Mansion required extensive attention to the integrity of its exterior envelope, a portion of its structural system, and its various mechanical and electrical systems.

This building is listed on the National Historic Register #75000073.