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 historical monument and legacy of Milwaukee’s brewing industry.

With a backlog of deferred maintenance issues and much needed capital improvements, the Pabst Mansion Board of Directors first approved a full building condition assessment of the facility. This 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 properly preserve the building so future generations could experience this slice of local history. The goal of the space was to use the mansion for education, tourism, and study–to tell the story of Milwaukee’s past by showcasing the ornate rooms, furnishings, and artwork of a 127-year-old building. Strang’s facility assessment identified the work needed so the mansion could be available for the next generation of 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. Strang’s thorough 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.

Ensuring that the ceiling doesn’t leak, heat and humidity are maintained, and weather does not compromise the integrity of the walls and windows were all critical 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 our 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 then be refined and reorganized according to funding, operational/program development, and building conditions.

The Pabst Mansion now has a long-term plan in place for the future of the building, preserving this local historic gem for many more to enjoy.

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