Hermann Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago

Illinois Institute of Technology

Energy Innovation in Higher Ed

Installed in 1948, the campus utility system serving the Illinois Institute of Technology includes steam district heating, district cooling, and a microgrid.

Illinois Tech is located in Chicago, Illinois, and is the only technology-focused university in the city. Founded in 1890, the university has long been known as a leading institution for energy research and education.

The 120-acre campus is located in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and many of the buildings, including the energy plant, were designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The steam heating system and electrical microgrid serves 21 campus buildings. Cooling is provided by a combination of a small district cooling loop serving 10 campus buildings and decentralized chillers. The central plant includes steam boilers that serve the campus thermal needs and two gas turbine generators that provide backup power.

Ever-Green’s Role

In 2021, Ever-Green entered into a partnership with Harrison Street and Juhl Energy to provide operations, maintenance, and management services for the utility systems at Illinois Tech. Ever-Green’s team of experts will manage daily operations as well as short-term and long-term planning for maintenance, energy conservation measures, and cost savings efforts. In order to improve efficiency and resilience of the university’s energy systems, a new, highly efficient trigeneration system (also known as combined cooling, heat, and power) is under consideration along with the conversion of a majority of the steam distribution system to hot water.


Ever-Green’s partners for this project include Harrison Street, a leading investment management firm exclusively focused on alternative real assets, and Juhl Energy, a leader in clean energy and technology commercialization. This establishes Ever-Green’s second utility operation with Harrison Street, adding to a range of experience advancing energy projects and operations for higher education and other campuses.