Armstrong Helps Transform Iconic Chicago Hospital Into Hotels

For more than 100 years, Chicago’s Cook County Hospital was one of the leading healthcare institutions in America and considered one of the world’s great teaching facilities. The massive 3,000 bed facility and complex attracted patients from around the world for innovative treatments and advanced care.

However, it was determined in the early 2000s that the aging facility and mechanical systems were not up to the demands of a modern healthcare facility and it was closed when newer medical institutions opened nearby in what is now the heart of Chicago’s medical district.

The landmark building sat idle for nearly 20 years before Hyatt Hotels decided to renovate the landmark building into the Cook County Hyatt, incorporating two separate hotels – a Homewood Suites and a Hampton Inn. The two hotels now serve as temporary residences for medical staff as well as guests visiting nearby patients and other city attractions.

A key component of the massive renovation effort required to transform the building into hotels was the HVAC system required to ensure guests’ comfort during Chicago’s sweltering summers and frigid winters. And a key component of the new HVAC system was Design Envelope solutions from Armstrong Fluid Technology. Design Envelope variable speed pumps ensure optimum performance while providing energy savings of 75% compared to traditional constant-speed pumps.

Armstrong’s long-time Chicago area representative, Maddock Industries, worked closely with the project developers on the retrofit. Reflecting on the project, Mike Moxon, VP of Engineering with Maddock, commented on the challenges, “Due to shortage of floor space in the mechanical room, the innovative Design Envelope Vertical In-Line pumps with integrated intelligent controls made the retrofit project possible. The capability for Sensorless variable speed operation also meant that we didn’t have to worry about installing, wiring and calibrating remotely located sensors.”

The installation has been in place for nearly two years, and Sean Murphy, Chief Engineer at Hyatt Place is impressed. “We’re very happy with our Armstrong pumps that serve our central plant. Our plant has been running since day one and we expect this high performance to continue for many years to come.”

For more information visit