330 North Wabash

Landmark tower on Chicago River

This Chicago icon at 330 N. Wabash is the work of famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Formerly the home of IBM in Chicago, the building has undergone a complete green overhaul as it prepares to welcome the American Medical Association in 2013 and become AMA Plaza.


330 N. Wabash, Chicago, Illinois


Prime Group Realty Trust


Download 330 North Wabash Profile PDF

330 North Wabash is the last American design and, at 52 stories (695 feet), the second tallest work by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Known for his elegant clarity and simplicity of form and function, the German born Mies settled in Chicago in 1937 and helped shape the skyline with temples to the Modern school of architecture. The Class A Tower contains 1,141,760 square feet of office space plus a luxury, Langham Chicago Hotel which is scheduled to open in spring 2013.

We are very proud to be one of the first Chicago properties to receive SERF Certification.  The process is simple and accessible to almost all facilities or buildings.  This respected certification provides tangible recognition of sustainable programs a building or tenant already has in place without the expense and time commitment of other certifications,  and it provides immediate validation for corporate responsibility compliance.

Susan Hammer, RPA, LEED® ap O+M
General Manager

Prime Group Realty Trust’s (PGRT) management of 330 North Wabash has added another dimension to its iconic Chicago status in recent years – one of environmental responsibility and Practical Environmental Stewardship™. Thoughtful use of resources, innovative strategies to reduce energy use, and imaginative new alternatives to waste disposal are just a few examples of the ways in which this vital structure minimizes its impact on its surroundings.

Built in 1971 as the IBM Plaza, 330 N. Wabash was declared a Chicago Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places. Due to its architectural significance and status as a Chicago icon, the landmark status was attained 14 years before buildings are typically considered for such designation. The green retrofit that the management team has aggressively pursued in recent years have only added more value and integrity to the building’s legacy.


In 2013 the building will become home to the American Medical Association and will be renamed AMA Plaza. As part of the building’s repositioning strategy to entice tenants to 330 North Wabash, the building team was given the green light to change most of the mechanical and electrical systems to newer, more energy efficient models. Systems that could not be replaced were retrofitted and upgraded where feasible.

Retrofitting the older HVAC systems and closely monitoring their use have added significant monetary and energy use benefits for occupants. A 35% reduction in electricity usage was achieved through operational strategies to reduce energy plus an additional $300,000 in savings was achieved for its tenants by switching from electric heat to natural gas.


  • LEED EB O&M Certified Silver
  • SERF Certification
  • Energy Star Rated
  • BOMA 360 Performance Building
  • 2007 BOMA Chicago Building of the Year
  • 2008 BOMA North Central Region Building of the Year
  • 2010 Property Management Excellence Award in Chicago Green Office Challenge

Other sustainable retrofits include low-flow sinks and toilets, all low-VOC materials, and an updated building automation system that is managed and monitored 24/7 to exploit energy reduction opportunities. In the retrofitting of the bathrooms, the porcelain from old toilets was recycled, and eventually included in road repair materials. The porcelain substantially decreases the temperature of the asphalt during warm weather and increases the solar reflectivity index of the road.

By monitoring the bills monthly and systems and operating conditions daily, and by conducting an energy audit annually, PGRT’s management team is able to determine where their expenses were generated, what systems could be improved, and what energy-intensive practices are simply unnecessary.

Rather than the conventional method of heating or cooling the entire building during set hours, the temperature systems have been sequenced to match occupancy loads. Other equipment such as fans and lighting has also been sequenced to optimize resources. With this measure alone, 330 N. Wabash has already significantly reduced its environmental impact.

E-waste from building occupants gathered for recycling

E-waste from building occupants gathered for recycling

The efforts that were undertaken to educate tenants on ways to be more environmentally conscious also took this reduction approach. In a clever turn on Less is More, an aphorism widely associated with Mies’ designs, building management extols Less is Less– Less Energy, Less Resources, Less Cost.

Office paper generated on site is sent to a recycling company in nearby Wisconsin, and converted into toilet tissue and paper towels that the building then buys back for its use. Innovative processes like this create a bond between building management and occupants, which is furthered by an internal education campaign including information on recycling, energy efficiency, commuting options, paperless operations and preventative maintenance.

Other creative environmental practices employed by the team at 330 N. Wabash include an award winning recycling program for everything from paper and cardboard to batteries, cartridges, phones, and e-waste.

On site food waste is recycled through their wormcomposting program, which also doubles as a fertilizer source for the building’s exterior landscaping–which is comprised of mostly native and drought-resistant plants. By summer 2012, a green roof will cover at least 50% of the facility’s available roof area.

Photo: On site worm composting provides fertilizer for exterior landscaping

Photo: On site worm composting provides fertilizer for exterior landscaping

Request For Proposals require prospective suppliers to 330 N. Wabash to submit a sustainability profile to demonstrate their commitment to green materials and operations.

330’s parking garage has stations for hybrid cars and bicycles, and installation of electric car stations is underway. In addition, Zipcar provides shared automobiles for the occupants. An area for scooter parking is available to tenants on the plaza of the property. A shuttle bus travels to all commuter stations in the area, and further reduces the need for driving. This program Received Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s “Partners for Clean Air for Excellence in the Ride Share Program” Award.

PGRT’s team at 330 N. Wabash has made a serious statement about their commitment to the environment by including green practices in all aspects of the building. From their innovative green practices and 100% closed loop recycling to their education of tenants and close management of their energy systems, everyone at 330 North Wabash demonstrates their exemplary commitment to Practical Environmental Stewardship™.

For additional information visit: www.pgrt.com or contact Susan Hammer, General Manager at (312) 621-8550.