The city hall in Quincy, Ill., has been coping with ancient mechanical systems.

“The 50-year-old HVAC system was fraught with problems, not only due to the age of the equipment, but also because of lack of proper maintenance over the years prior to the city acquiring the building,” Ken Cantrell, the city’s director of administrative services, told “Comfort control in our building was impossible. Some offices were freezing and others were boiling. Compounded with astronomical utility bills, we had a huge problem.”

Cantrell added: “Skyrocketing utility costs made modifying the systems more palatable.”

And so the city (2007 population: 40,069) turned to Control Technology and Solutions (CTS), a St. Louis-based design and construction firm. The company replaced the antiquated HVAC setup with a high-efficiency system and added a design improvement in the delivery of conditioned air.

The new system is linked to a Web-based building automation unit that creates a more comfortable working environment by balancing 62 heating and cooling zones. The 33,000-square-foot municipal facility previously had only eight zones.

The turnkey facility upgrade, valued at $1.3 million, has delivered a six-month energy savings of $53,000 to the city.

A six-month audit has shown that the retrofit is on pace to more than double the guaranteed annual energy savings of $45,000. A January 2009 energy appraisal found that the city already has achieved $27,000 in natural-gas savings and $26,000 in electric-use savings, which brings total savings to $53,000. In addition, the retrofit is cutting operating and maintenance costs by $56,000 annually.

And what about comfort control at the Quincy city hall, following the retrofit?

“Visitors and occupants,” reported the city’s Cantrell, “are now comfortable, which was not possible with the old system.”

CTS offers services that improve the energy efficiency of government, educational, institutional and commercial buildings, according to the company, which serves clients from offices in Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Tulsa, Okla., and Des Moines, Iowa.