When it came time to provide temporary heating during construction of the Conrad Indianapolis Hotel, general contractor Hunt Construction turned to Mobile Air Inc., headquartered in Madison Heights, Mich.
Phil Panarisi, the Indianapolis branch manager for Mobile
Air, and his team devised a temporary heat program that was so efficient it
earned a prestigious award from the Energy Solutions Center (ESC). The ESC is a
technology commercialization and market development organization representing
energy utilities, municipal energy authorities, and equipment manufacturers and
The mission of the center is to accelerate the acceptance of
and deployment of new, energy-efficient gas-fueled technologies
that enhance the operations and productivity of commercial and industrial
energy users, and improves comfort and reliability for residential energy users.
“We designed and sized the temporary heat system using our
knowledge and past experience to get the load sizing correct, furnished all of
the heating equipment, and monitored the heat and relative humidity throughout
the project,” said Panarisi, noting the load reached over 12 million Btu.
The complexity of building one of Hilton Hotels’ luxurious
hotels, coupled with Hunt’s aggressive timetable, made heating the construction
site a challenge for the company. “There was a lot of delicate finish work, a
lot of glass, a lot of marble, and a lot of wood with special needs,” said
Walter Strong, project manager for Hunt. “All the condominiums were
custom-built, so you have some with gunite finishes, while the next person
chose marble and granite, while the next person has rare imported wood work -
all of which required different temperatures and humidity.”
Panarisi made sure the heat was distributed evenly and to
where it was needed. “We were very fortunate that adequate natural gas was
available,” he said.
Beyond the cost advantages, he pointed to its flexibility.
“You can control relative humidity when you burn natural gas by introducing and
controlling the intake of outside air,” he explained, referring to it as the
company’s dry heat system.
“That’s significant in a building project like this, because
it affects all of the finishes. And it’s Indiana, so you never know what the
weather is going to be like. There were a lot of variables.”
But the benefits of the company’s dry heat system goes
beyond supplying even temperatures and low controlled humidity levels, said
“It helps keep the jobsite safe,” he explained. “First, we
make sure that there is good indoor air quality. Our calculated air changes
purge the structure of any noxious fumes and offgassing that takes place inside
and replaces it with warm, dry outside air.
“Secondly, our system enables us to use fewer heating units
located in out-of-the-way areas of the jobsite. There is not a need to move the
heaters around the site to keep things warm. This enables the gas hose and
electrical power cords to be safely positioned out of the way, never lying on
the ground for equipment to run over them.”
In the end, Mobile Air was able to produce even heat flow
throughout the building during the construction project, which began in July
2005. The Conrad Indianapolis opened earlier this year.
“This was a top notch project from the ground up and we’re
just so pleased and honored to have been a part of such a successful project,”
said Panarisi. “Winning the award was the icing on the cake.”
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Mobile Air Earns Award
July 9, 2007