XeteX Custom Made Air Handlers – A Success Story

On an unusually cold day in May, Imperial Crane was lifting three XeteX custom made air handlers to the 11th and 7th floors of the new Midwest HQ of a multinational technology company, located in the west loop of Chicago. The lifts were accomplished with the 2nd largest crane in the Midwest, a 550 ton monster that lifted these 20,000 lb units to their final destination. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

In the Beginning

This story began in the spring of 2014 when the engineering firm of Environmental Systems Design called their Temperature Equipment Corporation (TEC) salespeople, Mark Simbrowsky and Jose Ronchetta to give them ideas about meeting a new building guideline called the Living Building Challenge© with an air handler that could handle the requirements of this demanding job. TEC knew immediately who to turn to for the job; XeteX, based in Minneapolis, MN.

Design Requirements

Part of the Living Building Challenge© requires:

  • Ventilation rates must be designed to comply with ASHRAE 62 and equipment must be installed to monitor levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and humidity.
  • Conduct air quality testing at pre-occupancy and after nine months of occupancy to measure levels of Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP) and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC).
  • Provisions must be made for future enhanced filtration such as carbon filters, or more advanced products such as Secure Aire.
  • Monitoring is required to provide occupants opportunities for improving indoor air quality over time. Maximum thresholds will not be used to test compliance with the Living Building Challenge, but are listed in the Dialogue for reference. A minimum of one test is required for each separate HVAC system installed.

Therefore AHU’s were designed with the addition of innovative IAQ solutions to help qualify. One such product is Global Plasma Solution’s bi-polar ionizations I-Bars. These devices create positive and negative ions that are distributed across the cooling coil and propelled into the space to reduce or eliminate RSP’s and TVOC’s. Plus there is room in each AHU to install, at a later date Secure Aire filtration systems that use Particle Acceleration Control Technology and MERV 15 filters to reduce or eliminate RSP’s and agglomerate particles in the space to reduce TVOC’s and any other particulates that may accumulate in the environment. Also, room was left for a cooling coil and the units were built for the addition of compressors and condensing section once the building was occupied.

The purchase order was awarded during the Christmas holiday and the units were released for production in early March. Lead time was a tight 10 weeks, which is unheard of for a custom made unit. Also the delivery had to be timed exactly because of the crane involved. Any missed date of production, shipment or weather would have resulted in a large crane charge.

Given all that could have gone wrong, the coordination efforts of all parties combined to make this job a show piece for everybody.