Does one solution, one design, one air handler meet every need? I think not. Just how could that be?
We all want our needs to be met with an unique solution. Our solution, not Pete’s, Jill’s or Steve’s.
Joe runs a healthcare facility in the Southeast and has the daunting task to prioritize the sequence of replacing his rusty, ratty old air handlers. He conducts a preliminary walk thru of all forty units, taking the much needed time to meet with the facilities folks and the medical staff served by every unit.
He prepares his report, prioritizing all forty units based on criteria like: future expansion plans, maintenance dollars to keep the old units running, facility leakage specifications and the growing urgency to stay in step with the ever changing healthcare guidelines.
Some of Joe’s units were built forty or fifty years ago as an integral part of the building. In many cases the concrete floor is the unit base with cinder block on two walls and sheet metal skins on the others. The roof is either sheet metal or the concrete of the floor above.
A Real Head-Scratcher
Joe is perplexed on how to replace many of his units. Due to expansions over the past 40 years, many of his units are now boxed into inaccessible locations. He decides to meet with as many of the air handler representatives in town to determine each’s strengths and ability to think outside of the box.
Joe knows the air handling market has had many changes in the past few years and he wants to make sure he gets the best for his facility at a reasonable cost.
He narrows the field down to four air handler manufacturers taking in to account their method of construction, local support staff and ability to think out of the box.
He gives each manufacturer a similar project in which they must maintain minimal downtime while replacing an old unit that has only a standard 36” wide doorway to access the space.
Three of the four manufacturers decide to stick to what they know best and build their unit at their factories. Then they plan to dismantle the unit and ship small sections to the site. Is this thinking out of the box?
Different is Good
The fourth manufacturer presented a different solution they call SiteBilt. The unit is literally built for the first time in the field. This manufacturer has 15-years experience in executing this method while maintaining less than 1/2% of air leakage at 1-1/2 times the rated CFM. That's on top of their 50 years in the HVAC industry.
Needless to say, there was much coordination orchestrated by the local representative/project manager of this SiteBilt unit. They were involved at every level between all disciplines and knew the project schedule forwards and backwards.
Joe’s plan included site commissioning and testing of each unit to see how each manufacture not only assembled their unit, but also if they were able to meet the hospital’s low leakage specifications.
The results were similar for the three manufacturers who factory built, dismantled and rebuilt in the field. Cartons of caulk were used to seal the leaky units in order to pass the field leakage testing. Some took three or four rounds of testing in order to pass.
But the fourth manufacturer whom planned the install and invested their time up front to be successful was. The fourth manufacturer of the SiteBilt unit passed all phases of commissioning testing the first time through.
If you want to see for yourself what Joe experienced, take five minutes and check out this link.
It’s mind blowing what thinking out of the box can accomplish.