With the need to replace old, inefficient cooling towers and a chiller system that only cooled the theater space, The Ebell of Los Angeles’ management team sought to address the full needs of the theater and the occupants throughout the larger complex.
The facility management team required a versatile system that would both respect The Ebell’s recognized status on the National Register of Historic Places, and meet the theater’s needs to cool, heat and dehumidify the front and back stage areas. Additionally, the system needed to provide air conditioning for the building’s event hosting spaces, which the old system did not provide for beyond the theater.
The new system needed to maintain the aesthetically appropriate historic qualities of the landmark property while delivering high performance and enhanced energy savings. A key requirement for the new hvac system was design flexibility. The Ebell’s unique and historic architecture presented a substantial obstacle due to the structural difficulties of installing outdoor units on the roof of the building, which meant the new system would have to be flexible enough to fit in two places—the confines of the basement, where the old chiller was housed, and discretely around the theater exterior.
After carefully evaluating the criteria, the building’s General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Philip Miller, in conjunction with mechanical engineering firm Athena Engineering, designed a seamless solution that would allow for occupant comfort in the theater and event spaces. DMG Corp., the project’s HVAC Equipment Solution team, recommended LG AHU Conversion Kits paired with Multi V 5 variable refrigerant flow (VRF) condensing units. VRFtechnology was selected because it excels at sensible cooling and the modularity of the design enables the overall system to properly condition the varied spaces throughout the theater and event spaces despite the heating and cooling load changes caused by shifting occupancy. Prior to VRF, The Ebell maintenance team had to use large and noisy portable air conditioners to keep the rooms cool. Using VRF technology, the spaces are quickly and quietly conditioned for guest comfort.
Athena Engineering designed a custom-built system that replaced the old chiller structure with LG’s condensing units, which were easily installed on the exterior of the theater. The new units feed into LG’s AHU Conversion kits that are housed in the theater’s basement. The AHU Conversion Kits, consisting of eev kits and Communication kits, were then able to communicate with coils stacked within the new custom ahus to drive the temperatures of the coils lower to effectively dehumidify and condition the air to increase comfort exponentially. Additionally, LG’s MultiSITE Communications Manager was installed to allow the LG systems to communicate with third-party controls for system management.