Florida News

CE and Toshiba Carrier Corporation Provide Comfort for the WPB Forum Office Building Conversion to a Hilton Garden Inn

November 04, 2019

At the end of March 2018 Dave Lucas, Director of Engineered Systems Support and VRF Product Manager, Carrier Enterprise-Florida (CE) was presented a set of plans to renovate a 10-story office building into a 190-room hotel. The building, on the northeast corner of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach, is the westernmost of the three Forum Office Towers and was purchased by the Houston Astros in February of 2017. The hotel is branded a Hilton Garden Inn and will be used by the Astros to house players, coaches and support staff during spring training every January, February and March. The rest of the year it will be available to the general public.

L to R: Dave Lucas, Director VRF/Ductless, CE Florida, Brian Schmidt, VRF Regional Manager, Carrier Corp. and Kavin Ward, VRF Applications and Sales Engineer, CE Florida in front of Toshiba SHRMe and SMMSe VRF Outdoor units.

Like many projects, the plans were complete and demolition and permitting were in progress but Dave was presented with the challenges of being over budget and behind schedule with an aggressive construction schedule.

The project had been designed using water cooled systems and 2 large roof top DOAS systems. Getting the mechanical budget resolved was holding up other trades from moving forward.

Dave and his design team applied a Toshiba Carrier VRF SHRMe Heat Recovery and SMMSe Heat Pump systems along with 2 x Carrier 62X DOAS units to the building plans and developed a list of cost savings on the total cost of construction over the existing design. The options were presented to the owner through the Mechanical Project Manager, Keith Reinhardt of AGS Builds Construction Services.

Utilizing the Toshiba Carrier VRF Systems enabled significant overall costs savings to the renovation project. By employing the inherent systems logic and a Touch Screen Centralized Controller to provide total systems management, a complete building automation system was eliminated. By moving to all modular Air-Cooled Outdoor units located on the roof, the need for significant roofing upgrades to accommodate cooling towers and their support requirements was eliminated as well.

The existing building’s limited vertical chases posed a challenge to accommodate the traditional large system components needed for the fresh air requirements. Advantage was taken of Toshiba Carrier’s Heat Recovery System to provide vertical risers with branches and 4 to 6 guest room fan coils on each of the 10 floors with the refrigerant lines run in standard walls without taking any dedicated mechanical space.

Once awarded the job, the race was on to provide the 218 tons of capacity consisting of 18 VRF Outdoor Modules, 6 SHRMe Heat Recovery Systems for all of the guest rooms, 3 SMMSe Heat Pump Systems, 217 Fan coils and the flow selectors, piping specialties, controls and accessories to the project. Simultaneously, CE worked with the original Architect and Consulting Engineer to get the plans revised and permitted and provided installation training for the contractor.

The expediting of equipment and coordinating a plan for working in a tight construction site on a busy intersection took a dedicated effort from a team that included Dave Lucas and Kavin Ward – CE FL VRF Specialists, Ken Smith, CE FL VRF Field Services and Quality Assurance Manager, and VP of Operations Damon Holditch.

CE was delivering equipment within 60 days of first learning of the project and members of the team made recurring visits to the jobsite on at least a weekly basis to check in with the project management and support the installing contractor as well as providing all start-up and commissioning services. It was just a few weeks before the mechanical trades moved from initially being the hold up to pulling ahead of other trades on the building.

All of the 190 Guest Rooms are equipped with Toshiba Carrier Ultra Quiet Slim Duct fan coils that provide each guest room complete autonomy to operate in cooling, heating or ventilation mode without impacting any other guest rooms on the same refrigerant circuit. Common areas are all supported by larger ducted units and the lobby, lounge and restaurant areas all feature sleek slot diffusers.

The $25 million redevelopment project opened in time to serve as the new home for the Astro’s 2019 spring training season and is conveniently located just five miles from the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Toshiba Carrier Corporation began as a joint venture between the Carrier, Inc. of the USA and the air conditioning equipment division of Toshiba Corporation in April of 1999. The USA Division is based in Atlanta, Georgia with a complete product management, engineering, marketing and logistics staff dedicated to supporting and growing the North America Markets.

Carrier Enterprise is part of the largest HVAC Distribution network in North America and the largest in Florida. Serving as the master distributor for the Carrier, Bryant, Payne and Toshiba Carrier brands, CE Florida employs over 250 highly trained HVAC experts focused on using their know how to provide their customers the help they need. With over $70 million in Inventory and 26 Florida locations, CE Florida is dedicated to providing Comfort Excellence to the HVAC industry with superior availability, competitive pricing, marketing and advertising support and “after the sale” support.

For more information on Toshiba Carrier Corporation products and projects, contact Dave Lucas by emailing [email protected]