It began with a hole, 15 by 20 feet, dug at the base of the foundation of the Ullmann Research Center for Health Sciences. The opening was needed to accommodate the removal of the two chiller units that had kept things cool in some of Einstein’s research facilities for 50 years. And, the hole allowed Einstein’s team of engineers and facilities staff — led by James Garofalo, Joseph Ben-Ari, Richard Civitano and Peter Pessoni — to bring in the sections of the new chiller units that they would assemble to replace the old units.
The new, larger units provide a cooling capacity of 3,300 tons, compared with just 1,450 tons from the old units – which ran on a discontinued, obsolete refrigerant that is not readily available and required a licensed operator to make sure things ran smoothly. "Due to new technologies, the volume of heat-producing equipment in these research buildings has greatly increased beyond the capacity of the old chillers" said Mr. Garofalo. "Proper cooling is essential for much of the work that goes on involving scientific equipment, research materials and animals, along with the comfort of people working in the buildings. All will benefit from our ability to maintain cooler temperatures at all times."
He continued, "In addition to Ullmann, we now have enough capacity to air condition the Forchheimer Medical Science Building and the Mazer Building, with future plans for connecting the Golding Building as well – maintaining colder temperatures, with 100 percent back-up."
The project began during late February and was completed earlier this summer. In addition to the large hole that was created for maneuvering the units, it involved the demolition and removal of the original chillers, pumps and piping. This portion of the project alone took more than a month to complete. The engineers then had to use a cross connection from the Forchheimer building to supply air conditioning to both Ullmann and Mazer while construction of the new units was underway. Each of the two much larger units came in three sections that weighed 7,800, 26,000 and 56,500 pounds, respectively. "Our design engineers and steam fitters used creative measures to address the tight fit of the new units," explained Mr. Garofalo.
The first new unit became operational at the end of May, with the second unit completed at the end of June. With these important improvements in place, Einstein is, now more than ever, one cool place to be.
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Albert Einstein College of FUN
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