Williams College TMI Custom AHU

Flow Tech Provides TMI Custom Air-handling Unit to Williams College

If you follow us on social media you will have noticed that over the last couple weeks we’ve posted a lot of pictures featuring a TMI Climate Solutions custom air-handling unit (AHU) for Williams College. Today we thought we’d provide more information about this custom AHU and the project in general.

Williams College Science Center Renewal Project Background

South Building rendering

South Building South Elevation rendering.

The below information was taken from Williams Colleges’ Facilities and Construction Projects Page. Please visit the page for project renderings and information on other construction projects on campus.

Location South Building: Walden Street and Morley Circle

Architect: Payette Architects

Construction Manager: Consigli Construction Company

Owner’s Project Manager: ARCADIS

Williams Project Manager: Jason Miner

Mechanical Contractor: Harry Grodsky & Co., Inc.

Anticipated Completion: South Building: Early summer 2018

The Science Center Renewal Project includes design and construction for a new 178,000 square foot science building addition to the existing Unified Science Center. Includes two buildings; one (south building) ~77,000sqft and the other (north building) ~101,000sf; demolition of the existing 90,000sqft Bronfman Science Building; landscaping and LEED Gold Design and Construction. Also included in this project are two new classrooms in Schow Library, Modulars and the renovation of Bascom for offices, labs, and classrooms for Psychology and Math/Stats. The renovation of Biology labs in Thompson and Morley will also be completed in the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019. The Project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020.

The South Building is under construction and anticipated to be completed in May 2018. North Building is currently “on the shelf” at the end of the Schematic Design Phase. The second phase of design will start in the fall of 2016. Schow Library classrooms are in the final stage of construction with completion by the start of the fall 2016 semester. Modular classrooms will be installed on Stetson Court in the summer of 2016, just to the south of Bascom, and be ready for use by the fall semester 2016. Bascom House, located on Stetson Court, will be renovated in the summer of 2016 and Math/Stats will begin moving in summer of 2016. Modular office/lab building will be installed in fall 2016 just to the north of Bascom.

In the spring of 2018, Bronfman will be abated and during the summer of 2018, it will be demolished to make way for the new North building, which is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2020.

Flow Tech’s TMI Custom Air-handling Unit


TMI AHU before testing.


For those who are new to the industry or who are unfamiliar with HVAC equipment and terminology, an air-handling unit is a device used to regulate and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. In the case of Williams College, the air-handling unit will be used as a customized energy recovery unit. As a customized energy recovery unit, the TMI AHU will not only regulate and circulate air but is also equipped with systems specifically designed to reuse/recycle hot or cold air (depending on the season) to help maintain the optimum air temperature while reducing energy use. One of the specialty systems outfitted in the TMI AHU is heat pipes. Flow Tech represents Heat Pipe Technology, a manufacturer of heat pipes, as well as TMI Climate Solutions, so this customized pairing worked out very well.

After production of a TMI air-handling unit and before shipping the unit, several rounds of testing occur. Mike Davis was the Flow Tech Sales Engineer in charge of this project, and he had the opportunity to visit the TMI factory in Montreal, Canada to witness the testing and ensure everything went according to plan. The testing consisted of Leakage and Airflow testing to ensure the unit would meet the specific airflow requirements for the project and building.

Luckily the unit passed with flying colors and was prepared for shipping. The unit was disassembled in the factory and separated into several sections that remained intact through the delivery. Once the AHU sections arrived on the job site they were unpacked and organized. Usually, air-handling units are located at the very bottom level/below ground, or at the very top level/penthouse of a building. In this case, the AHU would be located in a penthouse of the South Building. A crane was used to hoist each section into the penthouse. Once in the penthouse reassembly will begin. The installation of this unit started on Tuesday, May 9th and is predicted to be completed by the end of this week.

Aside from TMI Climate Solutions, Flow Tech has several other products on the Science Center Renewal project. We’re providing the college with ABB variable frequency drives, Phoenix Control Valves and Twin City Fans. We are very happy to be a part of this project and are even happier to provide the college, its students, and faculty with safe and energy-efficient systems and solutions for this critical control environment.


Disassembled unit

After testing, the unit was disassembled inside the factory and readied for shipping.


Unpacking the sections

The unit’s sections are unpacked from the flatbed.


AHU ready for hoisting

The sections are organized and readied for hoisting.


Crane hoisting AHU

A crane was used to hoist each section onto the roof.


Rooftop AHU landing

Each section is lowered onto the roof and readied for transport into the penthouse.



ABB variable frequency drives will help maintain energy efficiency inside the AHU.


For more information about this project, or our products and systems included, please give us a call, 860.291.8886, email us or visit us on the web. You can always stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and events by following us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube

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