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SiteBilt™ at 920 Broad Street − Building Custom Air-handling Units Onsite

A new construction project is always an exciting thing. Involvement from the beginning is crucial, especially when there’s potential to bid for multiple product lines. Today’s post isn’t about working on a new project however, instead we’re going to discuss replacement and retrofit projects.

When the average person hears “construction” they automatically think of big, new buildings, and although that’s accurate some of the time, in other cases “construction” means expanding or renovating an existing facility. Upgrading and replacing HVAC products and systems is more common now than it has ever been for two reasons.The first being that many of the current systems in older buildings are outdated and aren’t as efficient as the new technology available. The second reason is that the wrong product was chosen initially, whether it was a less dependable manufacturer or incorrect sizing. For one reason or another old units fail and aren’t meeting the facility’s needs- that’s where we come in.

One of the most common system types we replace or upgrade are air-handling units (AHU). For projects that involve building expansion and provide enough room for air-handler installation, we provide FactoryBilt™ custom AHUs by Air Enterprises. The unit is built in the factory, shipped to the location and then installed. In most retrofit/replacement scenarios there isn’t enough room to install a completed FactoryBilt™ unit. For these situations we provide Air Enterprises SiteBilt™ solution. The below case study of 920 Broad Street provides an excellent explanation and example of Air Enterprises’ SiteBilt™ custom air-handling units.


Over time, standard air handling units will succumb to environmental factors such as rusting and seal failure. When a unit’s components deteriorate, its ability to perform to acceptable standards does as well. The AHU located in the Hartford Juvenile Detention Facility at 920 Broad Street in Hartford, CT was one such unit that was facing these issues. Time-induced wear and tear on the system had become so problematic that the only possible remedy was to replace the unit in its entirety. This endeavor was complicated by the fact that the old air handling unit was located in a small, difficult-to-access space. Attempting to install a fully assembled unit would require demolishing a wall or drastically altering the area. A resolution was needed to avoid any costly or time-consuming construction projects.


The property manager, RM Bradley, knew that replacing the unit in one, factory-built piece would be difficult. After meeting with Flow Tech to discuss possible solutions, RM Bradley decided that Air Enterprises offered a unique solution that would be ideal for this particular replacement. Air Enterprises offers customers the ability to have the parts of an air handling unit shipped to a job site and assembled there via their unique SiteBilt™ program. SiteBilt™ is ideal for replacement or retrofit applications where space is limited and accessibility is low. To overcome the obstacles faced by the 920 Broad Street project, Air Enterprises made use of SiteBilt™ to have the unit built on location rather than attempting to maneuver a full assembly in the cramped conditions of the area.


The AHU was custom designed to fit the location of the old unit after several site visits, measurements and much double-checking from Flow Tech. Environmental effects were kept in mind so features such as corrosion-resistant, all-aluminum construction were used to ensure that the unit’s functionality was long lasting. Finally, a field adviser was supplied by Air Enterprises to oversee the construction project and ensure its success. Months later, feedback was highly positive as the new unit was moving a greater volume of air more efficiently than the old system.

Without a properly working air-handling unit facilities’ air quality and occupants are put at risk.  Air Enterprises has a wonderful product and system in their SiteBilt™ custom AHUs.  In fact, we receive a lot of positive feedback about this product line. For more information about SiteBilt™, Air Enterprises, or our other product lines contact us and we’d love to help you out.

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