The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas lowered sound levels and kept its cool after an AHU retrofit.


The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with seating for up to 4,000 people, creates an unprecedented experience in a state-of-the-art concert venue. The $60 million expansion, which opened with Paul McCartney on April 19, 2009, has created one of the most sophisticated entertainment venues in Las Vegas.

When the mechanical engineering designers, FEA Consulting Engineers of Henderson, NV, were deciding on the right airside system to keep the top-notch talent comfortable in the Las Vegas heat, they turned to Mechanical Products Nevada, Inc. and to FANWALL Technology® by HUNTAIR, Inc. FEA Consulting Engineers is known for providing exceptional mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and low-voltage engineering services. They provided the mechanical engineering design for the Joint and meeting rooms as well as the hotel’s north and tower expansions, casino expansion, and pool expansion.

The New Joint

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a premier destination entertainment resort located on one of Las Vegas’ fastest growing entertainment corridors. The original Joint concert venue, which opened in February of 1995 and was the first rock ‘n’ roll venue in Las Vegas built at a high-end boutique property, has attracted top-notch performers. The new Joint essentially doubled its original capacity and includes VIP hospitality suites and the latest in video, sound, and lighting systems. The new Joint’s venue can serve a variety of purposes, from hosting concerts, wrestling, and boxing events to corporate or trade show events.

The Challenges

Low sound levels, reliability, and tight temperature control were high priorities to Vic A. Sibilla, P.E., COO and owner of FEA Consulting Engineers, in selecting the A/C system. Sibilla first learned of FANWALL Technology by HUNTAIR during a local touring showcase of technologies with Cory Nehls, vice president of Mechanical Products Nevada, Inc. “I was so impressed when I first saw and heard the FANWALL array running that I couldn’t wait to find the right application. Engineers tend to be very traditional when it comes to ‘new’ technology, but this equipment definitely made an impression,” Sibilla said.

Reliability and Low Sound

A visit to HUNTAIR’s factory in Portland, OR, was arranged with a representative from the hotel’s engineering team, Sibilla and Nehls.

“The owner was drawn to the low sound and the low maintenance features of the FANWALL array, especially the fact that there were no belts to worry about or bearings to grease.” Sibilla added. “The Joint can’t tolerate any downtime or acoustical problems, especially during a performance, and the FANWALL direct-drive fans were the best technology available to mitigate those risks.”

Fast track to success

With an April opening set, the air handlers were needed in a very short time and HUNTAIR provided a fast production cycle to keep the project on track. The job consisted of 14 HUNTAIR air handlers: eight for the Joint concert area, which supply 142,500 cfm, and six for the Joint meeting rooms, which supply 104,000 cfm.

Air handlers ranged in size from 6,500 to 34,000 cfm. Redundant VFDs for both supply and return fans ensure reliability and are used to vary airflow. This, in turn, reduces electrical demand and backup generator size and ultimately reduces energy costs due to higher fan efficiencies.

Supply and return fans inside air handlers are designed using multiple fan arrays, consisting of two to six fans, to provide a reliable and low sound air supply. The lower sound levels eliminate sound traps, fan isolation and pads, and prevent energy loss. In the end, it was the quiet operation that made the owner of The Joint a fan of the array. “The owner is so impressed at how quiet these units operate that he wishes he could change out all of his fans at the hotel to a FANWALL array,” said Sibilla. ES