Last September, on what would normally have been a mild autumn day, Southern California was blasted by a record-breaking heat wave with temperatures
spiraling upwards to 116°F in the Los Angeles basin. The heat was far above the normal highs, which would typically be in the mid-70s.
Naturally, the fierce heat combined with high humidity would be a considerable challenge to maintaining the air conditioning in buildings of all types, but that was particularly the case in office buildings, where tenants can be particularly sensitive to uncomfortable temperatures.
Happily for the tenants of an LAX Airport Center office building, the cooling tower that works in conjunction with the building’s HVAC chillers had just been replaced. So, rather than having to endure the sweltering heat, the tenants remained cool and comfortable in their offices.
“This was a very fortunate situation,” says Pat McGuire, sales manager of Centrifugal Technologies, Inc. (Azusa, CA), a longtime air conditioning specialist who worked with L.A.T. Investment Corporation, the owner of 5777 West Century Boulevard, on the new tower design and specifications.
A 16-story, 500,000-sq-ft structure built in 1982, the office complex was originally equipped with injector cooling towers.
“This was a conventional system design back in the 1980s,” McGuire explains, “but over time, the injectors can corrode and clog, causing performance and maintenance problems.”