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Racan: Custom Air Handling Unit

RacanRacan is a world leader in custom-designed commercial air handling. Based in Montreal, Racan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carrier Corp. The company designed and manufactured the massive, two-story air handling unit that sits atop the Temple’s roof. According to Racan Sales and Marketing Manager Brian Monk, putting an air handling unit of this scale on the roof of a building is an unprecedented choice. “We are probably the only company in the world that would even entertain a project of this size,” said Monk.

The new unit offers efficiency, noise reduction and advanced pathogen control and is designed to circulate 235,000 cubic feet of air per minute – comparable to the combined HVAC systems of 200 large homes. It meets all international building standards for standalone structures – an unprecedented safety measure for an air handling unit. It incorporates an internal mechanical room designed to ensure full air flow along with full accessibility for maintenance and repairs. It was manufactured in 30 modules over a period of 20 weeks, and transported from Montreal to Chicago on 16 tractor-trailers. The unit will be completely camouflaged atop the historic Chicago Temple.

The Racan air handling unit was lifted onto the roof of the Temple during a complex logistical maneuver over a 48-hour period on the weekend of May 29th, 2009. The maneuver shut down the city’s central business district for a weekend of heavy lifting that will turn the building’s mechanical systems green without leaving a visible trace on the venerable 23-story structure.

Racan has designed and manufactured custom AHUs for facilities around the world, including the Bank of America building in Manhattan, the Global Hawk Air Force Base in Guam and the Chicago Midway Airport.