Modine HVAC technology is being used in the ongoing redevelopment of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, a historic Chicago Housing Authority project.
Built in 1938, the project is one of Chicago’s first public housing projects. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2012. It is undergoing a significant redevelopment that calls for the renovation of 19 of the 31 historic buildings on the property and the creation of more than 1,000 units of mixed-income housing.
During the first phase, Amber Mechanical Contractors, Inc. worked with Hillco Distributing Company, Inc. to install HVAC technology in renovated buildings. They had to tackle a very specific problem: Heating mechanical rooms in the sub-basements in a cost-effective manner in a way that met green building and historic preservation standards. To solve the problem, the companies worked with Callahan Mechanical Sales, Inc., to install Modine’s high-efficiency Effinity® PTC unit heaters in the sub-basements. The unit is a gas-fired, condensing heater that can operate at up to 97 percent efficiency. In order to comply with historic preservation standards, the installation required that no piping or HVAC equipment be visible from outside the buildings. This required the rerouting of the air and exhaust pipes through the chimneys of the buildings.
Each Effinity® PTC unit saves more than $1,000 on energy per year. They are also environmentally friendly. Each unit produces 1,000 pounds of CO2 less that other comparable HVAC units annually. The controls systems are also compatible with major Building Management System (BMS) protocols. The units also feature an energy saver mode that allows the recirculation of heat without using gas, using stratified ceiling air to keep the space below warm.