Hilton Chicago Hotel Improves New HVAC System Using AerosealBrad Brenner
Old Ductwork Upgraded to Deliver New HVAC Performance
In 1927, the Chicago Hilton Hotel opened its doors to the public and was crowned the largest hotel in the world. Part of the building includes a 29,000+ sqft convention facility that underwent a major renovation. The scope of work for the renovation included upgrading its 80-year-old constant flow air handling unit (AHU) to a variable air volume (VAV) system.
The renovation plan included adding new ductwork to connect it to thousands of feet of existing ductwork located in a sub-basement. Unfortunately, the old air ducts were leaking air, and the engineers working on the project knew the leaky ductwork would not accommodate the added pressure created by the new VAV (HVAC) system. They also knew that replacing the ductwork or sealing it using conventional hand sealing methods (e.g. mastic, tape) would add months to the project schedule and tens of thousands of dollars to the budget.
- Building: Hilton Chicago Hotel
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- Aeroseal Contractor: Black Diamond Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc.
- Contract Engineer: Grumman/Butkus Associates
- Goal: Repair leaks in the hotel’s air duct system to improve new HVAC equipment install performance
- Before Aeroseal: 12,414 CFM of total leakage
- After Aeroseal: 613 CFM of total leakage
- Results: Sealed ductwork with a 95% reduction of leakage in only three days; Fixed air duct system to comply with new HVAC system requirements
Hilton in Chicago gets its ductwork sealed with Aeroseal.
Fortunately, Grumman/Butkus Associates, the engineering firm in charge of the renovation, was familiar with Aeroseal duct sealing technology. It works from the inside of the ducts to simultaneously find and seal leaks. A call was placed to local duct sealing experts Black Diamond Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc., who could use Aeroseal to quickly and easily seal the old duct system with minimal disruption to the existing building structure or to the day-to-day operations of the hotel.
The patented aerosol sealant was blown into the duct interior via a temporary injection point near the AHU. Using foam blocks, the team sectioned off and sealed six sections that made up the entire duct system. It took only three days to effectively seal the entire network of underground air ducts.
Watching a computer monitor during the process, engineers knew in real-time what the final report would confirm: total duct leakage was reduced by 95%, and the new VAV system was ready for operation.
“The result was pretty impressive. If this new technology didn’t exist, we would have had to rethink the entire project – perhaps replace the entire duct system. The aeroseal approach not only saved the hotel an unimaginable amount of money in material and labor costs, but it averted the enormous disruption associated with having to tear out and replace the existing ductwork.”