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Replacing Rooftop Air Units at Cardinal Health

What do you do when your warehouse requires specific temperatures to store products and your HVAC system needs to be replaced?

That was the challenge for the Cardinal Health facility is Swedesboro, NJ. This facility for Cardinal Health distributes many of the products you might see in your local pharmacy, from pharmaceutical medications to toiletries. Storage temperature for pharmaceuticals is critical  – if temperatures aren’t maintained within allowed parameters, entire lots might have to be scrapped.

The rooftop air conditioners on Cardinal’s facility – 20 in all – were 15 years old, nearing the end of typical life expectancy. Problems were starting to develop, requiring regular repair and maintenance. But frequent maintenance on a system this big had built-in problems: patches were only so effective- if multiple units failed at once, or if critical parts failed, causing the HVAC system to go offline, the impact could be substantial. Cardinal decided to budget for replacement of all 20 rooftop units over a 2-year period.

Chadwick Services understood the critical part of this job – maintaining temperatures in the facility 24/7 while replacing the rooftop air conditioning units. But that’s not a simple task when each  unit had to be lifted by crane onto the roof, gas piping and electrical had to be disconnected and then reconnected, and curb adapters had to be installed to adapt the new, larger units to the old, smaller roof cutouts and duct work. Chadwick performed the job in phases, so that older units would not be challenged beyond their aged compressor’s ability to cool air.

The new rooftop units, 15-ton models manufactured by Trane, included “economizers”, which use ducts, dampers, and automatic control systems to supply outdoor air to reduce the need for mechanical cooling during mild or cold weather. Economizers reduce runtime on the unit’s compressors which saves energy and potentially extends the life of the equipment.

Chadwick also replaced all of the program controls, duct detectors (in-duct smoke detectors), and sensors for the units. This allows a building controls professional at Cardinal Health to login remotely and set schedules and setbacks to limit the run time of the units and monitor performance of the system and address any problems quickly. Some of the old units were not included in the systems controls but all new units are.

Chadwick estimates that with the new units, program controls and economizers, Cardinal Health should realize  a savings of at least 10% on their utility bills.

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