Maintaining quality controlled airflow is a very important factor in sustaining proper building operation. Keeping a building’s airflow controlled and accurate can be unintentionally neglected overtime due to outdated equipment and systems. Travelers Insurance faced a similar situation when their vintage 1960′s dampers were no longer operating as intended. Today’s post highlights a case study about Travelers and how Flow Tech was able to provide them with a cost-effective and efficient solution…
The Challenge: Cost-effectively Updating Old Control Dampers
With more than 30,000 employees, 13,000 independent agents and multiple market segments, Travelers remains one of the nation’s largest property casualty companies. One hundred and fifty years after its founding, it has operations in over five countries, three continents, and is known for minimizing risk, preventing loss and helping prepare for the unknown.
Travelers has significant operations in downtown Hartford, CT. Its Hartford campus accommodates 6,000 employees between 5 interconnected buildings and 3 additional buildings in the heart of downtown. The main building on Hartford’s campus is the Travelers Tower. Built in 1960, the tower has been a major part of Hartford’s skyline for 55 years. Although adding beauty to the cityscape, it was in need of some facility updates due to normal wear and tear throughout the years.
The tower is used for office space, and with any office building, it’s vital to provide a comfortable and safe work environment for the occupants. Providing a sufficient amount of outside air via the HVAC system is an important factor in providing a comfortable environment for the building’s occupants. Properly working dampers within the HVAC system are key components which allow the HVAC system to provide the required and proper amount of outside air. Dampers that don’t work correctly can perpetuate the problem of either providing too much outside air, resulting in an energy inefficient system, and/or providing too little outside air (fresh air), resulting in low levels of oxygen, or poor air quality for the occupants. An energy inefficient system wastes money, and poor air quality causes headaches and fatigue among the occupants; more commonly known as occupant Sick Building Syndrome.
The existing dampers were installed in 1960. As with most mechanical devices from that vintage that have lasted until 2014, these dampers were well beyond their useful life. The existing dampers had corroded beyond repair and the seals were almost non-existent. The existing dampers were “stuck” closed and were not allowing enough outside air into the building. The occupants were experiencing Sick Building Syndrome symptoms. If Travelers wanted to ensure proper airflow and good occupant health they had to do something about their outdated dampers, and quick.
The Solution: TAMCO Series 1500 Dampers
Having worked with Travelers in the past, Flow Tech’s Mike Davis was aware of their outdated dampers and knew he could provide an efficient, cost-effective solution to fix the dampers. After Davis requested a meeting with Travelers, Davis and Frank Picchione, Regional Sales Manager for TAMCO, met with Al Muratori, Travelers’ chief engineer, and discussed the energy savings TAMCO Series control dampers provide, as well as how they stack up against the competition.
From their conversation Muratori learned that TAMCO’s dampers utilize smooth aluminum end caps installed on hollow air-foil blades, improving sealing where damper blades meet the side frames. This feature reduces leakage rates significantly. The unbroken surface of the end caps creates nearly frictionless wear on the frame seals. This enhances damper longevity and ensures that the damper retains consistent sealing ability over time.
After his meeting with Davis and the TAMCO rep Picchione, Muratori was convinced that TAMCO offered the damper solution he was looking for. When asked what made him decide to choose Flow Tech’s products over other companies’ Muratori had this to say, “They brought a sample TAMCO damper with them. Just by looking at it I could see how much better quality it was compared to dampers in our other facilities – far superior.”
The Results: Controlled Temperature and Quality
Muratori and his staff decided to start small with two TAMCO Series 1500 dampers. The idea was to test the
dampers, and if they were satisfied with their performance they would begin ordering more, with a long-term goal to eventually replace all of them. The first two dampers were installed in December, and by January Travelers had scheduled Flow Tech to measure dampers for replacement in nine more air handling systems.
“Flow Tech was great to work with, no complaints here. They offer very good service. The dampers are working just fine. They close tight and control a steady air temperature and airflow- so far so good.” says Muratori. TAMCO’s Series 1500 dampers are AMCA Class 1A certified for leakage and come with a 25-year design life and maintenance-free operation. Muratori concludes, “When it comes to dampers, I recommend TAMCO above any dampers I’ve seen or used before.” The TAMCO dampers are a vital element allowing Travelers to provide proper airflow to the occupants with the correct amount of fresh air that promotes a healthy work environment.
It was a pleasure working with Muratori and his team at Travelers. We were very happy to help them update their dampers and look forward to working with them again in the future. For more information about TAMCO and their dampers and louvers feel free to contact us.