CHALLENGE: Wild Florida Airboat Tours is a family-owned company that provides airboat tours through Lake Cypress, located in the Kissimmee River Basin. The unique company guides tourists and locals on airboats to view Florida’s wildlife in areas of the state that remain untouched by man. With the attraction growing in popularity, the company decided to expand the site by adding a 10,000-square-foot, multi-use event facility to host educational sessions, social events and weddings, all under one roof.
The design of the new building presented a heating and cooling challenge for the owner. Because not all rooms within the facility would be used at any given time –some could be filled to maximum capacity, while others would remain empty at any point throughout the day – the facility’s HVAC system would be required to handle extremely diverse loads.
CRITERIA: When selecting an appropriate HVAC system for the new Wild Florida Airboat Tours expansion, Tropic HVAC and LG recognized first and foremost that the system needed to be able to adjust and meet the facility’s climate control needs based on fluctuating occupancy rates. The system needed to have the flexibility to function across a wide range of load conditions – operating at maximum levels when rooms were at full capacity and down to minimal levels on days when rooms were empty or not in use.
Beyond installing an easily adaptable HVAC system, the project also demanded LG to ensure the equipment operated quietly (to be respectful of the surrounding natural habitat). Additionally, the new building addition itself needed to mirror the existing structure by maintaining the exposed look of spiral duct systems. The HVAC system, thus, would need to easily accommodate the existing architectural style both in terms of installation and design.
SOLUTION: In order to address these three distinct criteria, LG recommended a HVAC system that could meet diverse load requirements, address sound considerations and complement the existing Wild Florida Airboat Tours facility architecture. For this particular expansion project, Tropic HVAC selected a combination of LG’s single and multi-zone outdoor systems with a variety of LG ducted and non-ducted indoor units. The LG single zone systems provides climate control for the main hall (used for meetings, weddings and social functions), while the Multi F multi zone inverter heat pump systems offers climate control for the offices, bathrooms, equipment rooms, storage rooms and a separate kitchen. One of the key benefits of the Multi F split inverter systems is that it provides multi-zoned, individualized comfort by cooling only the rooms in use – which will lead to cost savings over time. The LG outdoor units are also extremely quiet, rated as low as 54 dB(A), equivalent to a quiet office environment.
Because the new facility addition needed to mirror the existing building’s architecture, Tropic HVAC worked to develop transitions to and from the indoor units that allowed the installation of the new ducted units to fit seamlessly into the existing spiral duct design. Each LG indoor unit is mounted in an equipment room and feeds an independent duct system (zone) for comfort and operational efficiency. Additionally, the contractor did not have to bring three-phase power to the building to support the commercial unitary systems that were originally designed. As a result, the LG HVAC solution decreased upfront costs and the owners were able to save money on the electrical budget.
RESULTS: “We were familiar with LG’s air conditioning solutions and previously experienced great customer service from the company. We worked closely with LG and our contractors from Tropic HVAC on the solution design and installation, and the results have exceeded our expectations both in performance and comfort.
“With the LG systems, guests feel ultimate comfort and aren’t disturbed any operational sounds,” said Daniel Munns, owner of Wild Florida Airboat Tours. “The energy savings have been the best surprise, as well as the happiness of each and every one of our delighted customers.”