Paris Club – Studio Paris Chicago
59 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Behind the scenes look at how our crew takes on a comfort problem beyond the same old inadequate steps, delivering the same old inadequate results.
Recently, we were approached with a very typical, yet extremely complex situation at one of Chicago’s hottest new nightclubs. I can safely say hottest both figuratively and literally. Paris Club, located at 59. W Hubbard in downtown Chicago, approached us with one major request, “Make my clients cool!” This new club is the brain child of legendary restaurant gurus from Lettuce Entertain You. They are setting the standards in Chiacgoland dining, and keep patrons raving.
Now, this is a typical and not outrageous request in that a business owner wants his indoor comfort to be perfect to attract the sophisticated clientele that frequent the restaurant/nightclub. What is not typical is the extent that it took to deliver on this request. It took 30+ years of experience and the knowledge of constantly being a student in the comfort performance industry.
Paris Club is only a year old and completely remodeled including newly installed HVAC equipment intended only for the newly added lounge area. A very cool room, with a black and white motif and a retractable glass top roof. On nice nights they open the roof top and let the beautiful Chicago night sky add to the experience. Very cool looking under the stars I might add.
During their renovation process the club hired in the typical players, an architect, engineer, construction company, mechanicals, etc. Agreeing on a design they set the project in motion and after a few months the club was ready to unveil their newly designed space. What they discovered over the next several months was what brought them to call us. They found that when they were at their busiest times they could never get the temperature to stay as low as they wanted it to.
If they are struggling to keep their club as comfortable as the clients deserved it to be, how the heck could they keep people coming back? Thus, began our journey into this project and on a quest to the best solution meeting their specific needs.
Our crew got started out in the investigative phase to understand what was going on here, and what needed to be straightened out. Step one is assessing the newly installed equipment and evaluating its functionality. On the surface level, where most contractors can only go, it would appear that all equipment was in working order. The parts and pieces of the physical unit where working complete with air blowing out of the vents.
Since stopping at that diagnosis would be doing only half of our job we next test the performance of the units. It is imperative to understand how the HVAC equipment is actually running. You need to compare this to what the equipment manufacturer says, and understand where the short falls are.
If the equipment is not only sized wrong, but under ducted as well, we need to document and correct these deficiencies. By simply going by typical industry practices these step are not taken, and the customer is left wondering where the ball was dropped, and why I am not comfortable in my own business.
The next step we took was to reengineer the club ourselves using computerized modeling software. Which is taking the physical dimensions of the space, adding windows, people and desired temperature to be sure the new equipment could handle the actual demand of the space. This step brought to light exactly what we had been fearing from the beginning. The fear was that the newly installed HVAC equipment was not big enough to handle the demand required by the space and all the people inside.
Baffling as it was to the owner, the reality was that we needing to double the amount of air conditioning that was currently existing. Yes, I said double. I am sure you are making the same face as the owners where when we told them.
We needed a plan, and we needed one quick with these 90 degree summer days not going away. This portion of the process comes the 30+ years experience and the research to offer the best possible solution. The owners do not want to be having this conversation again.
After a couple days of researching options and get together all the facts it was clear to us that there was one shot for us that would do the trick. Instead of relying on one new unit to supplement the space, or starting from scratch with new equipment and new ductwork, we took a different approach. We also had to account for the sunlight pound on the exposed ductwork, having the same effect as on the existing equipment. Besides the fact that the space was undersized, the existing equipment was only working at about half of its total capability. This is based on a combination of poorly sized ductwork, lack of opens in the ductwork, and the sun heating up the ductwork.
Our decision was made clear; why not go with ductless units like we did when it came to cooling down the junior high last summer? This solution would allow us to seamlessly integrate cooling into the club that could not upset the esthetics of the overall club. It also eliminates the need to find a space for the new unit and ductwork in the already crowded environment. Even better, by installing 7 of these ductless models would allow for other units to keep running should one fail. If they went with a new rooftop and it fails, well then you are right back where you started.
Thanks to newly designed technology these ductless systems could also be used for heating the space should they ever need it. By the amount of people dancing there I can not imagine them ever needed to make this space any hotter! If they want the ability though, it is just two buttons on the thermostat and away they go. Not to mention these units do not take a lot of electricity to function.
Once my install crew was able to begin this project, within 5 long days the club was ready to benefit from the newly installed units. Thanks to the craftsmanship of my crew the only equipment the customer had to see in the space was the indoor air handling units. Everything else was seamlessly hidden on the outside of the building. We also can not overlook that these things are library approved quiet. The club owner is able to cool off his hot crowd, and have no impact on the music system. Heck that is one large reason why they come to the club in the first place.
This success story helps illustrate why the HVAC equipment is just the tip of the iceberg. Had we not had the knowledge and understanding to solve this problem I know the owner would have spent good money chasing bad results. This is the same care and attention that gets taken into homes and businesses where people want real improvements and results.
If you are looking to experience a high end venue for one of your parties or gathers, or are just looking for an exclusive new night spot check this place out. And you won’t have to worry about the temperature inside, because we already took care of that.