Turn-key Air Handler Replacement Real Estate


The building required the replacement of aging air handlers to serve the 8th & 10th floors to precede the floor buildouts.


  • Disconnect, remove & dispose of existing AHUs in Mechanical Equipment Rooms (MERs)
  • Modify an existing 4” concrete housekeeping pad to accept new unit footprint
  • Replace dampers for fresh air ducts
  • Completely knocked down new AHUs at riggers yard to allow for rigging through building & elevators
  • Deliver unit to site and rebuild on housekeeping pad in MER
  • Deliver and install new return fan to MER, configure to maximize usable space within the room
  • Modify the existing concrete masonry unit wall (CMU) to accept the new sleeves for the ductwork feed into the space
  • Provide new duct transitions from new unit & fan to new sleeves in wall
  • Provide new pipe connections from existing chilled water & steam outlets to new AHU
  • Run new electric feed from existing panel with new VFD’s for new machines
  • Complete a controls installation tied into the building management system (BMS)
  • Insulate and label new piping & connections
  • Provide & assist with factory startup
  • Clean and restore workspace to original conditions


From the planning, de-commissioning and removal of the existing AHUs right through delivery, rigging, installation and commissioning of the new air handler units, Donnelly’s expert project management completed the complex project within the required schedule and estimate. Working with a single contractor afforded RXR simple and direct coordination, achieving considerable savings in time, costs, and headaches.

“We retained Donnelly Mechanical to provide a turn-key replacement of obsolete air handlers. We provided the basic performance specifications we needed for the areas the equipment would serve and they did the rest from shop drawing to unit commissioning. They acted as general contractor and retained the services of all trades necessary to execute the work. Existing chilled water and steam risers required modifications as did electrical infrastructure. The project manager was present every day that work took place. He provided daily briefings on progress. Every aspect of the project was meticulously planned. The equipment being replaced was the original and thus this project presented challenges that were not a factor at the time of original installation. Everything had to fit within confines of mechanical rooms and provide adequate clearances as necessary for persons to work. I have heard tales of woe about equipment arriving at loading docks and then not fitting in the elevator, not fitting through the door, not making the turn, etc. Donnelly brought a representative from the equipment manufacturer to the site to walk the route from the street to the mechanical room so that every doorway, corridor, elevator, turn, etc was accounted for and thus there were no logistical issues that often arise in a large-scale project. All tradespersons displayed professionalism throughout and were very respectful of the property.”

Chief Engineer, RXR 530 5th Ave.

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