Case Study: Creative Use of an Elevator Shaft to Transfer Chiller Components

Going down? How Retrofit Technology Used an Elevator Shaft to Lower Chiller Components into the Basement of an LA high-rise


workers lowering a chiller component down an elevator shaft

LGH recently worked with Retrofit Technology out of Bloomington, CA, providing equipment to aid in replacing two chillers in the basement of a high-rise in downtown Los Angeles. Eric Rugg and Robert Terrazas were the foremen on-site, responsible for procuring the equipment for this project.

Due to the limited amount of working space available in downtown LA, Rugg, Terrazas, and the Retrofit Technology team devised a plan to lower the large pieces of the chillers down one of the high-rise’s elevator shafts.

a man stands on supports running across an elevator shaft with LGH chain hoists

This would be their first time utilizing an elevator shaft for moving equipment, so the Retrofit Technology team knew it would require special planning. The top two challenges they foresaw were the need to fabricate special support rails to mount in the shaft and the need for electric chain hoists with long enough lift chains.

Once the Retrofit Technology team formalized their lift plan, they reached out to LGH rental representative Tim Tripeny to select their gear and request customized chain lengths.

They settled on (2) 2-ton electric chain hoists with 35’ lifting chains. When asked what drew their team to LGH, Tony Grano, President of Retrofit Technology, said, “It would have been very expensive and time prohibitive to purchase the hoists outright, especially to only use them once. Renting saved us a ton of money.”

LGH chain hoists help lower chiller down elevator shaftThe team got to work rigging the chiller components and lowering them down the elevator shaft utilizing the LGH custom chained electric hoists and the specially fabricated support rails. Outside the elevator shaft, they used their own rigging carts and gear to transport and position the chiller pieces.

The end result was the chiller components were all safely and efficiently lowered down the elevator shaft into the basement, where the chillers were successfully constructed. Grano said of the project, “Everything went as planned, and this turned out to be one of our best projects for the year.”


LGH Equipment Used:

(2) 2-ton electric chain hoists LGH chain hoists help lower chiller down elevator shaft


About LGH

LGH is North America’s largest single organization devoted exclusively to the provision of lifting and moving equipment for rent. LGH holds the most comprehensive inventory for hoisting, rigging, jacking, pulling, material handling, and safety equipment. With over 70,000 pieces, our lifting equipment is available for rent from 23 locations throughout North America, and our customers are supported by over 50 Rental Representatives nationwide.


About Retrofit Technology     

When Tony Grano and his late wife Sandy founded Retrofit Technology, they had a single truck with just the tools on it, a passion, and the love and support of their family. Thirty years later that same passion is as strong as ever and has grown Retrofit into a top-notch, family-operated company that employs more than 40 employees, with its own electrical, mechanical, and service teams.

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