Case Study: Stacking Massive Air Handlers in Philly

Case Study: Stacking Massive Air Handlers in Philly

Sometimes, job site issues can
really stack up.


In this case study, we will delve into the process of how A.T. Chadwick was able to stack multiple air handling units in a tight space. These massive units required some creative rigging solutions. But just like melted cheese whiz on a Philly cheesesteak, LGH was the perfect complement to help it all come together. We’ll explore how LGH’s equipment and expertise played a crucial role in getting the job done.


jobsite picture from A.T. Chadwick case study with LGH

The Situation


A.T. Chadwick is a mechanical contracting firm that has served the Delaware Valley area for over 50 years. Mike Prendergast, a member of Steamfitters Local 420, and A.T. Chadwick recently undertook the complex project of installing these air handling units in a Philadelphia high-rise. There were two sets of identical units on either end of the building. The trick was to get both sets stacked with very limited headroom. These units also had to be installed before the curtain wall and windows were placed.

While planning for the project, Prendergast relied on LGH’s commitment to safe equipment. He says, “Safety requires pre-task planning of what you’re going to use and then having the documentation to be able to do it. It requires certification for each piece of equipment. LGH has that [certification]”.



The Challenge

As is often the case, time and space limitations were major challenges. A crane pick was not an option because steel beams were already set above where the units would go. The concrete that was to
be poured on the roof above the units was only going to be three inches thick. Effectively, this meant Prendergast couldn’t drill holes and hang chain blocks to lift and stack the unit. Furthermore, the units were situated close to the building’s edge, about 200 feet above the ground. This complicated job site access for the riggers.

The Solution


To address these challenges, A.T. Chadwick engineered their own trolley beams. They then implemented beam trolley hoists and manual chain hoists from LGH. They strategically placed these trolley beams before constructing the lower units. Using LGH’s equipment, they carefully lifted and trolleyed the upper units into position, setting them onto the lower units (see video below). The heaviest section of this unit was nearly 12,000 pounds. LGH rep Steve Klein was also able to quickly get a manbasket to the jobsite. This allowed the team to safely work on the building’s steep edge.


The Result


This case study showcases a successful collaboration between A.T. Chadwick and LGH. A.T. Chadwick’s meticulous planning and LGH’s specialized equipment and expertise were instrumental in overcoming complex rigging challenges. The project was completed under budget and on schedule. Regarding the budget, Prendergast commented, “There is always a money factor. The billing system [LGH] uses is very good. If we ask to use something for a month and then it winds up being a week, it’s never an issue.”

For Prendergast, if a project is planned well, the bulk of the job is already mentally done before you even get to the job site. In his words, “Rigging is a science, and it’s all about experience and planning. LGH and Steve Klein have been a valuable part of our team, providing not only the right equipment but also the certifications and support needed for safe and efficient rigging.”

A.T. Chadwick’s trust in LGH’s equipment and services led to a big win on this project. This partnership exemplifies the importance of having the right tools and expertise for complex rigging endeavors. And like a delicious Philly cheesesteak, the sum is greater than the parts!

LGH Equipment Used:


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 A.T. Chadwick

A.T. Chadwick is a Mechanical Contracting firm serving the Delaware Valley Area. For over 50 years, A.T. Chadwick has crafted an organization committed to clients, employees and the community.

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