Glacier Quilts (Kalispell, MT)

Overview

Tucked amid mountains, ski resorts, Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park is Kalispell, MT. With a population of 40,000 people, this seemingly small town serves as the epicenter for more than 125,000 residents of surrounding Montana small towns. With spectacular scenery and clean air, Kalispell residents are constantly inspired by the outdoors. This inspiration translates into beautiful locally made arts and crafts.

Glacier Quilts (www.glacierquilts.com), a quilting, knitting and fabric store in Kalispell recently relocated their facilities to a brand new, free standing, 5,800 square-foot store. When searching for an air comfort system, Glacier Quilts wanted to upgrade from the forced air furnaces they used at the old location where employees experienced hot and cold flashes all day. Glacier Quilts owners had JE Engineering recommend a system and because of the unique attributes of the proposed space, the Unico System was the perfect fit.

Strategy

The new space had distinct limitations for specifying an air comfort system. In addition to the large space, the second floor is a mezzanine level with extremely high ceilings that make traditional ducting extremely difficult. The location's code requirements also did not allow for visible HVAC equipment to be stored on the roof of the building. As a result, all the mechanical equipment for the space had to fit into a 320 square- foot mechanical room.

In the past, JE Engineering worked extensively with the Unico System on residential and commercial applications. Because of past successes with the system and the system's flexibility, Unico was the obvious choice. In addition, Unico's sealed ducting combined with the indoor coils resulted in an economic and environmentally friendly product that removes 30% more moisture than an ordinary unit, making it perfect for a store with expensive fabric and yarn.

Unico Certified Contractors, Carson Brothers Heating and Cooling installed two Unico Systems connected to DX condensers and hot water coils for heat fed by a hot water boiler. The majority of the ducting and plenums had to run through soffits in order to not be exposed. Because Unico ducting is a quarter the size of traditional ducting, it fit cleanly in the soffits so that duct bump outs were not necessary. In addition, the attenuators were staged in order to keep a constant air distribution.

Results

The owner of Glacier Quilts now raves about how the Unico System keeps the temperature even throughout the store and that the hot and cold flashes of the old building cannot even compare to the new space.

With outlets placed above displays and not in the aisles and ducting fitting into the existing wall space, the Unico System is virtually undetectable and delivers a constant air temperature throughout the day. All of the Unico equipment fit into the small mechanical room, abiding with local building codes.

With the success of the Unico System in the new Glacier Quilts location, JE Engineering uses Unico more frequently and recommends it to other HVAC specifiers and installers.

"We try to use the Unico System as much as possible," said John Fedor, Designer for JE Engineering. "Most contractors don't realize that Unico is extremely easy to install in commercial locations. Because of the flexible design elements and the limited mechanical space needed, Unico is perfect for commercial applications as well as residential projects."