Country Club (LaCanada Flintridge, CA)


This classic 50 year old mid-century clubhouse has extensive banquet facilities available to the public for weddings and other functions. Most rooms are graced by floor-to-ceiling wrap around glass and feature spectacular views of L.A., the Pasadena skyline and the San Gabriel Mountains. The problem they faced, however, was that temperatures became a concern when hosting events due to the undersized HVAC system. They decided they needed a complete HVAC renovation. Initially, the team looked into a conventional comfort system that would have required major compromise to the cathedral ceilings and open floor plan and large ducts would certainly impair the beautiful view.

Al Racal, Unico’s representative, pointed out the cost savings benefit with Unico’s new ECM blower. In addition to increased SEER ratings we now have the flexibility to select precise airflow with efficient performance over a broad range of external static pressures. As was the case with the Ball Room systems only requiring 0.5” ESP, (external static pressure) while the systems in the adjacent bar utilizing 2.5” small ducts and metal supply mains required the ECM blowers to deliver airflow with 1.5” E.S.P. Unico’s energy efficient ECM blower heat pump systems successfully deliver both heating & a/c, while adding needed capacity to the La Canada Flintridge Country Club.


Unico’s solution provided superior throw, delivering supply air 20 feet to the south facing perimeter glass. The small outlets achieved a stream lined alternative while preserving the grand architectural features of the banquet rooms. Unico System improvements consisted of 40 tons of additional capacity. John Lee HVAC was responsible for the sale, layout, and installation of the project. The eight, 5 ton ECM blowers were ordered in the optional 120 volt elec. configuration since many of the line voltage receptacles were existing. John worked very closely with the developer, building engineer, and G.C. to provide the unique air distribution system in the ballrooms. On four of the systems the architects plan called for the Unico ductboard fastened to the exposed beams. The special designed hanger brackets also served as the backing for the gypsum drywall fascia. John Lee installed the Unico slotted outlets directly into the ductboard. The end result was a clean, linear look that blended perfectly with the Ball Room symmetry. The system was also very quiet. The fiberglass ductboard provides the sound attenuation and enabled the installer to direct-connect the outlets without the need for sound attenuator ducts.


Robert Dreyfuss, the clubs G.M., is ecstatic over the indoor comfort improvement provided by the new Unico Systems. “We would have had to settle for smaller tonnage units had we gone with conventional systems,” he said. “First and foremost, we wanted the banquet rooms to look very attractive. Unico’s small duct system easily achieved that objective and met our cooling load requirement as well!”