The Griffith Observatory and Los Angeles city skyline at twilight

Facility solutions provider ABM has helped make improvements to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. ABM facilitated the modernization of the observatory’s air conditioning systems, and the project was completed in May.

“ABM is honored to have been chosen to work with the renowned Griffith Observatory,” says Mark Newsome, president of ABM Technical Solutions. “We helped the observatory and supported the state’s water conservation initiative by offering an alternative air conditioning solution.”

Griffith Observatory and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks selected ABM to provide a more comfortable environment for visitors and employees. Improvements to the air conditioning systems at the Observatory included replacing water-cooled chillers with air-cooled chillers, which are considered a strategic alternative, particularly in areas where drought conditions are prevalent. This strategic alternative reduces the use of large volumes of water, as air-cooled chillers utilize fans that force air over refrigerant lines to produce a cooled environment. The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks selected air-cooled chillers that were factory upgraded to make them as quiet as possible. Quiet operation will help reduce the level of noise disturbance to observatory visitors, as well as employees.

The operation of removing and replacing the chillers included the use of a 450-ton crane to lift the roof off the facility that housed the chillers, hoisting out the approximately 40,000 pounds of water-cooled chillers and replacing them with the air-cooled chillers. Along with the installation of the new chillers, the pumps and related piping were replaced, and the HVAC controls were upgraded to maximize energy and operational efficiency.