‘Invisible’ Heater Design Elevates Comfort and Aesthetics at Manhattan Residential Skyscraper

To adequately heat the 111 Murray Street residential skyscraper in New York, the owner sought an effective way to maintain the aesthetic of the mostly glass building without being obtrusive to its design. Custom convection style heaters, mounted in the building’s millwork by Faber Industrial Technologies, proved to be the game-changing resolution.

“Convection heaters provide warmth and heat to a specific area or room by circulating air and heating it using a highly efficient electric element,” explained Andrew Martin, Manager of Product Management with Marley Engineered Products. “Designed for quiet, controlled comfort, they are ideal for both residential and commercial applications, including living rooms and bedrooms, offices, hallways, lobbies, conference rooms, retail stores and buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows.”

Installing Heaters while Maintaining Aesthetics

Located in the Financial District and Tribeca neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, 111 Murray Street is a 792-foot-tall residential skyscraper with 156 luxury condominiums and 2,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Due to mechanical constraints exacerbated by the building’s slim design, hot water was not available in most of the upper residences, rendering hydronic heating systems impractical. Therefore, the client requested Berko ASL3 convector heaters from Marley Engineered Products to be installed for elegant, supplemental comfort for heat loss, condensation prevention and continuous warmth throughout each condo. The challenge, however, came from their preference to keep the heaters hidden for aesthetic reasons.

“The varying heights and angles of the millwork in each condo limited our ability to install the heaters directly where we wanted them,” said Christopher Smith, a heater manufacturing representative with Faber Industrial Technologies. “Therefore, we needed a custom design that enabled us to mount the heaters properly while also keeping them out of sight.”

Another issue was revealed when the contractor requested the materials be delivered to each floor. Working in tandem with Technical Air Systems, Inc., a regional supplier of HVAC equipment to the metropolitan New York and New Jersey areas, Marley Engineered Products’ customer service and shipping teams were instrumental in coordinating the delivery of the convector heaters in a congested lower west side intersection between West Side Highway and Murray Street.

Hidden Heat for Unmatched Comfort and Elegance

The solution involved fabricating and supplying custom dual inlet convector heaters, which were then mounted within the millwork of each condominium unit. Using a thermocouple array, the engineering team at Marley tested the Berko ASL3 convectors – at 125 watts per foot and 120V – inside a customer-supplied demo millwork section sent from New York City. After making some adjustments to the design, thermal couplers were utilized on both the heaters and their enclosures to ensure their surface temperatures were within Marley Engineered Products’ limits to pass a UL site inspection.

Next, Smith coordinated with the electrical and mechanical contractors on-site to fit the heaters into each condo’s temperature control system using power relays. The result was an “invisible solution” in which none of the controls or heaters could be seen in the residential units.

“Innovation and collaboration converged as we tailored a custom heating solution, seamlessly blending functionality and aesthetics,” explained Smith. “In fabricating this ‘invisible solution’ for the client, our dedicated team and the coordination of skilled contractors transformed these condos into spaces that harmonize comfort and elegance and exemplify the blending of form and function.”

The success of the project not only resulted in an extremely satisfied customer but also left the contractors pleased with the uninterrupted delivery and installation of the heaters. They were further impressed when the custom heater and millwork system passed the UL site inspector's test after just one evaluation. To acknowledge the innovative approach and exceptional achievements demonstrated by the Faber team in overcoming the challenges faced during this project, Marley Engineered Products awarded Smith the 2023 Jim Herring Memorial Silver Fox Award at its recent national sales meeting.

“This award for excellence in solution design embodies the spirit of Herring, who was always up for a challenge and most happy when solving a unique heating or ventilation problem,” said Sean Pesce, Acting Director of Sales for Marley Engineered Products. “Chris and his team perfectly captured Jim’s talent for finding creative solutions to the most complex issues and left a lasting impression on the client.”

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