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Johnson Controls lands world's biggest HVAC project: Mecca

Johnson Controls lands world's biggest HVAC project: Mecca

Posting in Energy

Johnson Controls struck an agreement with the Holy Mosque in Mecca to build a massive cooling system for the building's expansion.

When it comes to air conditioning contracts, the Middle East is heating up.

Johnson Controls this week announced that it had struck an agreement with the Holy Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia -- the largest in the world in a town known as "Mecca" to the world's Muslims -- to construct an integrated building management system for a major expansion to the mosque.

The contract includes heating, ventilation and air conditioning of what the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel calls "the world's largest air-conditioning project."

It involves the purchase of 27 York multistage centrifugal chillers that will provide 135,000 tons of refrigeration capacity using R134A refrigerant.

The contract also stipulates support for water and energy conservation as it pertains to the cooling system.

The goal? To be as sustainable as possible in an otherwise unsustainable endeavor: cooling a massive building in the middle of a climate that breaks 100 degrees Fahrenheit most afternoons of the year.

The expansion -- which began 28 years ago -- builds upon the mosque's 7th century foundation, with the hope that it can handle the more than one million worshippers that visit during the holy month of Ramadan and for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

“[The contract is] one of the largest single HVAC equipment orders in the history of Johnson Controls,” CEO Stephen Roell said in a statement.

Photo: Tchik/Flickr

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure