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Versatility made MagicPak All-In-One® M-Series™ Units the Perfect Match for Norhart and the Lexington Lofts Project

Posted on: Mar 28, 2024 by Allied Air Enterprises
 Versatility made MagicPak All-In-One® M-Series™ Units the Perfect Match for Norhart and the Lexington Lofts Project

Lexington Lofts is a luxury apartment development in Lexington, Minnesota. Its 321 units are spread across two buildings, with construction completed in three phases by Norhart, a multifamily developer based in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Norhart designs, build, and rents exceptional luxury apartments in the Metro Minneapolis area.

MagicPak Solution: To defeat Minnesota’s heavy snow loads and maintain open, peaceful greenspace, Norhart chose a pitched roof building design—one that’s incompatible with rooftop HVAC equipment. MagicPak helped bring their vision to life with an easy HVAC solution.

Results: By eliminating rooftop condensing units, the MagicPak All-In-One® M-Series™ made Lexington Lofts’ pitched roof design possible. Plus, streamlined installation features eliminated scheduling conflicts, potentially saving more than 12 weeks of construction time1 and opening units for occupancy sooner.  (1Comparison time and cost savings are calculated based on a developer/owner over a twenty-year period for 150-unit buildings using conventional single split systems, where average installation times include condensing unit pads, wiring and line hookups and additional commission checks. Internal MagicPak Total Capital Expense and Operating Costs 2017 study).

The Norhart team was in need of a solution that would help reduce the risk of delays, while designing around a 4/12 pitched roof for the harsh Minnesota winters. After considering traditional systems, the Norhart team discovered Allied Air Enterprises’ MagicPak All-In-One® HVAC systems to help eliminate the complications of conventional split systems for the Lexington Lofts upscale multifamily living development.

The MagicPak system added flexibility to installation schedules, allowing installers move more quickly. The units also eliminate the need for condensing units on the roof or the ground, helping the Norhart team construct a pitched roof needed to defend against heavy snow loads. And to help ensure tenants stay comfortable year after year, M-Series™ units are protected against the elements and offer dramatically easier access for maintenance.

Dustin Denison, Mechanical Project Manager at Norhart, appreciated the streamlined installation of MagicPak units. “It doesn’t hold back any other trades, and it makes for a very quick, efficient installation,” he says. Since units arrive on-site charged and ready to install, installers simply need to install the sleeves, make the electrical and gas connections and seal the duct work. Plus, teams have the flexibility to install at different stages. “For a split system, you have to time that perfectly with drywall, as with other trades” says Dillon Lindstrom, HVAC Lead Installer at Norhart. “But with MagicPak, you can just drive off the truck and install the next day if you’d like.”

MagicPak also makes it easy to train new installers quickly. “Because the processes are so simple and so easy to understand, you can almost train anybody to do it,” Lindstrom says. “You don’t necessarily have to have years of experience in HVAC.” As an added benefit, time saved during construction can mean the building is ready for tenants sooner.

Another important consideration was ensuring the HVAC system would be compatible with aspects of the building designed for the harsh Minnesota winters. “Here in Minnesota, there is a snow load,” says Lindstrom. “Since we’ve installed these MagicPak units, we’ve been able to run a 4/12 pitched roof across the entire roof instead of having condensers.” While split systems normally utilize a flat roof for condensing equipment, MagicPak allowed the Norhart team to design the roof they needed to reduce snow and ice build- up—preventing major maintenance headaches in the future.

MagicPak® units are purposefully engineered to simplify maintenance throughout the life of the building. That includes making sure repairable parts are all accessible from the front without removing the unit. “All the components are right in front of you,” says HVAC Foreman Jake Sweet of Norhart. To prevent rooftop water infiltration, MagicPak also eliminates common leak points where inside equipment connects to rooftop condensing units. And because installers and maintenance contractors don’t need to get up on the roof to make repairs, units are safer and less expensive to maintain. “Anything that you need to troubleshoot, swap out, it’s very simple, very quick, very easy.”

Overall product quality—as well as noise levels—is another factor in Dustin Denison’s decision to use MagicPak All-In-One® HVAC systems. “We’re looking at and considering the warranty on the equipment, the quality, the build, the noise, the sound that it makes. Ultimately, it comes down to what the tenant experiences.”

Ensuring tenants have full control over their environment with independent metering is also important for a large multifamily development, as well as performance that covers a wide range of apartment sizes. “The MagicPak M-Series provides great value and comfort,” added Jake Sweet. “I think overall, their reliability and what they provide for the tenants is second to none.”

Learn more about Norhart at www.norhart.com or more about the MagicPak All-In-One® M-Series™ at www.magicpak.com.