• Fast Trane Rental Chiller Response in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina
• Permanent HVAC Systems Design Expertise
St. Margaret’s Daughters’ Home, located in New Orleans’ Ninth
Ward, was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While
all residents were safely evacuated before the storm hit, the
building was declared unsalvageable after it was flooded with up
to six feet of standing water for two weeks. St. Margaret’s officials
immediately began searching to find a new home for residents as
quickly as possible. They found a new home in the former Bywater
Hospital on St. Claude Avenue. Although suitable, the building
needed total renovation of the HVAC systems that would require
many months of work. Meanwhile, the residents and staff needed
dependable heating and cooling systems to provide a comfortable,
clean indoor environment.
While the HVAC engineers at the Trane office in New Orleans went to work on designing a permanent
HVAC system for the building, Trane Rental Services leased a 60-ton capacity portable air-cooled
chiller to St. Margaret’s Daughters’. Along with the chiller Trane provided the chilled water pump plus
special vertical piping to facilitate connecting the chilled water to the building at the fifth floor
penthouse equipment room. Trane had the rental chiller up and running within just a couple of days of
its arrival in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, Trane designed a new, permanent HVAC system and hired the mechanical, electrical and
structural subcontractors to install the new systems which includes Trane 100-ton capacity chillers,
chilled water pumps, hot water boilers, domestic hot water heaters and a Tracer Summit™ building
automation system for precise, efficient operation and control of the HVAC systems.
Larry Stansberry, Chief Executive Officer of St. Margaret’s, said, "Residents and staff are a tight-knit
group. Those relationships survived the storm. It became my number one priority to get everyone
under one roof again after this horrible tragedy. I consider the residents and staff of St. Margaret’s to
be like family and I wanted to bring them back home."
Stansberry added, "If not for Trane’s generous offer to lease us an HVAC system, I would have needed
to start at square one again to find another suitable temporary location. Thanks to Trane’s help, the
St. Margaret’s family will be back together once again."
St. Margaret’s Daughters’ Home is a faith-based nonprofit facility offers affordable quality nursing care to its
residents. Opened in 1931, the original building serviced the community for nearly 40 years before creating two additional wings. Prior to the storm,
95 elderly men and women called the residence home.