Tobacco smoke is made up of tar, nicotine, paper ash, VOC’s, chemicals, and carcinogens. These byproducts require engineered remediation in either the design stage of the property or in retrofit applications where the original mechanical design of the casino floor has failed and tobacco smoke and odor complaints are prevalent.
In the last 20 years Mechanical Engineers (ME) have for the most part been designing casino floor HVAC projects utilizing 100% outside air guidelines. Early on this design included overhead supply ducts and open ceiling plenum returns. In the last several years the ME’s have been pushing the 100% outside air design with underfloor supply distribution. The theory being the supply air will push the smoke up and out of the space and through the open plenum return and presto, no more smoke and odor issues. Unfortunately for the casino owners, this concept has many potential pitfalls, and costs nearly twice as much as properly designed conventional HVAC.
In a 100% outside air design, the air handlers (AHU’s) are over sized by the ME’s by as much as 100%. None of the conditioned air in the casino is recirculated back into the space. All of the 70 degree conditioned air is exhausted out of the building. The AHU’s and chillers work 24/7 to heat and cool the casino to 70 degrees, even in the early morning hours when the casino is basically empty. It will cost nearly twice as much to operate this casino as it would using Casino Air technology in the specifications. It will also cost you twice as much up front to purchase the 100% outside air HVAC package than it would if Casino Air technology was specified. We’ve been called to solve odor problems in casinos with this design, within a year of opening their doors.