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The Philadelphian

Project Name: The Philadelphian
Location: 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Market: Apartment/Condominium
Application:  Building Ventilation – Dryers, Kitchens & Bathroom
Mechanical Engineer:  Bruce Brooks
Mechanical Contractor: Johnson Controls


  • (42) Enervex MBESX Modulating Building Exhaust System
  • (8) Fulton Vantage Dual Fuel Condensing Boilers
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In 1961, two developers broke ground on a 20-story apartment building directly across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With 776 units when it opened in 1963, The Philadelphian brought together the largest number of homes under one roof in Pennsylvania. Fast forward 60 years and The Philadelphian remains an icon of modern architecture today. Now a condominium; owners enjoy spacious rooms, a generous array of amenities, gorgeous sky-line views and prime location.

As part of the original design, the building features hundreds of vertical shafts that rise through the building. The shafts are used to exhaust dryers, kitchen hoods and bathrooms within the condo units. Mounted on the roof, at the top of each shaft, were constant speed exhaust fans that ran full-speed 24/7. This is a common multi-story exhaust method, even today, however its extremely inefficient. Constant speed fans have large electrical loads, and even more significant is the amount of conditioned air exhausted from the building. UEP Northeast worked with Johnson Controls, in conjunction with mechanical engineering firm Bruce Brooks, to retrofit and upgrade to ‘demand-controlled’ ventilation systems. UEP Northeast provided 40 Enervex Building Exhaust Systems, which include a variable speed fan, modulating controller, static pressure sensor and probe. The probe is mounted inside the shaft and senses when appliances are running. The smart controller modulates fan speed up and down on demand, reducing the exhaust rate of conditioned air by 60-70%.

The rooftop fan retrofit was UEP Northeast’s second significant project at The Philadelphian. In 2011, after extensive analysis, the condo board approved a 5.5 million project to replace a large steam heating plant with eight (8) new Fulton Vantage VTG-4000DF dual-fuel (gas/oil) condensing boilers. Both projects are a part of a green initiative and will provide significant savings to the condo owners.