City National Plaza

Our turnkey installation of new cooling towers for one of Los Angeles’ tallest buildings included complete management of helicopter lifting services.

Exterior view of the City National Plaza high-rise building

Value Delivered

This cooling tower project for one of the tallest buildings in Los Angeles presented two key challenges: maintaining cooling in the building while towers were being replaced, and lifting units to the 52nd level above the Los Angeles business district’s busy streets.

EMCOR Services Mesa Energy overcame these challenges to offer the client a turnkey solution.

Because we removed and replaced in phases during off-hours, and managed all helicopter permitting, clearance, and operation, our solution helped to minimize disruption to building operations and ensure safety.

The new cooling towers and temperature controls will enhance occupant comfort, and provide the potential for reduced energy consumption and greater property marketability.​​​​​

Client Objectives

The client needed to replace cooling towers in a commercial high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles.


To solve the first challenge, we demolished and removed half of the existing cells, leaving the remaining cells to continue cooling the building. We removed equipment using the building’s freight elevators after hours.

We solved the second challenge by managing all arrangements for helicopter operation, including obtaining street closure permits and security personnel, and contracting for trucking support services.

So units could be lifted by helicopter, we ordered them in multiple sections weighing less than 3,500 pounds. To help minimize disruption and ensure maximum safety, we orchestrated the two helicopter lifts on Saturdays when building occupancy and street traffic were reduced.

After mounting seismic isolation bases and springs, we installed:

  • Two induced-draft counterflow cooling towers (each included three cells, fan-driven by a 40-horsepower, 460-volt variable frequency drive)
  • Temperature controls through an interface to the building’s direct digital control system (enabling system monitoring and potential reduction in energy and operation costs)
  • New fan disconnect switches
  • Water piping
  • Two tower cleaning systems
  • Walkway gratings
  • Stainless steel exhaust ducting from each cell up through the roof

After tower installation, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy also performed complete startup and commissioning services.

Client Background

LBA Realty is a real estate investment and management company with office properties in major markets throughout the western United States including California, Colorado, Washington, and Arizona.