The Aruba Surf Club, a Marriott Vacation Club resort, approached RGD to perform a HVAC renovation of its 900-room resort. RGD was responsible for designing the system, procuring the equipment from the states and overseeing the installation. While the majority of logistics and negotiations were completed in the states, RGD’s team set up a temporary office on the island for the project’s duration.

Overview of Project

The project involved replacing the common area outside air equipment on the roof of four high rise buildings.


  1. Design a system that would last longer than the existing.
  2. Design a system that was easier to maintain.
  3. Design a system that was more energy efficient.

RGD’s team was able to achieve all three of these goals, but was faced with several unique challenges in order to do so.

The first being the corrosion associated with the coastal zone environment, as the original equipment had corroded in 6 years. To combat this, the air handler and ductwork were designed out of 304 stainless steel. As there was no facility on the island to fabricate these materials, everything was fabricated in the states and shipped in for installation.

Another major problem the team faced was the lack of a large enough crane on the island for the 14-story high rises. The wind was also a major concern as it blows 20-30 knots every day of the year and can peak to the 40-50 mile range. The team opted to partition the equipment into 5,000 pound modules that were lifted independently onto the roof and then reassembled.

To meet the goal of being more energy efficient, RGD’s team used energy recovery ventilators. These devices capture energy from the exhaust air stream coming from the bathroom exhaust and then transfer in the incoming air. This allowed the outside air equipment on the roof to be downsized.

The project was successfully completed without the resort having to shut down its operations. RGD continues to monitor the system to ensure the equipment is operating correctly.