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United Airlines Network Operations Center: Customized Infrastructure for 24 Hour Power

We are very excited that United Airlines is highlighting one of our collaborations in a pre-flight video.

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ESD supported United Airlines with MEP, Fire Protection, and Mission Critical engineering and consulting services for the development of the Network Operations Center. It was a unique project, and it is rewarding to see our designs being successfully used to enable United Airlines to perform at its best.

United chose Chicago’s Willis Tower to host their high power mission critical facility. Existing commercial high rise buildings such as the Willis Tower are not typically chosen for high power mission critical facilities, and the Willis Tower’s existing infrastructure is not predisposed to mission critical facility power and redundancy requirements. Therefore, our team worked closely with United throughout design and construction to provide a customized infrastructure system that utilized the building’s space and fit their needs. Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used extensively to route these new systems through the existing structure and existing systems of the space.

The Network Operations Center includes redundant electrical systems and standalone mechanical and plumbing systems including HVAC. All of these systems are backed by an independent generator. An air sampling system was also installed to detect the start of a fire in its very early stages.

This customized infrastructure helps ensure the Network Operations Center’s functionality if the building’s power fails for any reason. With over 3,600 flights to monitor every day and crucial, real-time flight decisions to make, United Airline’s Network Operations Center depends on continuous power.