When Echelon, a casino and resort complex on the Las Vegas Strip, opens next year, how many of the guests heading to the blackjack tables or checking in for the weekend will be thinking about the facility's central boiler plant? The answer most certainly is none. Of course, a great deal of thought on the part of the building engineer and boiler-system installer will have gone into the plant's massive systems by the time the doors open for business.

The boilers were manufactured by Unilux and supplied by Energy Products of Nevada Inc. Energy Products of Nevada also is a distributor for the manufacturer of the stacks, Schebler Chimney Systems. The stacks vent flue gas created by the boilers.

Unilux, Schebler, and Energy Products of Nevada worked closely with the project engineers and owners during design, providing CAD drawings of the boiler system, including the layout of the chimney system. The final proposal included seven 1,200-hp ultralow-nitrogen-oxide hot-water boilers. Six of the boilers are vented with two 38-in.-diameter stacks that combine into one 48-in.-diameter stack that exits the building. The seventh boiler is vented separately using an independent 38-in.-diameter stack.

Schebler consulted with the building engineer to account for structural parameters that might impact construction of the stacks. To avoid the use of guy wires to support the stacks above the roof, the stacks were enclosed in a steel frame that enabled prefabrication and met seismic and structural needs. Prefabrication allowed the installing contractor to lift the four sections fully assembled and rig them in place.

“It is essential to know the field conditions ahead of time,” Matt Logsdon, inside-sales manager for Schebler Chimney Systems, said. “We had to design the stacks to accommodate a really tight fit between the steel structures of the steel support cage. We coordinated with the engineer and installing contractor regarding the location of the steel elevations to determine where the support plates should be located.”

Schebler customized inline dampers for the stacks. The dampers modulate and maintain the desired draft on each boiler individually.

Schebler manufactured the vertical stacks in less than two weeks and delivered them to the site on time. That was critical because the stacks had to be installed so the roof could be finished and the building waterproofed. Schebler completed fabrication once the boilers were set and final coordination of the connections was determined.

“A lot of people think a chimney is a chimney,” Kevin Stepp, owner of Energy Products of Nevada, said. “Schebler's can-do attitude and ability to stop in the middle of the game and make changes quickly really sets them apart from all others.”