Air Curtains for Improved Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Navy Pier


Navy Pier® is a 3,300-foot-long pier and entertainment site sitting directly adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan in the city of Chicago. Its proximity to the large body of water subjects it to lake effect weather which can moderate temperatures in the humid Midwest summers but also lead to increased snowfall in the winter. This body of water also provides the city with a lake breeze as a dominant feature. When Navy Pier undertook a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015, operators knew Mars air curtains had to be a feature in their next iteration as the city’s most important all seasons venue for experiences and exhibition spaces hosting live music, performances, cultural events and a multitude of restaurants.

While not technically the windiest city in the United States, it is true that lake gusts are legendary in this midwestern hub with an average wind speed of 10.3 mph. Vast centers like Navy Pier that welcome over nine million visitors annually must manage a flow of guests and air entering and exiting throughout the multiple buildings throughout the day and night. With a destination this important to the community, it was essential that the renovation advance the pier as a community hub with thermal comfort as a non-negotiable feature.

The Solution

The architects and specifying engineer agreed that Mars Phantom units would fit in well with the aesthetic of the renewed space while providing the thermal comfort the brand is known for providing. A series of units were installed along the north side windows that face the patio. The side-by-side units provide 24/7/365 barrier-free air stream protection so doors can open and close at will for free-flowing passage of visitors and protect the interiors from cold, lake-driven air in the winter, hot humid pest-laden air in the summer and the windy, dusty air dictated by the in-between seasons

The Phantom units are typically installed as recessed units when architectural features allow. This results in seeing only the grates visible in the ceiling with the housing submerged behind drywall. Phantom units are also chosen for their lower sound profile when sound output is an important consideration.

As an additional feature, the Navy Pier renovation team and Mars engineers chose hot water-heated Phantom units to enable the added comfort of heating during the colder, windy, snow-driven months. Controller switches can be set to run after the door shuts to add more heat to the interior. And, in the hotter, humid midwestern summer months, chilled water can be run through the units to cool the air passing through the unit and mitigate sticky, hot air from affecting the internal climatic conditions.

Navy Pier


Daves hot chicken

Dave’s Hot Chicken, serving Nashville-style fried chicken, is on a spicy-hot growth trajectory and even on track for being the fastest growing concept … ever. Committed to becoming the national leader in hot chicken, franchisees need construction plans that will yield a profitable concept ensured to have sanitary food prep and serving zones. They also need equipment partners that can support their high growth, high quality values and provide quick shipment when construction and roll-out schedules shift or are tight. Reliable products, exceptional customer service and quick technical support when needed are key qualities for vendors of high-performing chains. As their air curtain partner, Mars is working to deliver the protection they need and the energy savings that make a difference to their operating budget.

Us bank stadium

When you bring in the world’s top entertainment venue designers to build an iconic sports facility valued at $1.1B, filling the 1.75M sq. ft. structure with premium equipment that performs with the latest technology is the name of the game. U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings football franchise, is big, bold and best-in-breed. With entry doors that serve as the daily gateway for tens of thousands, they needed the most technologically advanced way to thwart flying pests while keeping climatized air inside and harsh winds out. Now with 25 sizable Mars air- curtains, fans experience a halo of heated air during Minnesota winters and an invisible protective barrier from dust and pests year ‘round. Down below, the dock doors that service a facility with over 430 food points of sale, have their own protection with a cluster of Mars industrial air curtains designed to secure environments that need heavy-duty brawn.

Planes Trains

Air travel is the most energy intensive and polluting mode of transportation. And expansive airport complexes require voluminous quantities of climate-stabilizing energy. Exhaust gas from aircraft puts high levels of odorous ultrafine particles into the air and stretches highly trafficked airports like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Newark Liberty International Airport with a trifecta of issues to be managed – odorous aircraft emissions, unrelenting vehicular emissions and millions of travelers entering and exiting expansive entryways repeatedly. When daunting circumstances threaten the comfort of visitors and take your energy spend to the stratosphere, call in the titan of tough. Using a series of 29 units in Newark Liberty International and 32 units at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International across expansive commercial doors, airport administrators can now separate exhaust fumes from the newly arrived visitors in baggage claim and dramatically ramp up operational performance of their facilities. They earn their welcome at any airport.


When you control the processing and shipping of more than 1 billion packages a year through more than 150 fulfillment and sortation centers, those vast working spaces need to be consistently clean and comfortable despite dozens of wide openings for plenty of people and equipment to pass through 24/7. One Amazon center is so large it’s the size of 28 football fields...combined. These facilities are known to have realized internal temps over 90°F which is a common challenge of large, cavernous spaces. And, while goods move in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible, employees are long-time guests who deal with the air quality and temperature constraints for hours each work day, year after year. Industrial facility managers need consistent durable solutions customized for their unique climate and constraints. Amazon’s industrial facility managers called in the titan of tough. Across the U.S., the Mars air curtain now stands guard at Amazon fulfillment and sortation facilities and manages their many large dock doors as they safeguard against air transfer and pollutant infiltration while keeping passages free and clear from obstructions that lead to accidents.