ATL supports movement to enhance tourism product
It’s as early as 7:00 o’clock and already a quartet is hard at work saddled with a 300-pound air conditioning unit between them.
The Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) technicians — one female and three males — board a boat which transports them to a boardwalk where they will continue trekking. They are travelling to a locale most people dream of getting lost in, a vacationer’s paradise, where they, along with other colleagues, are part of a thrust to shape history within the development of the Caribbean’s first over-the-water villas and bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, St James.
After months of variable weather conditions, constant manipulation of heavy equipment and navigation of an unconventional work site, the project’s successful completion makes the ATL team beam with pride.
ATL’s Technical Supervisor Winston Simpson expressed that “it was definitely not a run-of-the-mill day at the office type of set up”.
Technician, Joshua Gardner echoed his supervisor’s sentiments that “it was quite an experience working on open scaffolding over the ocean, with daily direct exposure to the elements. Nevertheless, being entrusted with providing and installing AC solutions to help advance the country’s tourism sector is an opportunity for which we are most grateful”.
Rather different from your conventional AC install, Simpson explained that the Sandals project was unique in that they had to identify and source units that could withstand the particular environmental (sea and weather) conditions. “We had a few critical considerations in selecting the ‘right’ units. They had to be resistant to salt water corrosion, energy-saving, have air purification capabilities, accessible for service — which is a key determinant of the unit’s lifespan — while simultaneously being aesthetically appealing. So we selected central units for the larger over-the-water villas”.
The villas, which were unveiled last December, are to be followed by a phase two of the project, the Over-The-Water Bungalows, which have already taken the ATL team back out on the seas to install a dozen Panasonic Inverter units for a summer completion date.
The local retailer, which has a 50-year relationship with air conditioning in the Jamaican market, is highly recognised for its partnership with Panasonic in pioneering an eco-villa at Sandals Montego Bay, now adding its work at the over-the-water suites to that accomplishment. In consideration of ever-rising energy costs, ATL’s Head of Engineering Mark Blair confirms that the villas’ ‘green’ nature would guarantee their sustainability as “the units installed at Sandals Royal Caribbean are eco-friendly, with special mechanisms designed to reduce greenhouse emissions.
“Additionally, through our major projects, we have seen where inverter AC models can reap up to 65 per cent in energy savings. That’s a welcomed boost to any company’s bottom line which, of course, will contribute in the long-run to the viability of this game-changing product in the Caribbean.”