38,088 SF


Prest Vuksic Architects


RTM Engineering Consultants provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design services, including Title 24 compliance, for the renovation of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Mountain Station, the world’s largest rotating tram car. The Mountain Station is located at 8,515 feet elevation on the eastern side of Mt. San Jacinto. The station includes two restaurants, observation decks, a natural history museum, two documentary theatres, and a gift shop.

The project involved renovations to the HVAC systems including air handlers, electric boilers, electric baseboard heating, air cooled chiller pumps, and other associated items for hydronic cooling and heating. The plumbing systems include water, waste, and gas. Due to the location of this facility and not having any access roads for transportation, all building materials, equipment, and manpower had to be transported up and down the mountain via the cable car; this presented unique challenges to the design team.

Additionally, the Mountain Station is designated as a historical building, so particular care was taken to preserve as much of the original building characteristics as possible. Weather conditions in this area can vary from as low as 10 degrees to a high of 80, and potentially with large amounts of snowfall. Special consideration was taken to ensure the building’s systems would be able to withstand such drastic conditions.