by Julie Mikula
The San Mateo County History Museum depicts the history of the peninsula – of the original native inhabitants to the people of today. It places local history in context by showing how we in the bay area influenced the world outside, and how the outside world influenced us. It tells of our world on the peninsula from the early 1900’s to present day. It tells of ships; entrepreneurs who changed the World in the areas of finance, high-tech and biotech; about our baseball; about our immigrants and lastly, about Maverick’s - encapsulating how today, as in the past, we dare to go beyond the typical and conquer some of the tallest waves in the world of over 40 feet.
The museum was in need for renovation and improvements and in 2015, the decision was made to replace to the 60 year-old boiler, radiant heating system with an upgrade to a system that was more energy efficient and with a sophisticated energy management system. This museum has a unique and special history and to do any renovations in this exceptional landmark it would require highly experienced professionals. There were several desired traits of the new system. It must be quiet. It must have zoning, it must provide simultaneous heating AND cooling, providing for comfort in all areas of the building. It also must allow for growth as there are several additions planned for expansion of the museum.
This would seem to be a tall order. Not so for the experts at Alternative HVAC Solutions whose skilled, factory trained and certified staff possessing over 35 years of experience providing HVAC solutions.
Alternative HVAC Solutions takes pride in taking care of commercial air conditioning, heating, and ventilation needs, while paying close and detailed attention to the building. We understand that without a well-functioning HVAC system, your business and employees will suffer. Our experienced technicians has the skills and experience to work on old systems, providing preventative maintenance, repairs, and replacement parts. It is important to provide specialized care in custom systems, high efficiency components, heating and cooling load calculations and maintenance. We keep in mind all the needs of the project and take great care in designing and installing zoning, controls, thermostats, automation systems, humidifiers and air filtration, circulation systems.
Communication with the owners of the museum was essential in understanding the needs of the employees and the museum, as well as educating them in determining the best solutions. It was determined the best solution for the museum was to install a Mitsubishi R2 City Multi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), and two Trane Roof Top Package Units, as well as providing zoning and central Bacnet hardware interface controllers to link with the county’s Energy Management System (EMS). The Alternative team designed the system configuration packages as well ducting, gas piping, thermostats and zoning. All this with exquisite detail to keep the history of the museum in tact as well as provide exceptional comfort of cooling and heating to the employees and customers. Even the procedures for the installation of the systems with cranes were accomplished with great care.
The museum was completed in 5 months with exceptional results. This work was accomplished with the operation and employees in mind and was implemented with little or no impacts. Even though the majority of the work done by Alternative HVAC Solutions was accomplished inside, the museum was open and fully operational without disruption to employees or guests. It was exceptional and rewarding for the Alternative Team to perform the work on this significant and historical site.