- Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn., needed an effective, energy-efficient heating and cooling system for their 5,000-square-foot lobby that featured high ceilings and soaring, 30-foot glass windows.
- They chose radiant because they needed a heating and cooling solution that would provide consistent, comfortable temperatures but didn’t include duct work which would hinder the museum’s modern décor.
- Engineering firm March Adams & Associates addressed the issue of condensation forming on the floors from the humidity prevalent in the southern states by maintaining the floor at five degrees above the outside air dew point.
As part of the city of Chattanooga’s 21st Century Waterfront Plan, the Hunter Museum of American Art received a $19.5 million expansion which included a new, 5,000-square-foot lobby complete with soaring, 30-foot glass windows.
John Giles, president of ACS Services, Inc., was the installing contractor for the Hunter Museum lobby. Since the project required especially stringent temperature constraints, he recommended radiant cooling in addition to radiant heating to maintain optimum comfort levels.
Scott McKenzie, project engineer for March Adams & Associates, the engineering firm hired to facilitate the Hunter Museum addition, explains how the issue of condensation was addressed when designing the cooling portion of the system.
“By maintaining the floor at five degrees above the outside air dew point, it prevents condensation on the floor while providing radiant cooling and immediate absorption of heat due to direct sunlight” says McKenzie.
Another challenge the Hunter Museum posed was how to control the dramatic temperature changes that can occur when a large influx of patrons enter and exit the lobby. According to McKenzie, radiant was the most economical way to maintain a comfortable, consistent environment.
“The museum has an extensive outreach program and lots of school children enter the building,” says McKenzie. “Your occupancy load can go from zero to 200 in a matter of 20 minutes. But radiant gives a nice, stable mass while providing comfort at floor level where visitors are located.”
Superior Environment Control
Since the Hunter Museum has a constant fluctuation of traffic coming through the doors, the temperature changes can vary dramatically. Radiant heating and cooling gives the grand lobby a consistent, comfortable environment.
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