IMEG provided mechanical, electrical, and lighting design services for the relocation of the Kirkland Museum from its downtown location to the Golden Triangle District (museum district) in Denver, CO. The new 38,000-sf building provides four times the space that the current museum holds allowing for additional space to provide benefits to its visitors.
The design includes venetian plaster walls, lined with plywood for ease of art installation, and a geothermal assisted heating and cooling system. The enlarged space provides twice the viewing space as before, allowing for additional pieces to be displayed. In addition, the larger space increases the art storage capacity, providing much needed long-term archival preservation for the collection. The museum also now offers free on-site parking, a museum store offering select pieces from the collection, and a cafe with light snacks and beverages.
The design goals of this project included energy efficient systems, spaces controlled to museum-level temperature and humidity, and protection of priceless artwork. To achieve these goals, engineers provided a design that includes a 21-hole geothermal vertical bore field, paired with a six-pipe chiller to provide heating and cooling — using no boilers or cooling towers. This system provides heating and chilled water to the VAV air handler and terminal boxes, which tightly controls the temperature and humidity.
Engineers also designed a crossover system that allows spare energy from the mechanical system to supplement the snowmelt system with low-cost heating water, saving more than 45 percent of the energy typically used in a museum with snowmelt. Low UV-emitting LED lighting protects sensitive artwork while reducing energy costs, and a very early smoke detection alarm (VESDA) system was installed to detect the smallest particle of smoke long before an actual fire begins. Additionally, a stand-by generator and central uninterruptible power supply were installed for providing power to critical systems. The project was named a 2018 ENR Mountain States Best Project winner in the cultural/worship category and recieved an Honor Award from the ACEC Colorado Chapter for engineering excellence.