The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the principal U.S. art museums, with paintings, sculptures, cultural objects, and ancient masterpieces from all corners of the world. In total the museum houses over 38,000 works of art, some dating back as much as 1,000 years. Many of the artifacts require precise temperature and humidity conditions while on display in the gallery as well as while in storage. The original museum was founded in 1881 and constructed in 1902. During the late 1980’s SLAM built a new Administrative building and in 2013 the new “East” building was constructed, bringing the total square footage to 320,000sf of museum, gallery and administrative space. With the recent growth in new building integration technology, Dynamic Controls Inc. was contracted to integrate climate controls between all buildings, to include administrative areas as well as storage. From the outset the owner, McClure Engineering and Dynamic Controls Inc. collaborated during the controls design phase to design and install a full Andover Controls system to upgrade the chiller plant and retrofit all AHU’s, which would more than meet the requirements needed for humidity control of stored and displayed art. The project life-cycle transcends many phases over a 5 year integration plan. This allows the museum to maintain a minimum of 2 Air Handling Units operational at all times to meet the needs of heating, cooling, and humidity control. An additional project challenge was the need to take cooling towers down during a very narrow window. To that end, the ideal scenario was needed when the building was both closed to the public and suitable weather conditions presented themselves.
For its part, Dynamic Controls Inc. consulted, designed and provided the electrical labor and materials, testing and balancing, mechanical labor & materials, and programming, including new controls for chillers, new VFD’s and new sensors. Additionally, Dynamic Controls Inc., furnished and installed additional input/output capacity to the existing Andover TCP to accommodate new control points.