Anchorage Museum Expansion

RSA Engineering provided mechanical and electrical design, commissioning, and LEED services for the 80,000 SF expansion of the Anchorage Museum. The expansion included the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Temporary Gallery Space, Gift Shop, Library, Archives, and Café. The remodeled portion of the existing building included a new young learner’s discovery gallery, the popular downtown Imaginarium science center, and the new 530 SF Thomas Planetarium that presents fascinating and enjoyable ways to learn about astronomy and space. Energy efficient heating and ventilation systems were designed for the expansion.

The boilers selected for the expansion were 2,000 MBH fully condensing boilers. The high turndown ratio minimizes boiler cycling and eliminates wasteful temperature overshoot. Operating efficiency of the boiler plant actually increases as the load decreases. Domestic hot water for the expansion is generated by two 199 MBH tank type, gas fired, fully condensing water heaters with listed thermal efficiencies as high as 99.1%. The electrical system design included a new 480V electrical service, exhibit lighting and controls, telecommunication infrastructure, air sampling smoke detection systems, and interpretive A/V equipment.

Due to the highly sophisticated nature of this building and the high value of its contents, the sprinkler system required special attention. Close work with the architect provided space for the sprinkler heads to fit the décor of the building while still meeting NFPA and FM Global requirements. Due to the high value nature of the contents, we specified a double interlock pre-action system with separate system valves for each floor so the danger of accidental water damage to art and artifacts was minimized.

  • Categories: Educational, LEED
  • Client: Anchorage Museum
  • Size: 142,000 SF addition
  • Architect: Kumin & Associates, David Chipperfield Architects of London, England
  • Partners: Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI)
  • Cost: $60M