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Complex renovation of a congressional building

Complex renovation of a congressional building

Client: Kirlin Mechanical

Location: Washington, DC, USA

Sectors: Construction

The Challenge

The right conditions for a delicate task

The infrastructure and bones of historical buildings are extremely delicate. They require just the right environmental conditions to avoid causing damage, and during a renovation this is particularly difficult to achieve.

When Kirlin Mechanical was tasked with renovating the Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC’s oldest congressional building, they needed a way to keep relative humidity low and meet high power needs —  and all despite low electrical availability.

Key Facts

AHUs 11 120 tons
Length of project 12 months
Relative humidity range 30-50 %
Complex renovation of a congressional building

The Solution

A carefully engineered design using hot water for heating

Understanding the complexity of the project we engaged our engineering team to create a custom design package. During initial discussions the customer requested use of electric heaters to warm the space, however the project site did not have enough electricity available to reheat using electric heaters.

After detailed discussions with the client to get to grips with the architect's precise specifications, we were able to create the perfect solution utilizing hot water heaters to supplement the electric heaters.

Our team got to work producing drawings, schematics and designs. The final package was created of 11-120 ton air handlers, dehumidifiers, negative air machines, and electric and hot water heaters.

For over a year we had equipment onsite carefully controlling ambient conditions year-round.

Getting the right equipment online during a complex building renovation and supplying the perfect solution is what we do best.



The Impact

Helping to preserve history and beautiful architecture

Our system succeeded in keeping relative humidity within the required range throughout the changing seasons, as well as maintaining the temperature and negative pressure required inside the building. The renovations could steam ahead without risk of damage to this important historical office.


Complex renovation of a congressional building