The Eskenazi Art Museum was originally designed by I.M. Pei & Partners and opened in 1982. The 112,000 SF facility features large, flexible exhibition galleries with adjacent storage/work areas. A fine arts library is housed across two floors, with additional space for conservation laboratories, offices, classrooms, photo studios, and a lounge. A 110’ tall skylit triangular atrium helps to spotlight the iconic art museum on campus.
IU was interested in developing a vision for the future of the art museum, hoping to revitalize its role on campus, strengthen the museum’s connections to the local and regional community, reinforce access to the collections, enhance connections to the academic curriculum, improve the visitor experience, modernize the building, and integrate technology into the gallery experience. Enhancing the museum program within the existing building envelope required a thorough and careful evaluation of existing conditions and processes. Applied provided an MEP system evaluation for the art museum. This evaluation included HVAC/controls, plumbing, power, fire protection, fire alarm, security, and IT.
Applied examined the existing systems with the goal of improving the indoor environment to the latest and most stringent standards for temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness in order to preserve the artifacts in the galleries, storage spaces, and restoration areas. The study recommended replacement of most of the HVAC and electrical equipment because of its age, but also recommended improvements that were designed and implemented as follows:
- Provided reheat to all zones to ensure dehumidification and temperature control to the tight standards.
- Upgraded Direct Digital Control System to maintain tight temperature and humidity control and allow logging of space conditions – especially useful for travelling exhibits where the museum must demonstrate its stringent indoor environmental standards before the artifacts will be allowed in the building.
- Windows were replaced so condensation would not occur at the higher humidity levels required.
- Complete mechanical systems design included HVAC, chilled water, heating hot water, and steam systems.
- Install new supply ductwork due to existing ductwork being lined.
- New air handling systems with improved air filtration to comply with current standards. Hot water reheat was added to all zones of control to improve temperature and humidity control.
- Radiant floor panel system for under slab in galleries to maintain stable floor temperature.
- Replaced existing dry pipe fire protection system with wet system.
- Provided a plumbing system design including:
- All new modern-day, low-flow fixtures to bring the building up to current water conservation practices.
- Replaced the existing domestic water heater for the same type of heater.
- Thermostatic mixing valve provided to bring up to current code.
- Installed a system to monitor the acid neutralization system media for failure.
- Installed a water softener to supply soft water to domestic hot water and the new RO system.
- Installed a new shop air compressor.
- Provided a complete electrical system design including normal power distribution, additional emergency power distribution, new LED lighting throughout, building site lighting, new fire alarm system, modified horizontal telecom cabling and data jacks including additional wireless access points, new security, and CCTV system.
The improvements and upgrades are allowing the building to pursue LEED Silver Certification.