Scottsdale Museum of the West

Engineering for Cultural and Civic Centers

Libraries, museums and performing arts venues are the aspirational vision and values of their local community. They are also a significant investment to own and operate. Syska Hennessy Group provides engineering consulting, design and commissioning expertise for these complex world-class facilities with high-performing, highest-quality and sustainable operations, creating significant overhead cost savings for our clients. Our first museum commission in the 1930s, The Frick Collection, was the first fully air-conditioned museum in the world.

When the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Kansas, launched its renovation and expansion, Syska teamed with Gould Evans to create a welcoming high-performance façade that delivers natural light for patrons and energy savings for the owners. Through an iterative energy and daylight modeling process, we reduced energy consumption by 50 percent in library space that expanded by 50 percent, meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge for carbon neutrality on renovation projects.

Making Facilities Sustainable
For the Santa Monica Public Library in Santa Monica, California, we implemented a water-saving system featuring a 180,000-gallon stormwater cistern to collect and treat rainwater for recycled landscape irrigation or for release into storm drains in advance of a predicted storm event, in true stormwater management fashion. These strategies contributed to the overall sustainable strategy to deliver LEED Gold certification.

Highest-Quality Audiovisual, Lighting and Technology Systems
Syska also designs audiovisual and information technology systems, stringent archival building-systems controls, and architectural lighting, security and MEP/FP systems.

Performing arts venues require almost silent building HVAC systems such as displacement air with automated controls responsive to changing occupancies. At The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, California, our mechanical systems design for the performance hall placed equipment in an acoustically isolated room, preventing noise and vibration transmission while supplying nearly silent conditioned air via a displacement ventilation system using an under floor plenum under the audience seats.

Temperature and Humanity Controls
Our systems enable museums to carefully control the temperature and relative humidity with particulate control and ambient daylight, supported by architectural lighting. Similarly, musicians require complete control of temperature and humidity in specialized spaces such as rehearsal studios and instrument storage. This approach was the basis of Syska’s energy-saving design for the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.

Thoughtful design delivers energy savings, as in the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, which achieved LEED Silver certification.

John Passanante
Executive Principal, Practices

Office 310.312.0200

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