With more than 33,500 pieces of art to protect and display, as well as plans for the Bloch Building expansion well underway, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art faced an uphill battle in working around an older, less efficient control systems product that was poorly supported by its current provider. The museum hired a new director of operations to join the project who recognized an immediate need to re-evaluate the proposed plan. Familiar with Control Service Company’s reputation for quality, consistency and cost-effectiveness, he sought a bid from CSC that came in hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper and would provide enough capacity to run the old and the new buildings seamlessly.
After issuing a cease and desist order to the former control service provider, the museum and CSC project teams met with the construction contractors to develop a strategy for taking on the balance of the work left on the central plant while using what they could from the former control systems provider. CSC used its knowledge and expertise to tackle outstanding equipment and infrastructure issues while meeting every established schedule. Throughout the completion of the existing museum building and the development of the new addition, one of CSC’s two principals worked closely with his team to adjust everything from shade mechanisms and lighting design to storm sewer surcharges, integrating every aspect of controls into the Automated Logic product to benefit the end user.
Work on the central plant began in early 2002 and was completed by the spring of 2003. The new Bloch Building opened on schedule in June 2007 to roaring applause from the local, national and international communities alike. Given the museum’s extensive collection of Asian art, CSC changed the control sequence and air handling system for the Chinese scrolls exhibit, providing humidity control that didn’t deviate 0.5% with the temperature control just as tight. Before all was said and done, this type of attention to detail was given to all galleries in the Bloch Building, and the main building’s controls were as close to this benchmark as possible. Using the Automated Logic environmental index tool, the museum’s operations team was able to begin backing down fan speeds, slowing motor loads, and dropping the return and supply fans while maintaining environments flawlessly. Ultimately, the museum saved more than $100,000 in energy costs in the first year after implementation and even more in labor savings because the systems were constantly talking with the operations team.