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McCleod County Historical Society new HVAC system

McLeod Museum HVAC Improvements


The McLeod County Museum in Hutchinson, Minnesota, was in need of a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The facility’s existing HVAC system had reached the end of its useful life and could no longer meet the needs of the facility. The existing system consisted of multiple residential-style gas-fired furnaces that could not achieve the precise temperature and humidity requirements necessary to maintain the historical artifacts housed at the museum. The existing HVAC system was prone to failure, and the lack of humidity control compromised sensitive artifacts and materials. The Historical Society commissioned SEH to evaluate HVAC improvement options and design a new HVAC system that meets Smithsonian Institute Guidelines for temperature and humidity control.


SEH worked with the McCleod County Historical Society to design a new HVAC system capable of operating quietly, reducing energy consumption, and maintaining tight temperature and humidity control for the preservation of artifacts. The new HVAC system included a high-efficiency boiler plant, electrode steam humidification system, central air handling system, high-efficiency direct-expansion cooling, MERV 13 filtration, and variable air volume boxes with separate humidity and temperature control in each zone. Sound attenuators were included in the air handling system to ensure quiet operation of the HVAC system suitable for a museum setting.

A new building automation system was added to control all components, and advanced control sequences were implemented to maintain temperature and humidity levels in accordance with Smithsonian Institute Guidelines. During the design process, SEH worked closely with McLeod County to ensure the design met the owner's needs and requirements. In addition to design services, SEH provided construction administration services and served as an agent of the owner to ensure the installation met the quality outlined in the plans and specifications. SEH developed strategies and a phasing plan to protect sensitive artifacts during construction.

Hutchinson, Minnesota

McLeod County Historical Society


  • Indoor variable volume central station air handling system
  • Sound attenuation
  • High efficiency condensing unit with digital variable speed compressors
  • High efficiency condensing boilers
  • Electrode steam humidification system
  • Building Automation System (BAS) with temperature and humidity control
  • CO2 demand control ventilation


  • Mechanical engineering