Founded in 1889, the Masonic Home of Missouri is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides statewide assistance to Masons, their families and children in need. Included in its 50,000-square-foot, two-story Masonic Complex of Missouri museum, a range of exhibits featuring one-of-a-kind artifacts, tell the stories of how Masons shaped Missouri’s early history. 

However, erratic temperature changes and excessive humidity put those one-of-a-kind Mason artifacts at risk of being destroyed.

The problem was an inefficient mechanical system design, identified by Integrated Facility Services, a full-service HVAC, plumbing, piping, fire protection and building automation firm with offices in Connecticut and Missouri.   

"The Masonic Complex project was unique as the original building was run by three independent systems that all suffered from humidity problems,” explains Ross Gilbert, an IFS project engineer. “We addressed the building infiltration by adding vapor barriers throughout the building and added advanced controls to better control humidity within spaces per the space requirements.”

Serving as prime contractor on the 10-month, $1.8 million renovation, the IFS team designed a new HVAC solution to maintain tight humidity and temperature requirements. The renovation included constructing a separate storage area, upgrading the lighting and lighting controls system, renovating and replacing HVAC systems, and installing a new HVAC controls system.

“We were also able to roll the entire building onto a single main system with redundancies so that the building can function more energy-efficiently and remain operational even in the event of equipment failure," says Gilbert.

Additionally, the IFS team installed and designed a new 35-zone controls system that allowed for remote monitoring, improved efficiency, comfort and control. IFS also added a vapor barrier around the perimeter of the top floor to prevent moisture and unconditioned air from entering the building. 

Because the building was occupied 100 percent of the time, IFS used diligent project management and communication to complete the project on time and within budget.

Established in 1966, Integrated Facility Services (IFS) includes more than 250 professional and trade employees.

This story originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of SNIPS magazine.