AUSTIN, TX — A 50-year-old 75,000-square-foot building which formerly housed an industrial bakery was recently converted into a high-tech headquarters for Hoover’s Inc., an Austin-based business information provider.

The retrofit, designed by Boka Powell, Dallas, took advantage of the factory’s exposed steel girders, six-foot square wall exhaust ventilator fans, the steel ceiling, and other existing industrial features. The design strategy of exposing the 20-foot-high ceiling presented an HVAC challenge for consulting engineer Talex Inc Engineers, Austin, and mechanical contractor Encompass Inc., Houston.

Talex chose fabric duct air dispersion manufactured by DuctSox®, Dubuque, IA. Using over one mile of varying diameters of DuctSox’s round TufTex® high-throw fabric, the air conditioning is draft-free and evenly distributed because of dispersion orifices placed in four and eight o’clock patterns on the duct and spaced apart from 8-14 inches on center.

Talex chose 29 rooftop units ranging from 3 to 17.5 tons, which spaced out the roof load according to structural engineering requirements.

The HVAC design not only conformed to the industrial appearance, it also provided a high-tech indoor air quality solution with even, draft-less air distribution. “We’ve had quite a few visitors impressed with the look and the functionality of our workspace,” said Sally Collier, Hoover’s director of training and operations.

Publication date: 09/02/2002