Project Description

Iconic School Receives New Commercial HVAC and Building-Automation Systems

EVCO Mechanical was introduced to Manhattan School of Music in 2013 to assist them with various mechanical and service needs within their school and dormitory buildings. The relationship quickly grew from service calls and repairs to assisting MSM with the modernization of their HVAC infrastructure, and a wonderful friendship dedicated to supporting the mission of MSM. EVCO Mechanical is very proud to have worked at MSM and contributed to the success of education at the college by enabling better space conditions for teaching, learning and practicing of the arts.

Looking Back: HVAC Installations Through the Years

The history of teaching and learning spaces on the MSM campus dates back to before the School purchased the building from The Juilliard School in 1969. The original 1910 building at 120 Claremont Avenue was constructed for the New York Institute of Musical Art (which later merged with Juilliard). A four-story structure initially, it had steam heating and a fan-driven ventilation system for delivering fresh air year-round and exhausting warm air in the summer.

In the 1930s, an additional building was added, creating a large concert hall and more classroom spaces, which also featured typical steam heating and fan-driven ventilation. In the 1960s, MSM expanded the campus again, adding a dining hall.  Decades later, in 2001, a residence hall was built adjacent to the School.

The School upgraded its HVAC system in the 1960s, making an incredible leap in its space-conditioning technology. A steam-absorption chiller, dual-temperature piping, and fan-coil units were added to serve all classrooms and office spaces, allowing all the School’s rooms to be both heated and air-conditioned.

Flexible, State-of-the-Art Commercial HVAC System

In 2015, as MSM’s original 1960s absorption chiller was failing, EVCO Mechanical was enlisted to modernize the HVAC system across the original 1910 building. Through careful planning, EVCO and MSM worked together to redesign the HVAC system to meet the updated needs of the School’s classroom, practice, and office spaces. Specifically, MSM wanted the ability to deliver heating or air conditioning in any room at any time of the year. This was a significant departure from the existing system, which could deliver both heating and cooling—but only at specified times during the year, when the entire building needed cooling or the entire building needed heat.

The new system would enable the School to precisely, independently control the temperature in each room.  This would allow facilities staff to establish the ideal conditions for different rooms based on their purpose and the activity level within. For example, certain spaces need an environment designed to preserve the priceless musical instruments housed there. Other rooms need climate conditions designed to maintain student comfort during school activities.

Careful Commercial-Installation Planning for Minimal Disruption

To fulfill the School’s requirements, EVCO Mechanical renovated the HVAC system across the entire MSM school building over an eight-month period. All work performed in the classroom and learning spaces was carefully planned and coordinated with the facilities department to minimize any interruption of classes or inconvenience to students and staff.

EVCO converted the School’s original 1960s dual-temperature system into a condenser-water system, replaced the original fan-coil units with new heat pumps, renovated the mechanical room to serve as a condenser=water plant, and installed a state-of-the-art building-automation system across all school HVAC equipment. The new building-automation system was extended to every classroom, office, and learning space with wireless thermostats, so that the space conditions can be remotely controlled and monitored by MSM’s facilities department.

The project was completed just prior to the start of the fall semester in 2016. When students returned to school, they were welcomed by a brand-new HVAC system designed to maximize their comfort while they learn.

Ongoing Building-Automation and Controls Support

Following the completion of the renovation, EVCO provided ongoing monitoring and commissioning of the system to assist MSM facility staff in operating the new equipment and fine-tuning its performance. Years later, MSM continues to enjoy the benefits of the new system and EVCO is honored to have had the opportunity to work with such a fantastic institution of the arts.