Krysta Skinner Mechanical Option AE Thesis 2011/2012

Student Bio
Building Statistics
Tech Assigments
Final Presentation
Final Report

Building Statistics

Building Name:

The American Swedish Institute (Nelson Cultural Center and Turnblad Mansion Renovation
Location and Site: 2600 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN
Building Occupant Name: The American Swedish Institute
Occupancy: Cultural center
Size: 75,000 sq ft
Number of stories above grade: 3

Project Team:



The American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Construction Manager:

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
6701 West 23rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55426

Architect, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineer, Landscape Architect and Cost Estimator:

HGA Architects and Engineers
701 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Dates of Construction: Early 2011 - May 2012
Project Delivery Method: Design - Bid - Build
Cost Information: $13.5 million excluding soft costs


The Turnblad Mansion was originally designed to give the Swedish community a place to gather and share their heritage with other people. Over the years the American Swedish Institute (ASI) felt that the original facilities were not sufficient to where they saw the institute going in the future. They decided to add an additional building, the Nelson Cultural Center to the property. Both buildings will be used as cultural spaces containing a café, retail, meeting spaces, offices, and classrooms. The Turnblad Mansion and the Nelson Cultural Center encompass a newly designed courtyard with Swedish influence that enhances the exterior public spaces.

A major architectural feature of the mansion is the solarium looking towards the developing Nelson Cultural Center. The Nelson Cultural Center respects the original architecture of the mansion by having a singular, accessible and visible main entrance that faces toward the mansion. This opening space opens to all the activity occurring in the cultural center. Additionally, the cultural center gives demonstration of the sustainable design in Sweden culture by incorporating a green roof.

Major National Codes:

  • International Building Code, 2006 with Minnesota amendments
  • International Mechanical Code, 2006 with Minnesota amendments
  • 2006 Minnesota State Plumbing Code
  • Minnesota Energy Code
  • International Fire Code 2006 with Minnesota amendments
  • NFPA
  • ASHRAE Standard 52.1
  • ASHRAE Standard 55
  • ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004
  • ASHRAE 2007 Handbook of Applications, Chapter 21: Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • American Association of Museums
  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System

With the Turnblad mansion being designated to the National Register for Heritage Preservation in 1974 all permits for future renovations or construction on the property must be reviewed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. This required the American Swedish Institute to be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office and appear before the Permit Review Committee for the design of the Nelson Cultural Center and the renovations to the mansion. All work being completed should comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation by preserving historic features, maintaining existing features to match the original architecture and design the new feature to have a low profile in comparison to the mansion.

Note: For zoning a single facility must be located within a single zoning district. Educational and cultural institutions are a permitted use in all four districts. Restaurants are permitted within museum facilities if accessed through museum lobby only. There are no specific historical zoning requirements related to the building.

Building Enclosure:

Building Facades:
The Turnblad Mansion walls consist of Bedford Indiana limestone with accents of copper trimming. All windows in the mansion are double hung with a wooden sash. The solarium is a glass conservatory with copper framework in all locations without glass. The exterior of the cultural center reflects the materials used on the mansion as well as use of modern materials. Primary exterior materials are slate tile and dark zinc metal panels. A high performance curtainwall system is used to provide glazing at key areas of the building design. The glazing will be clear low e glass inside dark anodized aluminum thermally broken frames.

The mansion has black slate roofing with copper trim and downspouts on most sloped areas excluding a couple of dormers covered with sheet metal. Flat portions of the mansion roof were reroofed with elastomeric rubber roof membrane. All the ridges, flashing, gutters, downspouts and skylight covers are copper. The roofing system for the cultural center will be thermoplastic single ply roofing with white stone ballast. The two green roof areas will be hot fluid applied rubberized asphalt with insulation, drainage element and 6” growing medium.

Sustainability Features:

Improvement of all systems in the existing Turnblad Mansion will help lower the energy cost and achieve better energy efficiency in the building. The Nelson Cultural Center is expected to meet LEED-NC version 2.2 for Gold certification with hopes of exceeding this goal to reach a higher certification. To reach Gold certification for the addition a 7,000 sq. ft. sloping green roof and terrace will be used to reflect traditional Scandinavian architecture and landscape in two areas. The green roof will assist in reducing energy costs and storm water run-off to the site. A geothermal heating system is used for the mechanical system because of the stable temperature of the earth year around. An underground rainwater collection system for irrigation is also implemented for use in the courtyard. Therefore, by designing the Nelson Cultural Center with these sustainability features LEED certification should be received.


The project delivery method is Design-Bid-Build with Adolfson & Peterson Construction as the construction manager. All design documents were completed by HGA Architects and Engineers. Construction of the American Swedish Institute’s existing mansion and addition began in early 2011 with mansion occupancy in fall 2011 and completion of all construction in May 2012. Costs for construction of the American Swedish Institute are $13.5 million dollars for the 75,000 gross square feet museum.


Electrical service will be provided from a three-phase overhead line installed by Xcel Energy to a 13.8 kV pad-mounted transformer. The secondary of the transformer is 277/480V, three-phase to a 1600A Main Panel Board located in the lower level of the addition to be connected by the Electrical Contractor.

A 277/480V, 600A, three-phase panel provides electrical power to the new panels located in the lower level and the existing panels located in the upper levels of the mansion, to be distributed to lights and equipment throughout the building. Electricity to all equipment, lighting panels, elevators, heat pumps, and Make-up Air Unit are provided by a main switchboard at 277/480V, 1600A, three-phase located in the lower level of the addition.   


Lighting systems were selected for the appropriate applications for the task and design of the space. All lights selected met or exceeded IES recommended lighting levels. A large effort was made to utilize energy efficient fluorescent, LED and ceramic halide lamps. Incandescent lights were only used in areas that required architectural dimming of the space.

Exterior lighting for the American Swedish Institute used HID Metal Halide lamps to provide illumination for security purposes for the exterior of the building. Controls for the lamps are photocell that is backed by an astrological time clock. Luminaries not used for security purposes were selected to accentuate the architectural features of the exterior.

The majority of the lighting for the existing mansion and addition use high quality luminaries with energy efficient lamps and ballasts. Most areas in the American Swedish Institute utilize four foot T8, low mercury content fluorescent lamps.


The American Swedish Institute’s mechanical system is comprised of 8,000 cfm Make-up Air Unit that provides 100% conditioned outside air to all occupied interior spaces in the addition and existing mansion. Water-to-air Heat pumps are used throughout the building and are served conditioned outdoor air from the Make-up Air Unit via several VAV (Variable Air Volume) boxes. Each VAV box serves multiple heat pumps on each level of the addition and mansion. Additional air to the heat pumps comes from return air in the ceiling plenum from the spaces, that is then recirculated. Contaminated air in the kitchen and café areas of the mansion and addition are exhausted to four roof top exhaust fans.

Heating and cooling needs for the building are provided by a geothermal source closed loop heat pump system. The system contains ninety-six well holes with a depth of 250 feet and approximately one ton capacity per hole located in the southern portion of the site. Condensing water is provided to all heat pumps in the building from the geothermal system. All condenser water mains and pumped are sized and capable of being extended in the future to heat pumps serving all floors of the mansion. Additional heating required for the museum comes from two 20 HP Fulton condensing boilers located in the lower level of the addition.


The primary structural system in the Nelson Cultural Center is composed of structural steel ASTM A992, steel composite floor deck and framing, and cast-in-place concrete. Main lateral force resisting system in the building is a combination of steel bracing and reinforced CMU shear walls.

Structural beams are used throughout the addition, ranging from W12s to W27s, with the majority of the beams used being primarily W16x26s and W18x35s. The size of the girders used throughout the building range from W16s to W27s. The steel bracing used throughout the building consists of HSS6x6x3/8 and HSS 10x10x12 with column sizes ranging from HSS 6x6 to HSS 12x12.

The foundation system is typically 5”, 4000 psi unreinforced slab on grade with 6”, 4000 psi reinforced slab on grade with 2” topping in the northern middle portion of the foundation.

The structural framing of the mansion is steel frame construction, based on exposed steel throughout the building. Exterior walls are load bearing based on the method of steel and masonry construction exposed throughout the building. Roof framing for the mansion consists of trusses with wood rafters between the steel. Floor framing for the mansion is a combination of wood and steel with a foundation consisting of slab on grade with concrete footings.

Fire Protection/Plumbing:

An existing 6” combination fire/domestic water main located in the northwest stairwell in the lower level of the mansion remains for water that is provided to the fire protection system. For the addition fire protection system a 4” fire protection pipe comes off of the existing main. A complete wet fire sprinkler system is installed throughout the heated areas of the addition. Existing sprinkler systems in the basement renovation in the mansion are modified to accommodate all changes. All fire protection piping is Schedule 30 or 40 black steel piping with threaded fittings and couplings.

A new 8” water service from the street to the west foundation building wall will be installed and extended to the service into the area where the meter is located. Water service from the 8” combined service main will extend to a 3” water service to the addition and a 1 ½” water line for lawn irrigation.


Three elevators are located throughout the American Swedish Institute. Elevator 1 is located in the circulation tower that connects to all four levels in the existing mansion. The other two elevators are located in the addition with each elevator having access to the three levels in the addition.


The existing telephone system will be removed from the exterior of the mansion to the telephone/data area in the lower level of the addition. An area in the lower level of the addition has been provided to help control the temperature and humidity to the telecommunication/data equipment. The main network equipment will be located in the addition’s lower level with cables out to the transmitters and receivers.

“Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work‐inprogress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Krysta Skinner. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.”

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“This page was last updated on November 28, 2011 by Krysta Skinner and is hosted by the AE Department ©2011”