Emergency Boiler for an Occupied Facility –
The Armenian Museum of America possesses the most extensive collection of Armenian artifacts in North America. With more than 25,000 artifacts, the building is more than a storehouse, it is a living museum and a library that offers exhibits, cultural events, and literary programs. It began in a church basement in 1971, but its present home is a four-story, 30,000 square foot building in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Dissatisfied with the previous HVAC service provider, the Museum’s director of finance & building operations, Berj Checkijian, contracted with LC Anderson to service their planned maintenance contract at the beginning of 2019.
Maintenance on the two old boilers proved challenging because they were obsolete, and parts were difficult to obtain. Technicians needed to perform repairs during each semi-annual appointment to keep the systems operational.
In early 2020, after numerous repairs, it was clear the heating equipment was at the end of its life. LC Anderson’s service manager recommended a planned replacement so that the customer could secure funding and avoid the risk of an emergency.
Unfortunately, the museum didn’t have the funds available for such a large project and later in 2020, four days before the Christmas holiday, the fear was real. Both boilers had stopped working.
Preparing for the Emergency Boiler
The LCA service manager was able to free up the essential personnel by working with the customer backlog and technicians were promptly dispatched to the Museum. The team got one of the boilers back to 50% capacity by the end of day two, but it wasn’t nearly enough to heat the building as needed.
There was no time to lose with external freezing temperatures and an unhappy retail tenant on the first floor. To heat the building temporarily, LCA secured electric heaters and electricians to install additional electrical circuits required for sufficient power.
LCA team recommended three smaller high-efficiency boilers (97-98% efficient) to replace the two old boilers. The smaller boilers would contribute the same capacity but would also provide redundancy.
They ordered the equipment and materials, scheduled contractors, and crews, and had the new system installed and running within three weeks.
“We were in a tough situation in the middle of winter,” stated Berj Checkijian, Director of Finance & Building Operations at the Armenian Museum of America. “I appreciated that they took care of us quickly and professionally, and they didn’t take advantage of our desperate circumstances.”
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