The Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas campus is home to an important showcase of Texas natural history. The museum provides an insight into the abundant geology, paleontology, and wildlife ranging from ancient times to present day throughout the state of Texas.


With its main air handling unit approaching 50 years of age, it was time for a newer high-performance energy efficient air handling unit to be installed. The University of Texas at Austin hired Goodwin Engineering to design the replacement along with other upgrades to the chilled water system. Goodwin Engineering was hired for this project, not only for its design expertise, but also for its ability to manage other critical aspects of the project. Three other factors complicated the project; phasing to minimize disruption to the building air conditioning, maintaining a secure environment throughout construction, and minimal access to the basement mechanical room.


The scope included replacing the existing Texas multi-zone air handling unit with a new high-performance energy-efficient built-up variable air volume (VAV) air handling unit…which would be the size of a small apartment. The sections for this unit had to be transported into the mechanical room through a small window. Not only did Goodwin design the custom built-up air handling unit from the ground up, but it was designed so that the various components could be transported through this small window and pieced together inside of the mechanical room. Additionally, the design included new pumps and a new heat exchanger to decouple the building chilled water from the campus chilled water loop.

This project provided the client with a new air handling unit that will last another 50+ years with improved performance and reduced energy costs.