The 24,000 SF Aquarium was designed by Albert Kahn and built-in 1904. The historic building uses a hot water heating system that is intertwined with the heating system in the adjacent Conservatory. Lack of maintenance and aging infrastructure has resulted in inadequate conditions.
Phase 1 was to provide an Infrastructure Study to identify major code deficiencies related to the Mechanical System in the Aquarium. Phase 2 is to provide the architectural, mechanical, and electrical design for a new heating system for the Aquarium. The original intent was to incorporate existing hot water boilers. Together with the State, the design team is thoroughly evaluating the type of heating system to coordinate with other renovation plans, future uses, and best long-term solution. A feasibility study is currently underway to consider a geothermal system to both heat and cool the aquarium. In addition to the new heating system, the existing air handling unit will be removed and replaced with a new unit for heating and ventilation to the main gallery area.