Engineering Project Case Studies | Erdman Anthony

MEP and HVAC Engineering Services

The Forum Building is a historic seven-story 375,000-square-foot building consisting of office space, the Forum Auditorium, the State Library, and associated archival space. The building is part of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex and is currently designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Erdman Anthony worked as the primary MEP subconsultant for Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects and provided engineering services on two projects over the past decade to restore the building back to its original prominence.

The first project entailed cosmetic renovations to the 18,000-square-foot Forum Auditorium, an active concert hall that houses the Harrisburg Symphony and hosts other musical events.  The project consisted of replacing the existing seating and carpeting, performing site work, and providing temperature-control infrastructure to aid in measuring the previous humidity and condensate issues that plagued the space. The MEP work included new aisle lighting, seat lighting, and associated power.  A new temperature/humidity monitoring system was provided, with sensors located throughout the occupied and unoccupied portions of the facility. The sensors were tied to the existing direct digital control system, which enables the owner to trend and evaluate issues relating to moisture and humidity at the facility. 
The second project, which started in 2018 and finished construction in 2023, focused on fully renovating 180,000 square feet of office space comprising Floors 2 through 5 to house the Department of Education, but also focused on renovations to the State Library, the Law Library, and associated archival space. The entire building’s HVAC system and electrical infrastructure were replaced during the renovation. 

Erdman Anthony’s HVAC design services included all equipment, piping, ductwork, and controls for heating, cooling, and ventilating the entire building. The HVAC design is now flexible and adaptable to differing environments and included a new 500-ton chiller plant and two 3,700-MBH steam-to-hot water heat exchangers to provide central chilled and heating water for the entire building.  Fourteen variable volume air-handling units are throughout the facility for conditioning the office space; 50 tons of variable refrigerant volume (VRV) systems were provided for conditioning the existing libraries, and the existing DDC control system was expanded to provide modern day temperature and energy-efficiency control of the entire building.
The electrical power design services included electrical distribution equipment, wiring, and devices for the renovated portions of the building, including replacement of the existing area of protection panels, distribution panels, buss ducts, and branch circuits. The existing electrical switchgear was replaced with a 12.47-kV main-tie-main and configurable double-ended 480-V and 208-V load centers, and the existing emergency generator and other associated emergency power components were replaced by a 400-kW diesel generator with load bank to provide power to life safety, standby, and fire pump systems.
The renovation has enabled the Department of Education to house its employees in one building, prompting the Commonwealth to cancel several leases for office space. It also has modernized the existing libraries and mitigated the humidity issues that were compromising the auditorium’s existing finishes. 

Doug Stouffer, PE, CEM, LEED AP
Doug Stouffer, PE, CEM, LEED AP
 717-766-1741 x 5023