SFSU Global(4)Salas O’Brien’s engineers have experience designing for projects from entire master-planned communities to expansive critical environments. But oftentimes, complex projects fit into a small space.

One of our recent projects exemplifies a small space with precise design needs. Housed in the university’s Fine Arts building, San Francisco State University’s new Global Museum serves as a teaching lab for the school’s Museum Studies program, a research resource for scholars, and a Bay Area destination for history lovers.

SFSU Global Museum(1)Our team was hired by the museum’s architect to provide the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and telecommunications engineering design for the exhibition gallery of this new educational space. Because the hall is designed to display priceless, centuries-old archaeological artifacts, no environmental detail is unimportant. Temperature, airflow, lighting, and humidity all have the potential to negatively affect delicate artifacts—so having an experienced and conscientious engineer involved in the design is key.

Over the course of the project, Salas O’Brien engineers added a dimmable LED track lighting system to the exhibit hall and ensured that all of the space’s MEP systems, power, and data were optimized and compliant with California’s Title 24 code requirements. Our team modified the existing power and data, completed mechanical and plumbing design services, and customized the electrical design to match the unique lighting needs for the gallery space. Each track section of the finished lighting system can be individually controlled from a separate dimmer panel—a feature that enables user-friendly adjustments for the hall’s varying exhibits.

The Global Museum’s inaugural exhibit in April 2018 featured African, Asian, Oceania, and American pieces curated from the university’s museum studies and anthropology departments. With the help of our team’s excellent designs, the new space is already attracting attention and appreciation from the surrounding community.