Case Study

San Francisco State University

Global Museum Exhibition Gallery

In spaces that contain 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 of their storage and display environments is always a good idea. That’s why San Francisco State University trusted Salas O’Brien with the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and telecommunications engineering design for the exhibition gallery in their new Global Museum.

Housed in the university’s Fine Arts building, this 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. The museum is an institutional member of the California Association of Museums, the national Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, and the American Alliance of Museums (Tier III).

Our team was hired by the museum’s architect to add a dimmable LED track lighting system to the exhibit hall and to ensure 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 featured African, Asian, Oceania, and American pieces curated from the university’s museum studies and anthropology departments, and with the help of our team’s excellent designs, the new space is attracting attention and appreciation from the surrounding community.


San Francisco, California

Project Size:
3,000 Square Feet

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering, Telecommunications

Construction Cost: