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Menlo School Spieker Center for the Performing Arts

Atherton, California

The Spieker Center for the Performing Arts contains a theatre designed to rigorous acoustic standards, a fabrication shop, and office space for Menlo School faculty. The auditorium and stage mechanical systems are designed to meet NC-15 - an acoustic criterion that is primarily reserved for professional theatres and recording studios.

Three self-contained water-source air conditioning units serve the building. The mechanical system connects to the campus condenser water loop and heating hot water loop. The air conditioning units serving the stage and auditorium are single zone variable air volume units. The air conditioning unit serving auxiliary spaces (office space, fabrication shop, lobby, etc) is a multi zone variable air volume re-heat system. Air is supplied to the auditorium by swirl diffusers via an insulated underfloor plenum at low velocity to maintain comfort and acoustic requirements. All other air distribution is overhead.

Energy efficiency measures include: reduced fan energy due to large ductwork needed to meet acoustic requirements, limited re-heat energy due to single zone variable air volume units, and water-source equipment.

Taylor Engineers was brought onto the project in a design-assist capacity to produce a cost-efficient, high performance mechanical system design after the design development stage was completed.

Size (ft²)




Project Type


Scope of Work

Full design of MP and BAS systems




Menlo School


Hacker Architects




Hacker Architects


Architect: Jesee Figgins, GC: Andy Schatzman

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