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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

San Francisco, California

The SFMOMA expansion project encompassed the addition of a 10-story high-rise building with an atrium to the existing museum building. In order to make this change the administration wing of the museum was demolished to make way for the new, awe inspiring, building. The elements of the building curated by Taylor Engineers HVAC design include galleries, a theater, administration, library, café, event space, retail shop, art conservation studio, and storage area.

Creating stable conditions to protect the world renowned artwork on display and in storage at SFMOMA was one of the primary design goals for this project. Coupled with this vision, Taylor Engineers also embraced the museum's aggressive energy performance goals, achieving compliance with the City of San Francisco's green building ordinance.

Traditional indoor environmental criteria in museums demand a high energy input to maintain very tight conditions. Taylor Engineers worked with curators to establish a relaxed set of environmental constraints that were aligned with current trends in art preservation. The new system design includes an innovative dual fan dual duct VAV air distribution system with a central direct evaporative humidifier that results in zero added energy use for humidity control. The project won the national first place ASHRAE Technology Award.

Size (ft²)




Project Type


Scope of Work

Full design of HVAC, plumbing, and energy management & control systems.






Snøhetta, EHDD


General: Webcor Builders
Mechanical: Critchfield Mechanical Inc.


Henrik Kam


SFMOMA: Jeff Phairas
TJ Reagan: Terry Reagan
Snøhetta: Lara Kaufman
Webcor: James Roux
CMI: Tim Trias

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