The W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright Park, Tacoma, was built in 1908 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But the building’s historical charm came with out-of-date systems and spaces that didn’t work for the conservatory’s modern-day needs.

FSi Engineers provided mechanical engineering, HVAC, and plumbing design services to the team renovating the 3,000 square foot space and adding an 8,000 square foot extension. During the demolition stage of the project, FSi developed demolition drawings for the mechanical systems and separated the plumbing, HVAC, and fire protection systems of the demolished areas from the rest of the building. Then, we extended these systems to create a fully unified system with the building additions.

To reduce the building’s energy consumption, FSi helped our team evaluate and implement a sustainable design for the building, including an efficient hydronic HVAC system, passive cooling strategies, and window shading. We also developed a misting system for the conservatory and low-flow fixtures throughout the building.

The building addition includes two unisex ADA-accessible restrooms, an office, a gift shop, and an exterior garden work center. The team also upgraded the building envelope and roof to modern standards. Despite these changes, the team preserved Seymour Conservatory’s historic charm. The result is a conservatory that shows off its hundred-year history while providing amenities fit for modern uses. The beautiful space can now be used for weddings, celebrations, and other events.

The Seymour Botanical Conservatory wasn’t the first place we used sustainable design to create a modern public space. To learn more, see our work on the Olympia City Hall.

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