National Park Service – Fort Vancouver Multi-Park Museum Facility

The National Park Service identified Fort Vancouver in their Service-wide Curation Facility Plan as a multi-park museum collection repository location to help reduce deferred maintenance, O&M costs, and museum standard deficiencies. Fort Vancouver cares for museum collections from four national parks, a total collection of 3 million items. To create this multi-park museum facility, an existing 14,000-square-foot 1980s aircraft maintenance hangar was selected by NPS to be rehabilitated.

After an initial phase of discovery, cataloging, and calculations, 360 Engineering, with our architectural design lead Anderson Hallas, presented three mechanical options to NPS in a “Choosing By Advantage” or Value Analysis presentation. Based on our evaluation of the existing building and project goals, including 100% electrification, 360 Engineering explored three mechanical system options and presented the pros and cons of each to the NPS team, helping them make an informed decision, ultimately deciding to go with a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system.

VRF had many advantages for this project, including minimizing the amount of ductwork to maximize the amount of storage space. Additionally, the building will house many varying occupancies, including critical temperature/humidity collections storage, laboratory spaces, general assembly for field trips, library spaces, and general office space. With the varying occupancies come varying heating and cooling loads to maintain comfort in the occupied spaces and temperature standards to preserve the collections. An important aspect of large buildings’ mechanical design and a guiding principle of NPS is energy-efficient systems that reduce consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. VRF outshines previous standard mechanical systems and offers an opportunity for refrigerant heat recovery between varying zones. Spaces that are too hot can transfer that otherwise wasted energy to spaces that are too cold. The refrigerant will flow round and round, utilizing simple heat transfer mechanics before ever turning on the larger pieces of equipment. Overall, the VRF system is perfect for NPS’ first Service-Wide Curation Facility Plan.


Vancouver, WA


National Park Service


Anderson Hallas Architects


In Progress/Recently Completed