University of Mary Washington: Virginia Hall
You can’t ignore America’s love for reviving old buildings. They preserve history, honor heritage and create feelings of permanence in the community. There must be a cool, old building in your hometown that sticks out in your mind. Buildings constructed pre-World War II can only stand for so long until they must come down or be renovated. Those with historical relevance must be considered for renovation because once a piece of history is destroyed, it’s gone forever.
The preservation of historical buildings requires modern renovations.
The University of Mary Washington, named for President George Washington’s mother, was founded in Fredericksburg, VA during 1908. The age-old campus aims to remain true to its history, by renovating buildings they want to continue occupying. Virginia Hall, UMW’s third oldest building (built in 1915), is completing a massive renovation. The 51,000 square-foot three-story residence hall replaced their mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as relocated an underground steam line. The addition of these modern upgrades, paired with the historical preservation of door trims, plaster, along with the original cast iron staircases and terrazzo floors, will make Virginia Hall UMW’s premier dormitory.
Kjellstrom + Lee Construction out of Richmond, VA awarded Southern Air’s Richmond construction group with the mechanical and plumbing contracts. Southern Air’s team installed the new hot and chill water systems, which will heat and cool the building. Two Innovent dedicated outdoor air systems were installed in Virginia Hall’s attic distributing in fresh air throughout the building.
A crucial part of this renovation involved demolishing and replacing the old underground piping providing steam to the building. These main steam lines travel directly underneath Virginia Hall. Our team installed almost 1,000ft of pre-insulated piping ranging in size from 2-6 inches. It was only after the installation of the new piping was complete, the demolition of the old steam lines began, which cleared out room for their new mechanical systems. The required very specific code welders. Because of this, all our welds had to be inspected. We hired an x-ray subcontractor to x-ray and examine every single weld to verify they were done correctly.
Another unique part of this renovation involved an uncommon method pipe fusion. Thermofusion, commonly referred to as butt fusion, heats the ends of two pipes to a molten state as they are pressed together creating a sparkless bond. Above the ground, our construction teams installed a tremendous amount of equipment. During the 16 month renovation, Southern Air expertly installed hot water and electric unit heaters, hot and chill water pumps, domestic recirculating and booster pumps, steam domestic water heater and steam heat exchanger. Keeping so many moving pieces in order requires a team and offers opportunity to go above and beyond.