The Walter Anderson Museum of Art in
Ocean Springs, Mississippi is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of
the works of artist, illustrator and author Walter Inglis Anderson.
Anderson is celebrated as an
American master whose depictions of the plants, animals and people of the Gulf
Coast have placed him among the foremost of 20th Century American painters.
Opened in 1991, the museumís sky lit
interior includes a main galleria and two additional galleries that echo the
natural beauty and simplicity of its coastal setting. Unfortunately, the HVAC
mechanical systems were starting to show their age, causing more and more
problems with each passing year. As a result, the "natural coastal
settingĒ was subjecting museum-goers to the heat and high humidity of the
Southern Gulf Coast.
The unreliable air conditioning
didnít simply mean uncomfortable art patrons; it also meant the art itself was
in danger. The museumís permanent collection of more than 1,000 watercolors,
drawings, oils, block prints, ceramics and carvings have to be maintained in
the environmental conditions necessary for art preservation.
Frequent equipment failures and HVAC
systems downtime meant the sensitive and historically significant works of art
were threatened by the hot Ocean Springs climate and sub-tropical humidity.
Though the museum was having
constant problems with breakdowns, no local service contractors could fix the
system and keep it running. The museumís energy costs, meanwhile, continued to
go up. Thatís when Mississippi Power Company, headquartered in nearby Gulfport,
recommended Star Service.
During our initial evaluation
process, museum officials made it clear they wanted long-term peace of mind.
They needed to know their ongoing system issues would be remedied by a
reliable, competent service company. Star Service, Inc. of Mobile was able to
design-engineer the upgrade and recommission of the museumís mechanical
The custom project required a quick
turnaround, including the demolition and disposal of existing mechanical
systems. We installed a new chilled water system, an ASI Controls building
automation system. Improved humidity controls were also installed. In addition,
we added a new critical environmental system to the museumís vault to protect
highly sensitive works of art.
The museum now has a highly reliable
environmental controls system. Star Service is currently servicing their HVAC
systems under a Guaranteed Professional Maintenance Program (GPM), which
includes ongoing preventive maintenance, supplies, parts and components, and
24/7 labor. This means Star is responsible for not only maintaining the
equipment but also repairing the systems at no additional cost to the museum,
as there is one bill per month.
Starís preventive maintenance
program includes emergency calls, labor, parts and supplies, placing the burden
on Star to ensure proper maintenance." Our technicians make sure the
equipment doesn't fail, and if it does, we repair it on our dime.Ē
Following the upgrades, Mississippi Power
verified that the electric power consumption of the museum had been greatly reduced.
Along with the added value of having a full-coverage agreement with Star, this
gave museum administrators the peace of mind, knowing that they could budget
their monthly HVAC cost and they gave museum attendees the opportunity to
appreciate the works of art in comfort.