An Aging Church Gets a New Life

United Church of Christ has been a place of worship for more than 100 years, with 50 years occupying space in Robbinsdale, MN. This facility was in need of some system upgrades. Working with Perry Bolin Architecture, the Gausman & Moore team provided MEP engineering services to provide a renovated worship space that is far more efficient. A primary goal involved providing cooling to the worship space, classrooms and offices.


A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cooling system was proposed to address the cooling issue. The VRF allows for minimal disruption to the interior space, while making the spaces more comfortable. One challenge involved installing the VRF system in the worship space without destroying the beauty of the interior architecture. The design team provided a solution that conceals the refrigerant piping on the building’s exterior and interior to serve the interior cooling units. This solution was well-received by the architect.

High efficiency hot water condensing boilers were installed. This will allow operations cost savings, improved controllability and improved maintenance access.


One project goal was providing ADA accessibility. The church has an elevator, but no building entrances were ADA accessible. To address this challenge, a new vestibule was designed that would create room for an ADA ramp, allowing mobility throughout the church.


Other services provided by G&M included the following:

  • Revising the heating system piping to simplify the pumping system with the boiler room
  • Installing new heating control valves and sensors
  • Adding a simple DDC control for improved monitoring and operation of the church
  • Heating for the new vestibule addition
  • Evaluating capacity of existing electric service and design new service to address new air conditioning loads
  • Replacing existing electrical branch circuit panels
  • Designing lighting for a new vestibule
  • Providing construction document set with up to three bid phase options

G&M’s clear work scope allowed the congregation to complete the project in phases as funding became available. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2018.

Image by Perry Bolin Architecture.