Modernize HVAC System in Restoration of Historic Church

Century Mechanical Solutions partnered with KZF Design and Klenco Construction to renovate the more than 100-year-old building. Century modernized the existing HVAC system through the installation of a chilled glycol system, (2) hot water boilers, (11) fan coil units, (4) split system air conditioning and a digital control system using Carrier Comfort controls.

Meet Our Customer: The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Church HVAC Modernization

St Marys Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington, Kentucky

The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is the home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington and serves the parish of St. Mary’s. Original construction began in 1894 and ended in 1915. The cathedral is one of only 35 basilicas in the United States, designated for its historical, architectural and religious significance.

The Challenge: Preserve Church Architecture

Construction was sensitive to preserve the integrity of the mosaics, stained glass windows paintings, organ and architecture. This project was unique because the installation required piping equipment underground and locating equipment behind walls or in the tightly confined basement.

Our Solution: Maintain Church Aesthetics and Acoustics

The chilled glycol system consists of a chiller and underground piping to feed three air handling units. The primary concerns were maintaining interior and exterior building aesthetics by limiting equipment visibility as well as church acoustics by limiting noise.  The chiller was installed in a remote location with underground piping to the air handling units mounted in the basement. Existing ventilation tunnels under the church became the vehicle for extracting the old equipment and bringing in the new equipment.  These tunnels were cleaned and used as a duct system to supply air through original ornate grilles in the walls of the church.

Two high efficiency hot water boilers and new piping were installed to supply heat to the cathedral. Originally (10) cast iron steam radiators were used. However, Century converted these to hot water to lower the possibility of leaks. Additionally, (11) fan coil units were installed behind the walls to increase heating capacity.

Split system air conditioning units were installed in the multipurpose facility spaces.  These provide HVAC as needed in areas where noise and facade disturbance were not an issue.

Our Customer Says

“There’s only a few design/build firms that we will work with and they’re one of them because Tom (Leinhart, president of Century Mechanical Solutions) is just a smart guy,” says Joe Nader, director of mechanical engineering services at KZF Design, which partnered with Century Mechanical Solutions on the cathedral renovation.

“(Tom) just comes up with solutions that maybe other engineers wouldn’t think of because he has been out in the field so much.”