It’s not surprising when architects specify radiant heating and cooling in a renovation or new construction. It is, however, quite an affirmation of the radiant concept when the firm specifies it for their own building.
For their new regional office in Great Falls, Montana, CTA Architects and Engineers planned an extensive renovation to an old Orange Crush soda factory and office. Constructed in 1917, the classic warehouse style, 3-story brick and wood beam building was architecturally nondescript – typical of the era, a shotgun structure with a receding rooftop and a flat street front.
Key to the renovation would be identifying and utilizing technologies that would bring the building from it’s historical past to a green present without affecting the qualities that make it beautiful and unique.
Mike Tabacco, a frequent contractor for CTA, has installed radiant heating systems numerous times, but the Orange Crush building presented a set of structural and design obstacles that made traditional systems problematic. A product was needed that wouldn’t compromise the architectural integrity of the building and also had to get around some tough structural problems.
The existing flooring in the building was uneven as was the foundation itself. Installation of a traditional poured radiant system would add layering and weight which couldn’t be supported without additional structural support, which would then compromise the architectural style. Also a layered installation would take much longer and the large amount of water needed would cause unwanted moisture, detrimental to the old wood in the building.
CTA utilized geothermal technology to heat and cool with the Warmboard radiant product. The primary heat source is an aquifer which maintains a constant 55 degree water temperature. Heat pumps are then used to pull energy from the water to heat the building. The aquifer also serves as the cooling source by cycling the cool water through the Warmboard tubes.
CTA was impressed with the efficiency of Warmboard as well as the accuracy of the original quote which kept the project in budget. In the end, there were 13 different heating zones. Both the architects and the contractors touted Warmboard’s radiant responsiveness, perfect for the Montana climate.
CTA architect, Tony Houtz, commented “The space performs well – the heating is even and controllable for each of the individual zones throughout the building. We have a two-story space at the main entry with a forced air system. That area would be drafty and inefficient to heat and cool, but with a radiant system, that area stays comfortable without an increase in energy usage.”
Added to this landmark structure, and not originally specified, was a 3-foot cut out in the hardwood flooring where Plexiglas was used instead to show off the unique Warmboard radiant installation.
Warmboard Contact Info:
Phone – 877-338-5493
Fax – 831-685-9278
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org 
Website – www.warmboard.com 
Client Name & Job Location:
Recycling the Orange Crush - CTA Great Falls Office
Great Falls, MT