For the 900 patrons that fill Hale Centre Theatre’s theater-in-the-round, more than 80 tons of cooling is required to maintain thermal comfort. Add more than half a million watts of connected light load and typical thermal gain of a building of this size, plus the complexities of theater equipment, theatrical fog, pyrotechnics and smoke evacuation and it’s clear VBFA’s unmatched expertise was crucial to the design of Hale Centre Theatre. Piping and ducts were routed around architectural features and noise-sensitive spaces, which required weaving mechanical systems into very tight spaces. In addition to dealing with unusually tight spaces, an underground groundwater drainage system was designed to pump water from under the building to prevent the building from “floating” up off its foundation.


VBFA was responsible for the mechanical and civil engineering for this convention facility, which includes an exhibit hall, grand ballroom, and meeting rooms. A new central chilled water plant, consisting of two 1000-ton chillers and a 450-ton chiller, was designed to provide the needs of the new building plus tie into the existing facility. The original 850-ton chiller in the addition was moved to the new chiller plant.

A new boiler plant, consisting of two 600 hp high-pressure steam boilers, was added to meet the needs of the new building, the addition, and Phase II of the expansion. The high-pressure steam, chilled water, hot water, gas piping, and other utilities were installed in new utility tunnels that extend more than 1,000 ft. to the existing building and other portions of the expansion, which covers 30 acres of downtown Salt Lake City.