Renewing City Hall, Saving Energy




Have you been curious as to why City Hall has been under construction?

Duluth City Hall is in the process of receiving top to bottom upgrades to create a safer space for occupants and visitors and to improve energy efficiency. With City Hall’s original technology from 1927, the building lacked proper ventilation and air conditioning. The mechanical systems of the building needed to be renewed for COVID-19 safety and energy efficiency.

Ventilation upgrades to City Hall will improve indoor air quality, increase heating efficiency, and remove legacy materials like asbestos and lead. The climate control systems will switch from steam radiators and prehistoric air handlers, to a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system and perimeter hot water, which will improve heating efficiency by around 30%. The climate control systems will allow building operators to maintain building conditions all year around. This will greatly help to preserve the building’s plaster walls and other elements that currently have to be repaired often due to high humidity and significant temperature changes.

The project is expected to be substantially completed by the end of May, with all new systems being tested in commissioned over the summer. The City is using funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a fiscal recovery fund for projects that deliver relief to people, the economy, and make people safer from the COVID-19 virus. While it may inconvenient to walk and work around construction areas now, City Hall will soon be a safer and healthier place to meet, vote, apply for permits, and work!