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Church Building Preserves History, Clears Air

                                                                                                                                                      In the spring of 2014, Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church undertook a $1.4 million organ renovation, concurrent with electrical, plumbing, and air system renovations. Prior to the air system renovation, humidity was reported to be a significant problem.



The Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church's 62,000-square-foot, multi-level building in Omaha, Neb., dates back to 1906. A centerpiece of the church’s sanctuary is the three-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ, installed in 1950 as a memorial honoring Kountze’s members who served in World War II.

Dust and high humidity can have deleterious effects on an organ, potentially causing some of the instrument’s pipes to become stuck open. To protect their investments, as well as preserve the church building’s distinctive and historical features, Kountze needed to keep the building’s indoor air as free of excessive humidity and airborne dust as possible.

In the spring of 2014, Kountze undertook a $1.4 million organ renovation, concurrent with electrical, plumbing, and air system renovations. Prior to the air system renovation, humidity was reported to be a significant problem.

Because keeping the church’s air system performing optimally was of primary concern, inspecting and cleaning the church’s air ducts and air handlers was in order. It was determined that the church’s seven air handlers needed cleaning, and some of the ductwork should be replaced.

The task of renovating Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church’s HVAC system was complicated by multiple factors, including the size and multi-level layout of the building, the age of the building, the need to preserve the building’s unique and valuable architectural elements and decorative features, and the fact that other renovation projects were being conducted at the same time as the air duct system renovation.

Sealing the air handlers and ductwork with Carlisle’s RE-500 sealant was recommended to address the challenges posed by the renovation. Applied with an airless sprayer, RE-500 helps improve indoor air quality by keeping fiberglass particles from ductwork insulation out of the airstream. RE-500 was the sealant of choice for this job because it has a low VOC content, applies quickly and easily, seals immediately and completely, dries rapidly and cleans up easily. Because of these qualities, its application would interfere minimally, if at all, with the other renovations that were taking place alongside the overhaul of the air duct system.


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