The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority’s purchase, renovation, and restoration of the massive Union Depot offered the construction and conservator teams many challenges. The challenges required a design that balanced historic elements of a once fully built-out train station with the future vision of a building to be used as an event center, a community gathering place, and a multi-modal transportation hub.
The renovation work followed a thorough investigation of the structural elements of the building, and the electrical and mechanical systems. A completely new heating and cooling system was designed and installed for the public space. Efficiency of operations and comfort for passengers and visitors during the seasonal temperature variations of more than 100 degrees was and is of the highest priority. Events at Union Depot range from yoga classes in the football-field-sized waiting room to business meetings and celebrations in the Red Cap Room to weddings and large public events such as Doggie Depot and the Annual Bake Sale.
During large events in any season the challenge of heating or cooling a space as large as Union Depot is significant. The building has multiple entry points, traditional brick exterior, ceiling heights of 40 feet, generally open floor plans, and an elevated, bridge-like concourse and waiting room. Welcoming 15 people to play giant board games or a few thousand people (and their four-legged companions) while keeping everyone comfortable is possible with District Energy’s reliable, consistent heating and cooling.
The number of travelers through and visitors to Union Depot grows each year. The connection to District Energy’s hot and cold water system allows the facility to continuously meet the challenges of variable demand – from large events to a few passengers throughout the course of any one day.