Diagnosing New Concerns in Historic Facilities: Chown Pella

NWESI provided TAB troubleshooting for Chown Pella.

Located in the 13th Avenue Historic District in the Pearl, Chown Pella is a landmark in the neighborhood. The original 1910-era building has a seven story south building, and north building of five floors, with a striking brick exterior. It was converted into loft dwellings in 1995. Chown Pella is on the National Historic Register.

Industry: Commercial
Location: Oregon

Why the project began

Since its 1995 conversion, the facility has undergone upgrades, most recently being the HVAC systems. However, condo owners were experiencing undiagnosed issues related to: temperature control of common corridors and noise complaints, and wanted an evaluation of the upgraded HVAC equipment for compliance to contracted scope.

Chown Pella Project Approach

An initial site walk was conducted to gain a better understanding of the building, and talk to the clients about their concerns. Following this, two condos were inspected to review the installed condition of the exhaust systems, as well as other initiatives. Action items included:

  • Investigate noise concerns.
  • Review MAU operating parameters related to temperature control in corridors.
  • Review controls for duct static pressure control for exhaust fan systems.
  • As conditions allow, measure total airflow of the 3 MAUs and a sample of 5 exhaust fans.
  • Review controls interaction of the MAUs & EF systems.
  • Evaluate installed HVAC equipment / systems for compliance to contracted scope.


Our recommendations for this facility included redefining, establishing and documenting a sequence of operations (SOO) to address the control parameters for HVAC systems; documenting SOO’s and setpoints for inclusion in the operations and maintenance manual;  modifications to the maintenance of the exhaust fans and monitoring operation over seasonal conditions to make adjustments as needed. These recommendations should allow the facility to help minimize or resolve owner concerns.


Historic facilities that are updated to fit modern times often come with unforeseen issues that can disturb client comfort and health. Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing troubleshooting can help ensure these facilities are operating at their best to maintain facility longevity and client satisfaction.

Standard Project Profile here.

Chown Pella