Christ Church Episcopal

Mechanical upgrades for historical landmark

  • Owner:
    The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
  • Location:
    Alexandria, VA
  • Size:
    historical brick two-story church built in 1773 & parish house
  • Approach:
    Design/Build
  • Scope:
    HVAC, Plumbing, Piping

RM Thornton Mechanical was awarded the Design/Build HVAC contract to design and install a new comprehensive HVAC system for the historic Christ Church Episcopal and the Parish House buildings.

Designed by James Wren in the colonial Georgian style and built during the period between 1767 and 1773, Christ Church was the first Episcopal Church in Alexandria and a place of worship for many prominent historical American figures including George Washington, Robert E. Lee, George Mason and many U.S. presidents.  Legend has it that George Washington announced to his friends in the Christ Church graveyard his intentions of fighting for American independence.  In 1970, Christ Church was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

In the design phase of the project, RM Thornton identified a range of high efficiency and cost effective HVAC options for Christ Church to consider and review.   For each option, a life-cycle cost analysis as well as a schematic design was developed addressing some of the many priorities and challenges of this project.  The owner’s major priorities included architectural impact, energy consumption, total ownership cost and potential operational disruption.  The Christ Church Committee was so pleased with the proposed approach for the design, GMP and life-cycle analysis, that they decided to forgo the bid process for the installation and awarded the project to RM Thornton Mechanical.