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“Faithfully Progressive”
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

The First Congregational Church of Berkeley was established after University of California president Daniel Coit Gilman requested a church be built adjacent to the university campus in Berkeley during his inaugural address in November of 1872.

The first service for the new church was held in The Berkeley Hotel in June of 1874 with 20 persons in attendance. Church membership grew quickly. The congregation outgrew two locations between the late 1800’s and early 1920’s. Construction on the current site began in 1923.

The heart of the HVAC system was a Sturtevant Multivane Fan ( The fan, with highly advanced technology for its time, was purchased and installed to provide comforting heat to the congregation. The Sturtevant Multivane Fan has proven to be so reliable that it continues to operate to this day. This is one of only eleven known to be still in existence and is the only one in California.

In late 2017, Select Mechanical ( of Livermore, California was enlisted with the goal of modifying the existing system to providing cooling, as well as heating to the church congregation. The staff of Select Mechanical determined that by adding some modern technology and design ingenuity to the existing system and by taking advantage of the durability and reliability of the Sturtevant Fan, it could provide a cost effective and efficient heating AND cooling system.

Select Mechanical’s crew enclosed two cavernous return air openings in the sanctuary ceiling and ductwork was added to return the air directly to the fan in the basement. Previously, the entire attic had been used as one gigantic return air plenum.

Along with the addition of the attic ductwork, motorized outside air dampers and exhaust air ductwork was added to utilize outside air to provide “free cooling” whenever the outside air temperature allowed. A large return air filter bank was installed as well as a new fan motor with a variable frequency drive. The new system is controlled by a direct digital control system that monitors indoor and outdoor air temperature, supply air temperature and return air temperature. The system’s dampers respond and adjust automatically to provide optimum efficiency and comfort.

The 93 years young Sturtevant Multivane Fan provided comforting heat to the congregation for worship services, concerts and lectures. The upgraded system, with modifications provided by Select Mechanical, will provide heat AND free cooling to the congregation of The First Congregational Church of Berkeley for many years to come.