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We specialize in mechanical engineering services for building systems such as HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing. We care about the impact the building systems we design have on occupants such as air quality, comfort, and efficiency. Whether we are planning for a work environment, learning environment, or living environment, we always keep the end-user in mind.

There is a wide variety of ventilation systems that can be provided in different building types. The mechanical engineers at Obernel Engineering have designed almost every type of air handling unit and ventilation system ever installed in a building. Air handling unit equipment consists of:

  • Furnaces
  • Roof Top Units
  • Single Zone Air Handling Units
  • Variable Air Volume Air Handling Units and Ventilation Systems
  • Multi Zone Systems
  • Dual Duct Systems
  • Built Up Air Handling Units
  • Specialty Units (that control odors)
  • Humidity
  • Energy Recovery

Every building requires thoughtful consideration of the type of ventilation system that is going to be installed. Obernel’s experienced engineers have worked with every type of system and are knowledgeable in applying the proper systems and equipment into all building types.

In the last 20 years, automatic temperature controls systems have changed immensely. The days of pneumatic controls, which operated mechanical control devices, are in the past. Today, systems have advanced from compressed air pneumatic systems to all electronic systems. Even so, existing facilities still have pneumatic controls. Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineers are familiar, comfortable and understand pneumatic controls.

Modern controls have put a significant amount of responsibility on engineers in today’s world. Understanding and knowing the abilities and capabilities of modern controls equipment is imperative to the design of mechanical HVAC systems. Modern building automation systems consist of electronic controls monitoring, electronic hardware and electronic software. Modern controls require that plant operators can monitor and control equipment from remote stations within a building as well as over the internet. Modern buildings allow building operators to be at their home, in another building or on the road with the ability to maintain monitoring the control’s set points and follow building operations.

In addition to the new electronic controls, the controls sequences that are made available due to the computerized capabilities of the new control systems. The ability of the engineer is greatly enhanced. New controls systems must take into account modern day requirements such as carbon dioxide detection for indoor air quality, outside air quantities and energy efficiency. Obernel’s experienced Engineers design modern HVAC systems to provide good indoor air quality while maintaining the highest efficiency possible.

Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineers have expertly designed and worked on all sizes and types of cooling systems, ranging from small air cooled condensing units for furnaces, to self contained equipment within rooftop air handling equipment, to water based chillers that cool entire campuses.

For example, at Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota, Obernel provided design for state of the art, variable speed high efficiency 2,000 ton water cooled chillers. In addition, Obernel provided the large campus of Sanford Health an installation two 1,375 ton chillers through a phased installation program. Understanding both small and large cooling systems is critical to provide owners with the most appropriate system available.

Obernel’s engineers are experts when it comes to large cooling systems and complex equipment for applications (such as data in computer rooms). Our firm has the experienced staff to design and select the equipment and systems for any application.

Cooling Systems

Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineers take the design of fire protection systems seriously. Our firm is one of the few that has a Registered Fire Protection Engineer on staff. Obernel provides fire protection systems for all building types including schools, universities, medical facilities, hotels/motels , dormitories, office buildings and research facilities.

Obernel goes to great lengths to coordinate fire protection requirements with architectural and structural building system components. Clients can trust that Obernel will provide a safe and secure fire protection system within their building.

Fire Protection

Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineers have a vast amount of experience in the design and installation of heat generation equipment including:

  • Gas Fired Boilers
  • Oil Fired Boilers
  • Propane Fired Boilers
  • Direct Unit Heaters

Throughout our firm’s history, Obernel has become familiar with high pressure steam boilers, low pressure steam boilers, high pressure hot water boilers, low pressure hot water boilers, fuel oil fired boilers, natural gas, propane and electric fired boilers. The options for boiler design and selection are far more complex than could be imagined. Obernel has vast experience in the following types of boilers:

  • Water Tube Boilers
  • Fire Tube Boilers
  • Cast Iron Sectional Boilers
  • Coal Boilers
  • Flexible Tube Boilers
  • High Efficiency Condensing Boilers
  • Hot Water Oil Boilers
  • Electric Boilers
  • Thermal Storage Boilers

Obernel has worked on boilers ranging in size from 20 mbh to 20,000 mbh. When it comes to a thorough understanding of the requirements and specialty requirements for all types of boilers, Obernel has experience that is second to none.

Heat Generation

Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineers have experience in over 4,500 projects. Our knowledgeable staff provides the best design in heating, cooling and ventilation systems with the proper knowledge and understanding of selecting heat transfer equipment and distribution systems.

Obernel has worked on high pressure boiler plants ranging from 3,000 horse power to small projects that require furnaces only. Each project requires a unique understanding of the heating equipment that is to be provided and the distribution systems that will be installed to provide comfort to the occupants of a building. When it comes to systems and equipment that require heat transfer, the staff at Obernel has experience in a vast array of different applications.

Heat Distibution

Throughout our company’s history, we’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of different industrial environments to complete projects specific to each owner. The diversity of our experiences has provided us with a wealth of knowledge to meet any challenges our customers face with poise and positivity.

At Obernel, we focus our industrial design on four core areas; central energy, industrial HVAC, electrical system design and industrial equipment selection and installation. With Obernel’s expertise and technical competence, we deliver highly-engineered solutions of all types and scale.

Central Energy (Universities, Hospitals, Process Plants)

  • High-pressure boiler plants
  • High tonnage chilled water plants
  • Combined heat and power co-generation plants
  • Campus utility distribution (Steam, Condensate, Chilled Water, Heating Water)

Industrial HVAC (Manufacturing Facilities, Milling Operations, Warehouses)

  • Heating, cooling, ventilation, humidification control specifically designed for large industrial applications
  • Air quality and filtration for industrial operations requiring extensive air treatment
  • Dust and fume collection systems

Industrial Equipment Selection and Installation (Process and Refining, Packaging, Manufacturing, Food Processing)

  • New mechanical and electrical equipment to replace outdated equipment
  • Process upgrades to increase efficiency and capacity
  • Implementation of new production systems
  • Total project administration from project budgeting through completion of construction
UND School of Medicine

At Obernel Engineering, our electrical engineers have over 35 years of experience in the design and layout of medical gas systems. Medical gas systems consist of oxygen, vacuum, medical compressed air, nitrous and nitrous dioxide. The medical gas systems are vital in medical facilities because they are responsible for keeping patients healthy and alive. A thorough understanding of codes and National Fire Protection Association requirements for medical gas systems is imperative.

At Obernel, we have completed over 1,000 healthcare projects, many of which have required new medical gas systems and connections to existing systems. We are serious about providing functional medical gas systems, which are extremely important to the health and safety of patients in hospitals.

Medical Gas

One of the basic mechanical systems in virtually all projects is plumbing systems. Plumbing systems consist of sanitary sewer, sanitary vent piping and domestic hot and cold water. Different building types have different complexities of piping systems. For example, hospitals have a multitude of different rooms (exam rooms, patient rooms, surgery rooms) which require specialized plumbing systems understanding.

In addition, restaurants, science and research buildings as well as large events centers require experienced engineers with knowledge of how to administer different types of the plumbing fixtures and their use as required. Obernel Engineering’s mechanical engineering and technical staff are fortunate in having Jeff Splichal in office. Jeff is a master plumber with 10 years of plumbing experience. Jeff’s plumbing expertise has given our staff a unique understanding of the special requirements for various plumbing systems.


Specialty piping includes, but is not limited to: liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, fuel oil, natural gas, propane, nitrous oxide, nitrogen and ammonia. These types of specialty systems require an in depth knowledge and understanding of the requirements for the piping and storage distribution systems.

Obernel Engineering has had the opportunity to work on several specialty piping projects and we make sure that the design and layout of these systems is done right the first time. At Obernel, our mechanical engineers do not experiment or make an educated guess, we make informed decisions based on years of previous experience.

Specialty Piping
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