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District Energy System

James K. Polk Building
Underground Tunnel Connects Pipes with Buildings

James K. Polk BuildingDES provides heating and cooling services to more than 40 buildings in the downtown Nashville area. The James K. Polk Building is one of the most unique customers on the system. Named for the 11th president of the United States and Tennessee resident James K. Polk, the 18-story office tower houses the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

The Tennessee State Museum is one of the largest state museums in the nation and has more than 60,000 square feet of permanent exhibits and a 10,000-square-foot changing exhibition hall. Artifacts in the exhibits date as far back as 15,000 years and continue through the early 1900s interpreting the state’s history. The museum houses special displays of artifacts produced by Tennesseans. The steam and chilled water service provided by DES not only heats and cools the building, but also provides humidification for these priceless artifacts.

TPAC is the state’s leading performing arts and arts education center. Among its many operations, TPAC presents a series of Broadway shows and special engagements and administers a comprehensive education program. It is also home to four resident performing arts organizations: Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera Association, The Nashville Symphony, and Tennessee Repertory Theatre. TPAC has four different venues for performances. The Andrew Johnson Theater is the smallest and seats approximately 250 people. The Andrew Jackson Hall seats nearly 2,500. DES is able to keep the different-sized venues at comfortable temperatures, no matter the size of the crowd.

DES serves many buildings in different capacities and is especially proud to be able to serve a building so important to Tennessee’s history and culture.