Westlake Reed Leskosky: Smithsonian Institution Renwick Gallery

Westlake Reed Leskosky: Smithsonian Institution Renwick Gallery


Main attic mechanical room. Courtesy: Kevin ReevesEngineering firm: Westlake Reed Leskosky

2016 MEP Giants rank: 86

Project: Smithsonian Institution Renwick Gallery

Location: Washington, D.C.

Building type: Museum

Project type: Existing building retrofit

Engineering services: Automation, controls; electrical, power; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; energy, sustainability; plumbing, piping

Project timeline: March 2012 to November 2015

MEP/FP budget: $12 million

Grand stair. Courtesy: Kevin ReevesChallenges

The building was originally completed in the 1870s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first purpose-built art museum in the U.S. and became a Smithsonian Museum in the early 1970s. The engineering approach required sensitivity to the historic nature of the building within very tight spatial constraints. Systems are required to maintain appropriate environmental control for a varied collection (ASHRAE Class A), coupled with high visitor traffic.


The team worked in a highly integrated manner to allow replacement systems to better use space within the existing structure without any modifications to the existing mass of the building. The team helped pioneer a new type of LED source to allow the gallery lighting power density to operate at approximately 1 W/sq ft while still providing sufficient beam control for highlighting objects from sources located relatively far away. The project has performed approximately 50% more efficiently, even with visitor attendance approximately four times higher than in 2012, prior to renovation.

No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
MEP Giants; MEP Annual Report; Mergers and acquisitions; Passive, active fire protection; LED retrofits; HVAC energy efficiency
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me