It had been over two centuries since George Washington was president, and after many years of planning and anticipation, Whiting-Turner had the honor of building a library dedicated to the study of the first president on the grounds of his estate in Mount Vernon. The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington is a private building designed to house the literary collection of George Washington, as well as volumes supporting the study of the era, politics and the president himself.
18th Century Books
VOLUMES OWNED BY GEORGE AND MARTHA WASHINGTON
In the heart of the library, the secure, climate-controlled vault is designed to evoke the feeling of being inside the personal library of President Washington, complete with his manuscripts. There is a VESDA system in the sensitive areas of the library to protect the collections, which can detect smoke well before traditional fire alarm systems, providing early notification in case of an emergency.
The facilities are located on a 16-acre wooded site, and exterior portions of the project include a winding entry drive, multiple covered porches, stone terraces and native plantings. The project won the 2014 WBC Craftsmanship award for architectural millwork and the project received LEED® Gold certification.
- Education center
- Rare book rooms
- Collections vault
- Staff offices
- Grand reading room
- Meeting spaces
The library’s building envelope, systems and site design helped to acquire the LEED Gold certification. More than 75% of regularly occupied spaces in the library are day lit, and management wrote a green housekeeping policy for the facility. Energy-efficient systems include a dedicated heat-recovery ventilator, a hot water heating system with condensing boilers, daylight harvesting, dimmable lighting and occupancy sensors. Also, the location of the building is within one quarter mile of two bus stops, enabling the site to be accessible via the existing public transportation network.
To prevent erosion of the downstream receiving channels, bioretention basins located around the site were designed to reduce the post-development site run-off of stormwater and remove total suspended solids before returning the stormwater to the natural waterways. Strict standards for tree preservation were established that contributed to the achievement of exemplary performance in preservation of open space. In addition, more than 75% of generated waste was diverted from landfills during construction.