The team that managed construction of Modules 3 and 4 and four cold-storage rooms at the Library of Congress Ft. Meade High-Density Storage Facility were honored with a national award on Oct. 27 in Orlando, Fla., from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).
The 2009 CMAA Project Achievement Award, in the category of new construction for a project under $50 million, was given to the Ft. Meade team, including representatives from the Library of Congress; the Architect of the Capitol (AOC); the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; John C. Grimberg Co., the contractor; and Einhorn, Yaffee and Prescott, the design firm.
The new storage units will house 33 million items from the Library’s special-format collections, including 10 million manuscripts; 2.3 million prints, drawings, photographs and posters; 2.1 million music sheets; 542,000 maps and 1.8 million items from the collections of the American Folklife Center. The new sections were completed on schedule in June 2009—taking 28 months to build—and were within budget. Congress appropriated $40.7 million for the project.
“This award is the result of hard work, determination and good old-fashioned communications within the Library of Congress; between the Library and the Architect of the Capitol; and the AOC and the Library jointly communicating through the Army Corps of Engineers to the design and construction firms and subcontractors. This was a big job, and the team made it look easy,” said Neal Graham, chief of the Library’s Facility Services.
“It’s a great honor to have this recognition bestowed on this joint project by the professional members of the CMAA,” said Acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers. “It is an excellent example of our focus on using the industry’s best practices for design and construction management. It also recognizes the great partnership we have with the Library of Congress. We have successfully worked together to meet the Library’s current needs and made plans to meet its future requirements.”
As noted in the project’s award application, “The builders of the project, in addition to simply constructing a building, were constructing the facility to be a highly complex and functional machine. … An integral part of the development of this large and complex facility was the construction of multiple mechanical systems to maintain strictly-controlled atmospheric conditions—uniform throughout the entire airspace of each module—as well as the integration of extensive shelving systems and a highly advanced fire-protection system. The new facility also features multiple office and administrative areas, as well as processing areas, a library materials quarantine room, loading docks, a central corridor and mechanical spaces.”
The Library of Congress, the Architect of the Capitol and the Baltimore Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were responsible for the oversight of the construction of the highly complex project, which was carried out by contractor John C. Grimberg Co.
Modules 3 and 4 and the cold-storage rooms were designed and constructed to last roughly 200 years, in order to carry out the Library’s main goal of providing for the long life of its collections.