Honoring the greatest achievements in aviation and space history, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum opened in 1976. Since then, building-wide issues made a $1 billion renovation necessary to transform one of the world’s most visited museums into a more secure, innovative, and engaging place. Primary features include a new exterior, new mechanical systems, increased storage capacity, and updated security.

The existing foundations will increase as much as 50% to the core of the original building due to the proposed building addition’s load capacity. The new foundations will be required to support the wing-like vestibule structures proposed for the north and south entrances. The Tennessee marble facade will be replaced with new panels and, for the second time in 15 years, the glass curtain wall glazing will be replaced with triple-glazed, thermally broken panels with an aluminum frame and internal steel reinforcement for blast resistance. Across the roof, 1,300 solar panels will be installed.

Starting in 2014, Schnabel Engineering DC (SEDC)* performed a subsurface investigation at the site, developing the geotechnical characteristics of the site, and provided preliminary recommendations for foundations and related earthwork for the schematic design phase. Our work continued during the design development phase and, currently, we’re providing geotechnical engineering and construction administration services during the renovations of the interior and exterior of the building. We will provide a final geotechnical engineering report upon completion of all analysis for the project.

*SEDC is an affiliate of Schnabel Engineering, Inc.