Case Study

The Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building (AIB) is the second oldest Smithsonian museum on the National Mall and is one of approximately 2,500 “National Historic Landmarks” in the United States.

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The Problem

A previous analysis determined the AIB did not comply with applicable fire and life safety code or egress requirements, and until compliance was met, the building could not be occupied. However, compliance was not possible without permanently compromising the building’s historic features.

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The Solution

We conducted a performance-based fire analysis in accordance with NFPA code. Using fire and smoke modeling, we found the ground floor could be safely occupied without building modifications and the mezzanine could be safely occupied with additional fire protection features, such as smoke control.

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The Results

Our analysis safeguarded the historic fabric of this 130+ year old building while providing the Smithsonian with the information they needed to transition the AIB back into a functioning branch of the Smithsonian Institution.