Firestone Memorial Library opened in 1948 and for many years was the largest open-stack library in the world. As the collections grew, the subterranean levels were expanded in two major addition projects in 1971 and 1988. As presently configured, the library encompasses roughly 420,000 square feet of book stacks, reading areas, rare books vault, and support space, all dedicated to the humanities and social sciences.
Princeton has undertaken a seven-year, six-phase interior renovation. As an integral part of the renovation, significant upgrades are being made to the mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems to meet current sustainability standards and to keep pace with the functional demands of a world-class research library. BBA is providing MEP engineering design. The $140 million project, designed 100 percent in Revit (BIM), embraces the principles of sustainable design and integrated project delivery.
The schematic design phase included detailed life-cycle cost studies to guide the university’s decision-making process in the selection of building envelope and mechanical system upgrades. Engineering aspects of the Firestone Memorial Library renovation include fortifying the rare books vault with the latest fire detection and protection system technology along with precise humidity and temperature controls; new, more efficient HVAC systems; a VAV system with new insulated ductwork; and chilled beams with individual zone controls to increase cooling capacity while decreasing maintenance costs.