Cleveland Park Library
Washington, D.C.
Award of Merit

Owner: District of Columbia Public Library
General Contractor: Gilbane Building Co.
Lead Design Firm: Perkins Eastman
Structural Engineer: ReStl Designers Inc.
Subcontractors: Freestate Electrical Service Co.; J&B Building Group (General Trades & Rough Carpentry); ISEC Inc. (Finish Carpentry); Corinthian Contractors Inc. (Demolition, Site Utilities, Earthwork & Concrete); Pro-Air Inc. (Plumbing & HVAC)


This 75-year-old community landmark will reliably serve many more generations of visitors thanks to a comprehensive renovation and expansion project that updates and expands public and administrative spaces, the team says. Completed on time and on budget, the $19.7-million project also overhauled the building’s underlying infrastructure. The D.C. library system’s first use of design-build offered numerous opportunities to incorporate ideas, refine design elements, reduce costs and achieve high standards for quality.

With an eye toward achieving LEED Gold certification, the project team used advanced modeling technology to combine LED lighting, daylighting and passive shading to reduce power density and create comfortable, well-lit spaces. Efficient fixtures and native landscaping minimize water use. Rain gardens and a hidden stormwater retention facility minimize impact on regional watersheds.

Adding 7,000 sq ft of new space on a site constrained by subway ventilation shafts and adjacent businesses required a complex sequencing strategy to synchronize construction tasks and material deliveries. Coordinating site demolition activity helped safeguard the shafts from dust, debris and vibration. A detailed sequencing plan for the facade materials reduced the potential for conflicts and delays. Assessing work execution from the project’s outset, rather than near its completion, allowed deficiencies to be corrected early, preventing mistakes from being repeated, according to the team.

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