The National Museum of Health and Medicine recently achieved a milestone that we couldn’t be more enthused or proud to have played a part in reaching.
On May 21, the museum re-opened its doors as part of its 150th Anniversary celebration in its new location and building, designed and constructed by Costello Construction.
Completed in August of 2011 and located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the 20,000-square-foot building is one of the first blast resistant Tilt-Up concrete buildings in the United States. Additionally, the building was designed and constructed to achieve a LEED-Silver rating – making this one of the most unique and innovative projects we’ve completed.
The museum, which houses an incredible collection of war-time artifacts, truly is an impressive showcase of U.S. military and medical history. Bullets, amputated limbs and skulls include just a few of the intriguing items on display.
“The museum has 25 million artifacts,” said Tim Clarke Jr., the museum’s deputy director for communications. “Including the world’s largest collection of microscopes, a soldier’s notebook that stopped a bullet and a metal breastplate that failed to.” – The Washington Post
Because of the nature of the items housed at the Museum – highly sensitive, one-of-a-kind artifacts which are irreplaceable – we needed to ensure that the design and construction of the building protected the interior while still providing functionality. In order to preserve these artifacts, humidity levels inside the Museum must remain very high, creating construction concerns that required insightful solutions, such as the site-cast concrete spandral panels and the use of Tilt-Up concrete to create a substrate that provided a vapor barrier constructed to the most stringent of standards.
At the end of the day, we knew how to build this extraordinarily complicated facility and we really believe our innovation and dedication was the driving force behind the success of the project.
So, the next time you visit our nation’s capital, we recommend taking the short trip to Silver Spring to tour this magnificent museum. And, while you’re admiring all of the amazing, somewhat eerie and historic items inside the building, we ask that you take a minute to step back and admire the innovation and ingenuity that houses it – let us know what you think!