Smithsonian Institution planning to undertake $1 billion overhaul of the National Air and Space Museum at Washington in U.S. The cost for the project making it the most costly project the institution has ever undertaken. There are a significant number of renovations which include the main roof and the HVAC system, the marble facade and glass curtain wall also need a total refresh. There are also plans to install 1,300 solar panels and innovate over 20 galleries inside.
The work is expected to begin around 2018 and the cost for the overhaul is put at almost $1 billion, making it the most costly project the Smithsonian Institution has ever undertaken. Currently, the museum consists of four monumental blocks clad in Tennessee Pink marble (limestone) panels separated by three recessed glass bays and alternating marble clad blocks. While the existing marble panels on the interior are in good condition, the marble cladding on the exterior has experienced “significant warping,” according to the Smithsonian Institution. During the meeting with the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the Smithsonian Institution sought input on alternatives, which include Tennessee Pink marble, Saint Claire limestone, Echo Lake granite, and Ultra High Performance concrete. Every year, approximately 7 million people visit the museum, making it one of the world’s most visited museums.
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