Modular Building Institute

Temporary White House Visitor Center

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Modular Genius, Inc.
Design Space, Inc.
Washington, DC, DC
Building Use:
Visitor Information and Screening
Gross Size of Project:
1400 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    A solution was needed for visitor information and screening, to include retail sales, during the 15 month rehabilitation of the White House Visitor Center. Modular Genius provided a 1,400 sq ft modular building consisting of two 14’ x 50’ units with special attention to interior and exterior details. The layout is wide open with assembly type seating for viewing presentation videos of the White House tour. Upgraded casework was used for the display counters and display boards, with upgrade display lighting. Security, planning and coordination were critical, as this building as being installed on the White House grounds. It was installed in a secure area that required special planning around security barriers. Units could only deliver within a limited timeframe, with USS assistance, so White House activity was not disrupted. The temporary visitor center was installed at The Ellipse in President’s Park, Washington, DC, for the National Capital Region, National Park Service.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The HVAC had to be designed to handle 128 occupants, while running efficiently; two 5-ton York efficiency rooftop HVAC units were used. Rooftop units were chosen for best security and aesthetics. Upgraded fresh air intakes were installed to meet high occupancy loads and airflow. Modular construction provided a quick and less disruptive installation. All finishes were critical to ensure that the building had a permanent appearance. Interior finishes consisted of upgraded carpet, with acoustical ceilings and upgraded vinyl covered gypsum walls throughout the building. The exterior was upgraded HardiePlank horizontal lap siding w/ trim, a 45 mil epdm roof system, upgraded windows & doors designed to meet high assembly use, as well as high security. All windows, doors and solar skylight tubes were equipped with intrusion devises & interconnected for the highest security available. The fire alarm system & security intercom system provide incomparable security & safety within the building.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Energy efficiency was accomplished by constructing the building with (a) R-22 insulation in the floor, (b) R-19 insulation in the exterior walls, (c) R-41 insulation in the roof, and (d) an energy-efficient rooftop package HVAC system with duct and programmable thermostats. Additionally, high-performance double insulated low E-clear windows with Argon gas were installed to provide additional efficiency, especially with the cross winds from the open fields throughout the different seasons. To ensure further heating and cooling efficiency, all exterior doors were commercial steel insulated doors with aluminum insulated frames. Skylights were provided to allow natural light in the building and to help with the overall lighting efficiently.
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