National Museum of African American History and Culture


Located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Museum of African American History and Culture transcends boundaries of race and culture and offers a rich and diverse experience. After site selection was made in 2006, ground was broken in February 2012 with the help of President Barack Obama.

The museum features gallery spaces for historic artifacts, a theatre, office space, indoor water feature, and four floors of below-grade space. Through design-assist services, Southland Industries provided sheetmetal, HVAC piping, plumbing, testing, adjusting, and balancing, controls, insulation, and chemical treatment services for the 332,000 square foot facility. 


Facing budget constraints, Southland utilized cost-cutting solutions, such as resizing the chiller plant. Additionally, by moving the cooling tower from across the street to the museum’s façade, Southland was able to provide the owner with substantial savings.

By installing the duct risers in the shaft with rigging from onsite tower cranes, Southland was able to mitigate one of the project’s largest safety concerns, as well as decrease the schedule. Southland relied heavily on prefabrication, specifically within the concourse three mechanical room, located four levels below grade. Prefabricating this portion of the project reduced the project’s schedule by several months. 


With a large reclamation system for both ground and storm water, among other sustainable features, the museum was designed for sustainability and is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. 

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