Tennessee State Capitol
In 1859 the iconic Tennessee State Capitol building opened after 14 years of construction. The William Strickland designed Capitol building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest operating state capitol buildings in the country. Thanks to innovative solutions during construction, very little work has been done on the facility in its nearly century and a half lifetime. During the 1950s, the capitol building was outfitted with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. A minor 1980’s renovation addressed building finishes and portions of the electrical system.
In 2009, SSR was hired to be the prime engineering consultant for an infrastructure upgrade project. The overall intent of the project was to replace 50 year old MEP infrastructure with modern, code-compliant, functional, and energy efficient systems and provide new state-of-the-art security systems to align with the current uses and needs of the facility. The scope of work dictated that all HVAC and plumbing systems be replaced with new, along with a significant portion of the electrical systems.
All renovations were considered and implemented with the utmost of attention to maintaining the historic integrity of this valued building. SSR contracted with an architectural sub-consultant specializing in historic renovations to aid in advising on historic architectural impact of any potential modifications. Significant finish upgrades were included and some renovations to wall layouts were incorporated in the less historically sensitive areas.
Constructed entirely of stone, the building granted virtually no flexibility in structural modifications to accommodate modern-day MEP infrastructure. The existing HVAC systems had been installed in a facility that was not originally designed for air conditioning. The project was a welcome challenge in considering modern day system options to achieve an energy efficient and maintainable system resulting in a healthy, comfortable work environment.
Accelerated schedules made scope additions challenging for the time allotted. The amount of work proposed for construction was beyond what could normally be accomplished in the time available between legislative sessions. Careful, dedicated attention was required for proper staffing and scheduling of both the design and construction implementation scope. SSR assisted the owner and lead the design team through constant coordination and project planning meetings with all project stakeholders, including high-level government officials.
The design and construction team willingly put forth the efforts necessary to achieve a successful and predictable outcome for this very challenging project. All parties worked cooperatively and openly together with the common interest of achieving the goals of the State of Tennessee for the renovation of this historic landmark building that is treasured by each its occupants, citizens, and the people responsible for maintaining it.