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Tennessee State Library and Archives

Nashville, TN

The new home of the Tennessee State Library and Archives is a 165,000 SF facility and 74,000 SF below-grade parking deck. It includes a climate-controlled chamber for safely storing historic books and manuscripts as well as a state-of-the-art robotic retrieval system. The world-class state facility will also contain classrooms for teaching students and meeting space for training librarians and archivists. “Tennessee has a strong and rich history, and it is important to preserve our past to pass on to future generations,” Gov. Haslam said. “We have significantly outgrown the space that currently houses Tennessee’s most significant and historic documents and vital records, so I thank the General Assembly for working with us to make this much-needed new Library and Archives facility a reality.”

The site is on Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Sixth Avenue N and Jefferson Street. The facility will be a major upgrade in capacity, preservation, and public access from the current 1950s era building which sits directly west of the State Capitol. The $123.8 million project, which started in 2005, received substantial funding in 2018 after being included in the governor’s budget and approved by the General Assembly. The new building ensures Tennessee’s history will be preserved for generations while making it more accessible. This world-class facility will blend the necessity of historic preservation with the ever-increasing demand for digital access. The new building will feature a conservation lab for the treatment and restoration of books, photographs, and documents. There will also be dedicated exhibit spaces for Tennessee’s founding documents and rotating exhibits as well as a grand reading room with seating for 100 readers and scholars. Other features include a vault for storing photographic negatives, an early literacy center designed specifically for children with a visual disability, and a recording lab to produce oral histories and audio books on Tennessee history. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021. ICT completed the engineering design for all mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, lighting, power and distribution, low voltage, and Information Transport & Systems Design (IT&S) for the facility. Notable design features of these systems include the following for the high performance world class facility:

  • Zero water design of mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems above collection areas
  • 27,000 sq. ft. internal courtyard
  • 11,000 sq. ft. 40 feet high bay rack storage ASRS (Automated Storage Retrieval System) Vault that is conditioned for Special Collection Archives, 60 Degrees F to 65 Degrees F, 35% minimum and 45% maximum humidity year round
  • 4,250 sq. ft. current collections area 68°F to 72°F, 35% to 60% relative humidity
  • 1,400 sq. ft. permanent collections area 68°F to 72°F, 35% to 45% relative humidity
  • 3,300 sq. ft. special collections area 60°F to 65°F, 35% to 45% relative humidity
  • 290 sq. ft. microfilm vault collection area 55°F, 40% relative humidity
  • 120 sq. ft. historic vault collection area 35°F, 30% relative humidity
  • Redundant temperature and humidity alarms addressed to redundant monitoring systems for each collection area
  • 900 ton High Efficiency Centrifugal Chiller Plant with water side economizer free cooling and infinitely Variable Chilled Water Plant optimization algorithm
  • 9000 MBH 95% Efficient Condensing Boiler plant serving building heating
  • Instantaneous natural gas domestic water heaters with mixing valve distribution temperature control
  • Electric resistive clean steam humidifiers
  • 1,000 KW Emergency Power Full Emergency Backup of Cooling Systems
  • Fire Alarm System
  • 0.69 w/sq ft Lighting Design with LEED Certified Lighting Daylighting and Occupancy Controls
  • Custom Central Station air handlers with fan array and multiple variable frequency drive arrangement for redundancy and water side economizer 
  • High Efficiency variable volume temperature controls to minimize re-heat and ventilation loads
  • 25% Domestic water use reduction utilizing high efficiency fixtures
  • Below slab garage deck ground water collection system with storm water pump system to relieve high water table
  • Fire Protection systems design with dry systems serving below grade garage, manual combination manual stand pipe system serving entire building
  • Pre-Action Fire Protection systems serving Reading Room, and ASRS vault
  • Dry pipe Fire Protection system serving parking garage
  • Clean Agent fire protection systems serving vault storage areas
  • 30% building energy efficiency and utility savings over ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 baseline
  • 95% efficient final filters for improved indoor air quality
  • Enhanced Outdoor Air Quality Strategies with cross-contamination prevention, filtration, increased ventilation, and carbon dioxide monitoring.
  • Redundant MDF server room cooling systems
  • Technology drawings for voice, data, wireless infrastructure pathways, spaces and layout of telecommunications equipment rooms, entrance facilities and MDF/IDF spaces
  • Horizontal and backbone cabling pathways
  • Systems design to support future infrastructure and integration needs


165,000 SF




TMPartners and Tuck-Hinton - Joint Venture



Spring 2021