Project File: Restoring historic structures

June 1, 2003
The University of Virginia-- Charlottesville, The Miller Center for Public Affairs

The University of Virginia — Charlottesville recently completed a renovation and expansion project for the landmark structure, the Miller Center for Public Affairs building.

The Miller Center houses offices and conference space, as well as the Scripps Library and Multimedia Center, a research library on “Presidency and American Political Development.” In addition to construction of the new Thompson Pavilion, the project included restoration work on the circa-1856 Faulkner House.

The $7 million modernization included extensive building system upgrades to improve temperature and humidity control in the historic structure. Through close cooperation with the architects, modern systems were incorporated into the existing Faulkner House, while maintaining the building's architectural integrity.

The most significant mechanical and architectural challenge involved the location of a new chiller. In order to minimize noise from the chiller, which would adversely affect the atmosphere of the library and reading room, the equipment was placed in a mechanical room directly below these facilities, with the sound transmission at a virtually inaudible level above.

The project architects are Vanderweil Engineers (Alexandria, Va.) and Geier Brown Renfrow Architects (Alexandria).

For more information on these projects and others, visit

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