Science Museum of Virginia Dewey Gottwald Center

Richmond, VA

Science Museum of Virginia Dewey Gottwald Center

Scope of Services
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection (MEP/FP) Engineering Services
LEED Energy Modeling

The Science Museum of Virginia is a premier hub for hands-on education in Virginia. Designed for children 8 to 14 years old, the public museum is an important tool in the State’s effort to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. It also hosts visiting exhibitions from around the world.

In 2013, the Museum launched a campaign to reinvent itself with building renewal and exhibit updates. The renovation project includes the addition of a new 18,000 square-foot multi-purpose event center that will accommodate more than 1,000 guests for cultural, educational, commercial, and social events such as lectures, banquets, and weddings.

2RW Project Case Study Main Image

The MEP/FP design accommodates the sensitive environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, and ventilation) and varied lighting and power requirements needed to support a broad range of exhibits—all while meeting the energy performance target of 14% reduction over baseline. This includes:

  • Zoned HVAC systems to accommodate moveable partitions
  • Demand-controlled ventilation to reduce energy use during periods of low occupancy
  • Power and data outlets arranged in an array at floor level and above the ceiling to provide flexibility for a variety of A/V systems and configurations

2RW worked closely with the architects to identify high-performance building materials to promote sustainability goals such as special glass for the massive windows to minimize energy consumption.

2RW also supported the LEED process with planning, energy modeling, and documentation development services. For example, 2RW modeled a variety of HVAC system types, interior and exterior shading options, and glazing strategies (including electrochromic glass) to identify the most efficient and cost-effective systems and materials.


The final building design achieved 28% energy reduction over baseline, well above the initial target of 14%.

Scope of Services
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection (MEP/FP) Engineering Services
LEED Energy Modeling

OWNER: Science Museum of Virginia

TIMEFRAME: 2014 – 2017

SIZE: 18,000 SF

COST: $13.3 million

  • State-of-the-art media, audio, and lighting systems that will meet the needs of a broad variety of Museum exhibitors and clients who will rent the Event Center.
  • Carefully controlled humidity, temperature, and lighting levels that will accommodate national-caliber traveling exhibits.
  • Uniquely curved roof and fixed track partitioning system required intensive coordination of all above-ceiling systems and building elements.


2018 – Merit Award, AIA Central Virginia
2017 – Best Project Award, Cultural/Worship, Engineering News Record Mid-Atlantic Region.