Lehigh University, Linderman Library

Linderman Library

This 19th-century four-story, 80,000-sf building was renovated into a 21st century humanities and intellectual center, with new seminar and group study rooms, a new rotunda entrance from the main lobby, a café and commons, improved building navigation, new HVAC and lighting systems, code upgrades and the latest information technology. The building had steam heat only with residential style window air conditioners. The challenge was to preserve the building's historic nature while providing the environmental control and comfort of a new structure. Due to these unique circumstances, the conventional HVAC system with centralstation air handling equipment producing large volumes of conditioned air could not be used. Rather, a system of terminal fan coil units with ducted fresh air was designed. The comfort control systems were integrated into the building's existing architectural features. The terminal heating and air conditioning units serving the first floor main reading room are fitted in the custom architectural enclosures that are recessed into the book stack area below the reading room and within the existing bench window seats and book shelving units within the space. Other library renovations included: the construction of a small utility building, upgrading the life safety standards, a new sprinkler and fire alarm system and making the facility handicapped accessible.