Wright Brothers Memorial


Wright Brothers Memorial Visitor Center Commissioning Project

HICAPS’ Building Diagnostics Team was selected by the National Parks
Service (NPS) to provide enhanced mechanical, electrical and building
enclosure commissioning services for the renovation of the Wright
Brothers Memorial Visitors Center in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of
North Carolina. The 9,600-square-foot modernist building constructed in 1959
serves more than 500,000 visitors annually and was designated as a National
Historic Landmark in 2001. The space includes a domed assembly/flight room
with a life-size reproduction of the airplane Orville and Wilbur first set into flight,
a museum area, a gift shop and public service areas.

Over the years, much of the Visitors Center’s architecturally significant features
and materials have been lost to “unsympathetic modern alterations.” The goal
of the NPS is to restore the building to its original aesthetics while upgrading to
more robust and energy efficient building enclosure, mechanical and electrical
systems. The project has been designed to comply with and receive a LEED®
Gold Certification upon completion and boasts a geothermal heat pump system,
state-of-the-art insulated, low-emissivity glazing systems, a continuous air barrier
system, a new insulated and reflective thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof system
among other sustainable systems and materials.