National Museum of the United States Air Force Expansion


The National Museum of the United States Air Force (USAF) is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world and is dedicated to conserve and present the Air Force’s history through exhibits, educational programming, and outreach. It is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.


The Challenge

The museum wanted to expand its footprint, adding four new galleries: Presidential, Research and Development, Space, and Global Reach, along with three Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning areas.


The Solution

Barge Design Solutions developed an energy-efficient design that includes an improved building structure, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, and LED lighting system. These features resulted in an overall energy reduction of 43% compared to an ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline building.

Site work involved additional stormwater drainage and taxiways to allow for movement of exhibit aircraft from other museum buildings, including President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and an XB-70 Valkyrie. Power and data were provided through a duct system that allows for flexibility and future expansion. STEM areas were designed to accommodate various class sizes and activities.

The $40.8 million expansion increased exhibit space by 25%, adding 224,000 square feet to the museum.



By the Numbers

$0 million construction cost
0 square foot addition
0 percent energy reduction

The Barge Factor

Twenty years of experience at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base gave Barge Design Solutions a level of comfort with the facility and to meet the clients’ needs.

The expansion received a Citation Award for Facility Renovations and Additions in the 2016 USAF Design Award Program.

We’re collaborative by design. Let’s team up.

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