Building Statistics  

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library is a part of the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary School located in Princeton, NJ.  As a celebration for the bi-centennial anniversary of the school, a 99,585 sqft new addition to the library complex was decided upon by the school, along with the renovation of the existing library.

General Building Data

Building name | Princeton Theological Seminary Library
Location | Princeton, NJ
Site | 29 Library Place, Princeton, NJ
Building Occupant Name | Princeton Theological Seminary
Occupancy type | Group A-3 Assembly
Size | 99,585 sqft
Number of stories | 4 + 1 basement

Project Team  
Owner | Princeton Theological Seminary  
Construction Manager | Barr & Barr


Design Architects | EinhornYaffee Prescott


Architect of Record | EwingCole


Engineers | EwingCole


Landscape Architect | Andropogon Associates


Civil Engineer | Van Note Harvey Associates


Dates of construction | Mar 2010-Dec 2012  
Actual Construction Cost | 55 million  
Building Delivery Method | design-bid-build  


The Princeton Theological Seminary, in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of the school, is re-planning their Library complex.  With their recent demolishment of the Speer Building in Phase 1 of this project, Phase 2 is currently under construction.  The plan for this phase is to build a 99,585 sq ft addition to the remaining library, the Luce Building, which will be renovated in Phase 3.  The library’s addition rises 4 floors above grade with an additional floor below.  The crowning architectural piece of the addition is the 4 story atrium.  Located in the center of the building,it brings daylight to the open collection areas but also serves as the connection between the new addition and the existing Luce Building.  Three bridges in the addition were integrated into the atrium to connect to the existing bridges in the Luce Building.  These three bridges located on the first, second and third floors of the Luce Building used to connect to the Speer Building.  Access from these bridges to the new addition leads to large open spaces which house the library’s general collection and current periodicals.  Beyond these stacks are PhD student offices, meeting rooms, reading rooms and various types of work rooms.  The main entrance to the library, although less grand and spacious than the center atrium, has a personality of its own.  It is located on the ground floor of the tower that rises over 70 ft into the air.  Upon entering the building you are immediately brought into a two story atrium where you can see the Special Collection on the second floor above you and the entrance to the General Collection ahead of you.

The new addition to the Princeton Theological Seminary Library will house over 10,000 volumes in the Reference Collection, 50,000 rare books and 3,000 cuneiform tablets in the Special Collection alone.  While the majority of the building holds the various book collections there are also several offices, reading and meeting rooms, and workrooms.  Individual and open office spaces for approximately 40 PhD students are provided on the third floor along with a kitchen, commons area and work rooms for their use.  The rest of the building is dedicated to the library staff, a café, an assembly broadcast room and a collaborative study room on the fourth floor of the tower.


Major National Codes:
2006 International Building Code New Jersey Edition
2006 National Standard Plumbing Code with New Jersey Amendments
2006 International Fuel Gas Code New Jersey Edition
2006 International Mechanical Code New Jersey Edition
ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with New Jersey Amendments
2008 National Electric Code with New Jersey Amendments


Information requested from project architect


Historical Requirements:
Information requested from project architect


Building Enclosure
The existing façade on the Luce Library plays a huge role in selecting the exterior materials for the new addition to the library.  Making the decision to match the existing limestone veneer limits the choices to limestone found in either Indiana or Pennsylvania.  In contrast to the historic theme of the stone façade, the window system in the addition is very unique and modern.  As detailed below, there were many types of glasses used not only to maximize comfort for the occupants butalso to maximize the building’s performance.  The roof system also contributes to these sustainability concepts where both rooffinish materials gain points toward the design goal of reaching LEED Silver.


Limestone veneer

3/8" air-space

2" rigid cavity wall insulation

Air and vapor barrier system

5/8" painted gypsum wall board interior finish (not shown)






  Exterior Wall Section

As shown above, the new library addition uses a masonry cavity wall system consisting of limestone veneer on 8” CMU with a painted gypsum wall board interior finish.  This stone masonry finish matches the existing façade on the Luce Library where all exterior walls and windows will remain with the exception of the area where the bridges linking the two buildings are located. 
The window system for the library addition has a variety of glass types in almost every configuration of windows based on the height, location and number of panes in the window or curtainwall.A combination of insulated glass, insulated glass with frit, shadow box behind glass, and laminated glass with UV film is implemented throughout the building with and without the addition of tempered protection.All of these types are considered high performance low-e glasses and were chosen to help maximize the comfort level in the building based the corresponding façade direction.The fritted glass type is used primarily on the south façade in the Reference Reading Room.  Located only on the top section of the picture window, it takes the place of a separate shading device.


Indicated in blue above, the flat roof area consists of EDPM membrane roof over pitched steel decking.  In orange is the pitched copper roofing, standing seam, over plywood on metal deck.  The existing roofing on the attached Luce Library, not shown above, will be removed and replaced with EDPM roofing.


Sustainability Features


Heat Island Effect – Roof and Non-Roof

Green Power


Optimize Energy Performance (14% Deduction)

Daylight and Views


On-Site Renewable Energy

Controllability of Systems - Lighting

The basic objectives of sustainability for the design and use of the Princeton Theological Seminary Library are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create a healthy and productive environment.  Implementing affective energy reducingdesign strategies and maximizing occupant comfortability make this building pleasant and environmentally friendly.  Taking advantage of the large square footage of window area and tall atrium spaces allows sunlight to play a crucial role in lowering energy use and providing views to the outside environment for the building’s occupants.Internal sun-control shadeswere implemented to control the sunlight on the south facing curtainwall in the atrium as well as the offices and some windows in the Reference Reading Room.  The shade for the curtain wall in the atrium is motor controlled while the offices and Reference Reading Room are controlled locally by the occupant. solar panels are included on the roof of the existing Luce Building and on the building’s addition.
Beyond improving the quality of the inside environment, sustainability features were also included in the choice to use “green” materials in the Library addition for both inside and outside applications.  A minimum of 20% recycled content, 20% regional materials as well as the use of rapidly renewable materials and certified wood is being put into use.  The use of these materials contributes to the points required to attain LEED Silver.  Reflective roofing, as mentioned in the previous section, was chosen to reduce the Heat Island Effect and minimize the negative impacts the building might caught on the surrounding environment.


Engineering Systems

The lighting in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library is designed based on the individual tasks of each room.The goal of the lighting design is to be functional and controllable with special attention given to certain areas of the building.  This includes the exterior arcade, large first floor reading area and the reference reading room.  Located along the most highly populated path of pedestrians through the library, these areas are designed with multiple layers of light to serve the varying activities and are more decorative then the rest of the building.  The fixture types throughout the addition range from simple LED striplights to custom made combination fluorescent and incandescent pendants and everything inbetween. Dimming capabilities are an integral part of most of the fixtures because of the emphasis on sustainable practices originating in the design phase.  Photosensors are also used to save energy and control dimming where ample daylight is present.

The electrical service provided to the building at 13,200/7,620V is fed into the main service switchgear that is owned by the school.  This switchgear branches out to two transformers that supply power to the new and existing electrical equipment. Transformer XFMR TSG-L-3 steps down the voltage to 4,160/2,400V and serves the existing substations that provide power to the Luce Building. Transformer XFMR T-SG-L-2 steps down the voltage to 480/277V and serves Switchboard SG-L-2. This switchboard branches off to individual loads, distribution panels, switchboards and power panels that supply service to both existing and new loads. Primary and secondary distribution is located in the main electrical room on the lower level of the Luce Building.  Additional electrical rooms are located throughout the building with 480-208/120V step down transformers to serve 208/120V appliance loads.  Emergency power is provided through a new generator rated 480/277V, 400kW.  The generator is an outdoor, diesel driven unit in a sound attenuated nonwalk-in enclosure.  The optional back-up loads are combined with the emergency power under this generator.

The air handling units serving the addition and the existing Luce Building include five variable air volume units and one constant volume unit.  The constant volume unit is run on emergency power to provide air in the event of a power outage to the critical areas of the Luce Building including the server room and the main electrical room.  Located in the fourth floor penthouse, the six AHU’s provide a total of 130,000 CFM to the library complex.  Economizer controls are included for free cooling when outdoor temperatures and humidity permits.  A new steam plant, located on the lower level of the addition, will be used to create heated water to be supplied to the air handling units preheat and heating coils.  The floor of the center atrium provides 30 BTU/Sf of radiant heating through tubing located in the concrete slab.

The overall structural system uses steel frame construction with a stone masonry façade. The foundation for the addition consists of conventional reinforced concrete spread footings spaced every 25 ft.  The floor construction for the first floor and above is comprised of steel wide flange beams supporting 6” concrete slab on metal deck.  Typical beam sizes include W12x19, W21x44 and W14x22 based on floor level and occupancy.  Reinforced concrete walls are seen below grade, with steel frame construction for all floors above grade.  Typical roofing is metal roof deck spanning wide flange steel members.  Flat roofing in the center allows for access to the penthouse which is surrounded by areas of sloping roof in a v-type configuration around the perimeter.

The construction of the addition onto the existing Luce Building added 99,585 total square feet to the library complex. This includes public space, work rooms, stacks/reading rooms and support space.  Barr & Barr obtained the contract for construction through the design-bid-build process and broke ground in March of 2010.  An emphasis on sustainable and integrated design was implemented throughout every stage of the building process to minimize the negative impacts on the environment and health of the occupants.


Engineering Support Systems
Fire Protection
Water is supplied to the site for the new and existing sprinkler systems via an existing 8 in connection to the city supply.  Pre-action sprinkler systems on each floor utilize dry-pendant heads that are activated by area smoke detection.  Manual and automatic fire alarm and detection systems are located throughout the building in accordance with NFPA 72 and the NJ IBC.  The notification system used throughout the building utilizes speaker-strobes to alert the occupants in the event of an emergency.  The fire alarm system interfaces with multiple building systems, including fire pumps, elevators, HVAC, shaft smoke dampers, the security system and other building components.  Spray fireproofing is used on all steel beam members in the new addition.

Two hydraulic elevators that connect all four floors of the building are included in the design of the library complex, one existing in the Luce Building and one in the new addition.  There are also a total of five staircases in the new and existing buildings.  New ornamental stairs provide circulation through the atrium and the reference reading room and three fire code rated stairwells provide additional vertical circulation that can be used as a safe means of egress out of the building in the event of a fire.

Data rooms are located on every floor of the addition to serve the phone, computer and AV equipment.  This data connection is also used for system integration to control dimming of fixtures and shade operation with GRAFIK Eyes.  Intercom and video surveillance systems are located throughout the building for security purposes.































































This page was last updated on 1/14/2013, by Stephanie Deckard and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012