National Park Service

Benjamin Franklin Life & Legacy Museum

State-of-the-art systems for the father of American technology.

Faced with failing HVAC, electrical, lighting, security, fire suppression, fire detection, emergency power, irrigation, and drainage systems, as well as outdated animatronic exhibits, the National Park Service sought to equal the standards of leading biographical museums worldwide in this subsurface Philadelphia museum exploring the life and work of Benjamin Franklin. AEI completely redesigned energy efficient systems for the museum with state-of-the-art technologies to enhance the visitor experience. AEI also provided IT/AV design for interactive exhibits to better accommodate interpretive programming.


Philadelphia, PA


  • Quinn Evans Architects - Design Architect

LEED Status

Pursuing LEED

Building Size

24,000 square feet


  • 2014 AIA Washington DC Award in Architecture

Over 870 museum objects and 250,000 archeological objects are stored and displayed in the complex.

AEI conducted an existing conditions assessment and investigated the potential of replacing the HVAC system with a chilled water system that would connect to the park’s chilled water plant. The study included the potential of replacing electric heat with steam from the local supplier to eliminate a mold source. The emergency generator exhaust configuration was corrected to avoid re-entrainment, electrical safety hazards were eliminated, and sub-code security, fire detection, and suppression systems were corrected.

AEI also designed interactive touch and audio exhibits and wireless museum exhibit guides.

museum objects

Interactive exhibits include touch and audio as well as wireless museum exhibit guides.

archeological objects

Project Leaders