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The Lincoln Memorial Underground Museum Project

National Park Service selects IQ Radiant Glass® for Lincoln Memorial Underground Museum Project

Lincoln Memorial Undercroft Project
Radiant Heating Glass Lincoln Memorial

Photo IQ Radiant Glass Lincoln Memorial

The area beneath the monument is a vast 48,000 square foot space filled with a grid of columns and arches. The columns, rising almost 100 feet tall, emerge from the bedrock, with 40 feet of exposed concrete arches forming the ceiling. Originally, the Undercroft was not part of the memorial's design, but it was added later to address a problem with the site. The area around the Potomac River, where the memorial was constructed, was originally a swamp that had to be filled and raised to create a stable foundation. This allowed the architects to create a more impressive and imposing monument. Despite its potential, the Undercroft remained practically unused for over 100 years.


However, the adaptive reuse of this extensive space now provides the National Park Service with an opportunity to expand the visitor experience and accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

IQ Radiant Heating Glass Project
Undercroft Lincoln Memorial

National Park Service section detail Lincoln Memorial Undecroft


Quinn Evans Architects appreciated both the advantages and challenges of the project and recognized the importance of incorporating an internal structural glass wall to immerse visitors in the size and grandeur of the columns and arches. The reclaimed area will serve as an educational space, gift shop, and practical facilities such as restrooms. (Please see the illustration above).


However, the Undercroft's design, site location, and structural conditions present a challenging environment, with the area often experiencing 100% humidity. It is uncertain how much moisture is embedded in the concrete and exposed dirt floor. The plan is to minimize disturbance of the space as much as possible. To address the issue, IQRG is providing an encompassing solution by utilizing its unique radiant heating glass systems as a condensation barrier.


IQRG presented a project-specific sample that met all the specified structural and control requirements, with top criteria including meeting the monumental size, ensuring no condensation, and providing maximum clarity in the glass.


Heating Glass Condensation Control
IQ Radiant Glass Testing Undercroft Lincoln Memorial

Photo: IQ Radiant Glass: detail Lincoln Memorial Undecroft


IQRG presented a prototype to the National Park Service project architects and engineers, demonstrating the effectiveness of the glass. During the demonstration, the architects projected images through the glass onto a screen mounted between the columns to validate the clarity of the four layers of laminated glass and two layers of film. The demonstration was a success, demonstrating the capability of IQRG to provide maximum clarity in the glass while effectively serving as a condensation barrier.


IQ Radiant Glass condensation control
Lincoln Memorial Undercroft IQ Radiant Glass

Photo: IQ Radiant Glass: detail Lincoln Memorial Undecroft


Following the successful presentation, the IQRG solution was approved unanimously by a ten-to-zero vote, and IQ Radiant Glass® was selected and specified for The Lincoln Memorial Undercroft Project.

Photo: IQ Radiant Glass: Testing Detail Lincoln Memorial Undercroft

It is important to note the unique design of the Undercroft, which features an exposed ground floor and a massive concrete structure. This design results in a high level of humidity, often reaching 100%, due to the embedded water in the concrete.


Upon its completion in 2024, the installation of the structural glass wall will offer a unique perspective on the space, enabling visitors to comfortably appreciate the scale and grandeur of the columns and arches.


IQRG's Structural Fifth Generation Electric Heating Glass provides architects and designers with extensive design possibilities, including structural glazing for facades, glass floors, roofs, decks, and bridges. With a proven fifth generation electric heating glass technology, IQ Radiant Glass® offers unmatched performance and technological innovation, as well as the world's largest sizing capabilities, with a maximum size of 3200 mm x 8000mm (10.5 feet x 26.25 feet).

*All IQ Radiant Glass is UL certified



Heating Glass Lincoln memorial
Largest Glass Size Heating Glass


IQ Radiant Glass Floors and Roof
Glass Floor, Glass Roof

NOTE: The technology has been know and tested for some time: In 2008, a test conducted at KSU by the International Quality and Research Group (IQRG) studied the effectiveness of different heating systems in a building environment. The study compared the use of radiant glass with forced air using natural gas. The results showed that using radiant glass had numerous benefits, including: - It reduced the interior air movement noise level to zero as radiant heat does not require fans and ductwork to deliver heat. - The radiant delivery system caused no air movement, thus eliminating the transmission mechanism for pollens and air-borne particles. - It reduced heating demand, expressed in BTUs by 44% while doubling the area of thermal comfort. - There was no transmission loss through the ductwork using radiant heated glass. - Condensation, a major cause of mold, did not form on radiant glass. - An ancillary benefit of Radiant Window Systems is no condensation forms on the glass. These findings indicate that the use of radiant glass can significantly improve the indoor air quality and reduce the energy demands of a building.


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