JHU Peabody Library


The Peabody Library building, which opened in 1878, was part of the Peabody Institute founded in 1857, and is part of the Johns Hopkins University today. The library is renowned for its striking nineteenth century architecture which features a frosted glass-top atrium over a marble floor 61 feet below, surrounded by five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies packed with books spanning hundreds of years. The university installed a new fire protection system in the library under the supervision of a general contractor. Mona Electric was awarded the task of installing a new fire alarm system in the library involving all new notification, and a large early-detection smoke detection system. A new Notifier fire panel, and six VESDA smoke detection panels were installed. All new raceway and notification devices were installed in the tiers, and adjacent rooms. The VESDA panels incorporate nearly 200 individual air sampling points for the library stacks, and Exhibition Gallery. There is a Rare Books room containing irreplaceable texts which has a new dry-chemical fire suppression system, as well as a pre-action sprinkler system. Mona installed a fire alarm releasing panel for monitoring and control of these systems as well as a separate VESDA system to provide early-detection for this room. All these panels are networked together and connected to the main campus fire alarm system. This work was done with special attention to concealment of raceways and tubing, as to not distract from the historical architecture of the library. The work for the new fire alarm system was done without impact to the daily operations of the library, and numerous day and evening special events that are regularly scheduled there.