The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) employs around 100 engineers focused in different disciplines, including: mechanical, fire protection, electrical, civil, safety, plumbing, elevator, environmental and electronics.
Engineers work in different divisions across the agency with various roles and responsibilities. Some engineers perform the role of project manager, but the act of managing a project is a distinct skill for which they are trained independently of their professional background.
Many engineers work directly within their chosen profession and have three general duties: execution of studies and design for projects, professional advice and guidance to the jurisdictions, and technical support to projects through reviews of consultant designs as managed by project managers.
Many of AOC’s professional engineers are employed by the different jurisdictions and the Safety, Fire Protection and Environmental Division (SFPE). Superintendents, deputy superintendents and many managers have backgrounds in civil, mechanical, environmental or fire protection engineering. Their work is traditionally focused on the daily operations and maintenance of facilities.
To maintain the numerous structures that fill Capitol Hill, the AOC is working to develop historic preservation guides, or building manuals, with easy-to-use information for AOC employees, such as engineers. The guides document a building’s history, including a list of the original construction materials and their sources as well as original drawings, major alterations and special preservation challenges unique to each building.
AOC leads the charge in successfully reducing the energy used in the historic public buildings within its purview, arguably the most difficult set of buildings in which to attempt such reductions. In addition, the AOC is one of the few places where staff architects and engineers work directly with highly skilled, in-house preservation crafts persons on a day-to-day basis.
AOC recognizes that the ultimate goal in sustainability is the preservation of historic structures into virtual perpetuity: the buildings have no projected end-of-life, but are renewed over and over again. AOC employees are entrusted to preserve Capitol Hill’s national treasures for Congress and the public to enjoy for years to come.