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Caption for cover image: Choi Jeong Hwa’s beautiful Flower Chandelier at the new Auckland Art Gallery. Photo: Daniel H. Davies

Letter from the Editor

Greetings from Los Angeles!

As I write, it’s been two weeks since I returned home from the 21st IAMFA Annual Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. The Committee planned a wonderful conference— please read the recap article in this issue of Papyrus, and enjoy the collection of images from the Conference. If you attended the Conference and would like to save the images, just remove the center section from this issue, and you will have four pages of images from the Conference.

IAMFA’s LinkedIn Group continues to grow, with 213 members now from 24 countries. There has been quite a lot of lively discussion recently about topics such as Occupancy Loads, Zero Waste Programs, Domestic Water Procurement, Pre-action vs. Wet-Pipe sprinklers, FM software and more. We plan to use LinkedIn in the future to make announcements to IAMFA members, as well as to reach out to those who may benefit from joining IAMFA. If you have not yet joined the IAMFA LinkedIn Group, please do so now, and get involved in the discussions; it is a great way to get your fellow IAMFA members’ opinions on topics that may be causing you concern.

In this issue, you’ll find a variety of articles including Part Four of Steensen Varming’s series, “Seeing Art in a New Light” by Emrah Ulas and Mirjam Roos. There is also an article about the National Museum of the American Indian’s new LEED Silver Certification. If you recall, we visited NMAI two years ago when Washington, D.C. hosted the IAMFA Conference. Congratulations to NMAI, and to the Smithsonian for achieving their first LEED Certification. This is a quite an accomplishment, and reflects the Smithsonian’s dedication to sustainability, as well as their commitment to being a responsible member of the museum community.

You’ll find an article in this issue about the increasing cooperative effort between Facility Managers and their Conservation colleagues to revise temperature and humidity standards for collections. Please read this very interesting article authored by Vicki Humphrey and Julian Bickersteth. This process will have a significant sustainability impact on IAMFA members’ facilities in the future.

You’ll also find an article authored by Lynn McGuire about the Guest Program at the Auckland Conference. If you’ve not brought your partner before to the IAMFA conference, they’ve missed a real thrill. In addition to visiting the top cultural institutions in the host city and wonderful social events in the evening, Conference guests spend much of conference week exploring the region—and, in Auckland, learning to cook seafood, Asian style. Thank you, Lynn, for your contribution to Papyrus!

There is an article in this issue by one of the members of the IAMFA LinkedIn Group, about the sustainability features at the Library and Archives Canada’s Cellulose Nitrate Film Preservation Facility. We welcome our LinkedIn members’ contributions to Papyrus, and hope they will in time find it beneficial to join IAMFA. You will also find an article summarizing the results of a survey about the state of collections in storage at museums around the globe. Do these results reflect the situation at your facility?

There are also articles about the very creative architect, Shigeru Ban, who has designed a cardboard cathedral to replace the one destroyed in last year’s great earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand; and about a new project just announced by one of IAMFA’s members, Stephen Ayers, to restore the dome skirt at the U.S. Capitol.

Lastly, we have included a first look at the venues included in next year’s Mid-Atlantic IAMFA Conference, scheduled for September 16–19, 2012. This region is rich in American history, and I urge you to join us in making plans soon to attend!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue of Papyrus.

Joe May, Editor

 

Message from the President

Congratulations to Pat Morgan and the Auckland Conference Committee for putting on such a successful conference—it was an inspiring and amazing learning experience. The six Auckland museums and galleries had all recently been through refurbishment or new building works and were looking fabulous. Both the member's programme and guest activities went very smoothly, and we all enjoyed New Zealand hospitality with amazing food, and of course the local wines for which New Zealand is famous. As it was early summer, we were also to have fine weather for all our visits.

I was delighted that so many members made an effort to attend the Conference, despite the financial difficulties being experienced at their museums, and of course we had an excellent turnout from Australian and New Zealand museums—thank you all for your commitment!

The directors of each museum welcomed us to their buildings, which showed how important they saw our visit to be, and how much they valued having our Conference in New Zealand. They spoke to us about how proud they were of their Facilities Management teams, and how vital FM was to their institutions. We were blown away by the formal Maori welcome and dance on our first day at the Auckland Museum. A seasoned visitor to New Zealand—Steve Hyde of the Victoria and Albert—said that he had never seen such a fantastic performance in all of his previous visits.

The presentations Pat organised at each venue again highlighted the valuable contribution that Facility Managers make to our cultural institutions and, as in San Francisco, we enjoyed talks on integrating new buildings with existing heritage whilst considering seismic issues. We also heard about the New Zealand approach to conservation and green buildings, systems versus visitors, and construction in a marine environment. Pat arranged for us to hear the story behind her new Auckland Art gallery—an art museum for the twenty-first century—as well as a fascinating talk on the relationship between art and architecture. The detailed behind-the-scene tours added greatly to the learning experience, and are one of the key reasons for our members to attend. This year's guest programme dovetailed beautifully with the member's programme so that on Monday and Wednesday we often shared the same exciting venues. The guests’ Tuesday trip to the bush and beach, like last year's Napa Valley excursion, was a real treat.

One of the lasting benefits of putting on the IAMFA Conference is the strong friendship that grows between the facilities fraternity of the host cultural institutions, and I hope part of our legacy in Auckland is that they continue to maintain the obvious rapport that has been generated, and continue to hold regular meetings to discuss common problems. A problem shared is often a problem solved! We look forward to having reports in the future from our New Zealand chapter!

The Gala Dinner was held in the new extension to the Auckland Art Gallery, under their gorgeous Kauri wood ceiling. The kinetic art work of flowers hanging from the ceiling was too much for some of our members, who took to lying on the floor in their black-tie outfits to stare at the revolving flowers! Well done to the three winners of the highly coloured luminescent sock competition. Thank you to the Committee for my lovely Maori Chieftain's cloak, which attracted a great deal of stroking from the ladies!

John Castle and his team are looking forward to hosting you next year in the mid-Atlantic (not the ocean) part of the States, and are sure to put on another great show. I am looking forward to seeing you all again this September (16-19). Bookings for the Conference and the hotel through the web are already open.

The preview of the Mid-Atlantic Conference in this issue of Papyrus will give you an idea of just how special this 22nd IAMFA Conference will be.

 

A Great Time was had by All: Recap of the 21st IAMFA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand—November 13–16, 2011 By Joe May

During the IAMFA Conference a year ago in San Francisco, a survey was done that yielded a very telling statistic: IAMFA members attending the 20th IAMFA Conference had, on average, missed just one conference in all their years of membership in IAMFA. As you read on, you’ll see why, once a member attends the annual conference, they don’t want to ever miss another one.

Tāmaki Makau Rau (“Isthmus of one thousand lovers,” also translated as “Tamaki-the bride sought by a hundred suitors”), now known as Auckland, was first settled by the Māori around 1350. The narrow Auckland isthmus was a strategic location, with two harbours providing access to the sea on both the west and east coasts. It also had fertile soils, which facilitated horticulture, while the two harbours provided plentiful kai moana (seafood). The Māori constructed terraced (fortified villages) on the volcanic peaks. The Māori population in the region is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 in pre-European-settlement times.

Today’s Auckland is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European—predominantly British—descent, but substantial Māori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Ethnic groups from all corners of the world have a presence in Auckland, making it by far the country's most cosmopolitan city.

In November 2011, IAMFA delegates and guests converged on Auckland for the 21st IAMFA Annual Conference. Thank you, Auckland for an unforgettable 21st Conference.

Our host for this year’s conference, Patricia Morgan, first spoke of Auckland hosting an IAMFA Conference six years ago when members met in Bilbao, Spain at the Guggenheim Museum and its neighboring cultural institutions. We were all intrigued by the descriptions Pat gave of this exotic and faraway place that most of us had never seen.

In September of this year, while final arrangements were being made for the Conference, Auckland hosted the Rugby World Cup, and Pat’s own institution reopened after a multi-year renovation and expansion project, with more than a hundred million dollars of capital invested. With New Zealand winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the city was still celebrating when IAMFA members arrived, and we’ll never forget the hospitality shown by the Kiwis.

Let me begin by expressing gratitude to all of the conference organizers:

Patricia Morgan—Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Petrina Keane—Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Jinny Hong—Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Amanda Julian—Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Paul Ivory—Auckland Council

John Glen—Auckland War Memorial Museum

Adam Taylor—Auckland War Memorial Museum

Natalie Hansby—Auckland Zoo

Sue Dell—Auckland Zoo

Shelley Osborne—Museum of Transport and Technology

Phil McGowan—Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum

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Caption: The 21st IAMFA Conference Organizing Committee.

I know how much time these individuals spent planning the countless details that went into making this a truly great conference.

It’s also very important to recognize the six sponsors who made this year’s conference possible.

Steensen Varming is a Danish engineering firm founded in 1933 by Niels Steensen and Jørgen Varming in Copenhagen, Denmark. The firm specializes in civil, structural and building services engineering, with offices in Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Coffey International Limited is a specialist professional services consultancy with expertise in geosciences, international development, and project management. Coffey’s operations include specialist businesses that provide services at every stage of the project lifecycle.

The Camfil Farr Group is a developer and producer of air filters and clean-air products. Camfil Farr is also a global air filtration specialist with 24 production units and R&D centers in four countries in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Black & McDonald is an integrated, multi-trade contractor providing electrical, mechanical, utility and maintenance services to government, industrial, commercial and institutional markets.

Cypress Private Security designs and implements security solutions for a wide range of clients, including public and private institutions, office and residential complexes, museums and much more.

Hawkins Construction has over six decades of building experience and is one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction and infrastructure companies.

These sponsors contributed to the intellectual content of the Conference through presentations, and through their generous financial contributions, enabling the spectacular venues, trips, and meals we all enjoyed.

The IAMFA organization wants all of these sponsors to know how much we appreciate their participation in, and support of, our annual Conference. We encourage members to keep this in mind when in need of products, services, and advice of the type offered by these Conference sponsors.

Day One of the conference began, as in past years, with the Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop for those IAMFA members participating in the annual benchmarking exercise. This valuable undertaking allows member institutions to compare building operation costs and practices, in order to find better ways to accomplish various tasks. Building operating costs have five components: Utilities, Security, Grounds, Building Maintenance, and Custodial. Benchmarking participants compare cost per square foot (or meter) as well as work-processes within these five categories. Those whose costs are lower than others share their methods and processes with the group, creating a best practice in itself. The 2011 benchmarking study was sponsored by Conrad Engineers, McGuire Engineers and Steensen Varming. Please see Stacey Wittig’s recap of the Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop in this issue of Papyrus.

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Caption: Participants in the 2011 IAMFA Benchmarking and Learning Workshop.

The opening reception for this year’s IAMFA Conference was held at the Auckland Civic Theatre on Sunday evening, November 13. The Auckland Civic Theatre is a large heritage theatre in central Auckland that seats 2,378 people. First opened on December 20, 1929, it was reopened in 2000 after a major renovation and conservation effort. It is a famous example of the atmospheric theatre style, in which design and lighting were used to convey an impression of being seated in an outdoor auditorium at night, creating the illusion of an open sky, complete with twinkling stars.

Patricia Morgan welcomed everyone and, along with IAMFA President John deLucy, described plans for the following three days of the Conference. George Farrant, who is Principal Heritage Advisor for the Theatre, also spoke with the delegates and guests about the history of this magnificent venue.

The Auckland Civic Theatre is internationally significant as the largest surviving atmospheric cinema in Australasia (and also one of the only seven of its style remaining in the world), and as the first purpose-built cinema of this type in New Zealand. It is also known for its Indian-inspired foyer, which includes seated Buddhas, twisted columns and domed ceilings. The main auditorium was designed in a similar style, imitating a Moorish garden with turrets, minarets, spires and tiled roofs, as well as several famous Abyssinian panther statues. It could hold 2,750 people at its opening, and even with its reduced current seating, is still the largest theatre in New Zealand.

Canapés and cocktails followed the presentations, and IAMFA members and guests renewed friendships after last visiting a year earlier, when we met in San Francisco for the 20th IAMFA Conference.

 

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Caption: IAMFA Conference Opening Reception at Auckland Civic Theatre.

As in past years, the Auckland Conference included separate programs for both delegates and their guests. During the four days of events, the two programs coincided frequently, so that both members and guests could be together much of the time while accomplishing their individual objectives: learning and networking for delegates, and exploration and discovery for guests.  

 

On Monday morning, members and guests boarded coaches and travelled to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of New Zealand's most important museums and war memorials. Its collections concentrate on New Zealand history (and especially the history of the Auckland Region), natural history, as well as military history. The Museum is also one of the most iconic Auckland buildings, constructed in the Neoclassical style, and sitting on a grassed plinth (the remains of a dormant volcano) in the Auckland Domain: a large public park close to the Auckland central business district.

 

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Caption: IAMFA delegates and guests in front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Members and guests were greeted by director Roy Clare, who welcomed everyone. We were then extremely honored to participate in a pōwhiri: a Māori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, singing and finally the hongi. Often presented for special visitors, the pōwhiri included the wero—an aggressive challenge of the visitor at the beginning of the ceremony—and was the most spectacular part of the pōwhiri. During this part of the ceremony, Māori warriors advanced tentatively towards the guests with ceremonial weapons, and performed threatening gestures and grimaces, calling out battle screams, and generally giving an impression of being ready to explode into violence against the visitors at any moment. Historically, this has roots in both showing off the martial prowess of the warriors, as well as testing the steadfastness of the visitors.

Once the manuhiri (guests) and tangata whenua (Māori hosts) were seated, both sides offered speeches, beginning with the tangata whenua. The ceremony concluded when tangata whenua and manuhiri made physical contact with a hongi. A hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to the nose and forehead of another person at an encounter.

I was astonished by the welcome from the Māori representatives. This ceremony evoked unexpected emotion by everyone present. I remember looking over at Pat Morgan, and wondered . . . what is going to happen next. I wish that everyone reading this could have experienced this Maori welcome to New Zealand.

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Caption: Maori representatives and representatives from the Auckland War Memorial Museum greet IAMFA delegates and guests with a pōwhiri.

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Caption: The pōwhiri included the wero: an aggressive challenge to the visitor at the beginning of the ceremony.

Following our welcome to the Auckland Museum, conference delegates heard presentations on “Systems versus Visitors” by David Hebblethwaite, and “Building Conservation and Construction” by John Glen, followed by a back-of-house tour. Conference guests had a guided tour of the Museum before both delegates and guests boarded coaches headed for Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour area.

Guests attended a Look, Cook, and Eat cooking class and lunch at the Harbour, while delegates had lunch at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. Please read Lynn McGuire’s article on the Look, Cook, and Eat event in this issue of Papyrus. We all heard later that guests had a great time learning to prepare new seafood dishes—and enjoying their gourmet creations afterwards.

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Caption: The finished gourmet lunch enjoyed by Conference guests at Viaduct Harbour.

Following lunch, delegates were greeted by Chief Executive Murray Reade, who provided background on the Voyager Museum. Delegates then continued a strategic planning workshop initiated last year in San Francisco. The goal of this workshop is to identify the current strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for improving IAMFA. Last year in San Francisco, members brainstormed ideas for each of these categories, and this year IAMFA members refined this list to the top-five entries in each category. The session was led by Guy Larocque, who will post a summary of results in a future issue of Papyrus.

Delegates then heard a presentation by Pete Bosley, designer of the recent expansion to the Voyager Maritime Museum. This new expansion houses Black Magic, winner of the 1995 America’s Cup. Alex Cutler, CEO of the New Zealand Green Building Council, then presented a summary of the New Zealand Green Building system called the Green Star Rating System.

Following afternoon presentations, delegates had time for a brief tour of the Voyager Museum.

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Caption: Black Magic, winner of the 1995 America’s Cup race, on display at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum.

After cooking class, guests boarded the Ted Ashby, a ketch-rigged deck scow, typical of the fleet of scows that once operated in New Zealand’s northern waters.

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Caption: The Ted Ashby, one of the Voyager Museum’s working fleet of three heritage vessels, which form an active and integral part of the Museum’s collection.

Following tours of the Voyager, and trip on the Ted Ashby, delegates and guests boarded a ferry and headed for Mudbrick Vineyard on Waiheke Island for dinner. The scenic trip to Waiheke Island took about 30 minutes aboard a catamaran, and offered time to relax after a very busy Day Two of Conference presentations and tours.

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Caption: IAMFA members and guests network with a cocktail at Mudbrick Winery before dinner.

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Caption: Attendees enjoy dinner and a gorgeous sunset at Mudbrick Winery.

Day Two of the 21st IAMFA Conference ended with a catamaran ride back to Auckland, where coaches delivered everyone safely to the Langham Hotel, our home during the Conference.

For Conference delegates, Day Three of the Conference began with a short walk over to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, where members were greeted by Gallery Director Chris Saines. The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the home of the visual arts in New Zealand, with a collection of more than 15,000 works of art, and is also home to our Conference host, Patricia Morgan.

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Caption: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

The Auckland Art Gallery reopened to the public in September 2011, after more than two years of renovation and expansion. Director Chris Saines presented a talk on “The New Auckland Art Gallery: an Art Museum for the 21st Century”.

The Gallery hosted two additional presentations: Architect Lindsay Mackie from Archimedia spoke about the design of the Art Gallery, and Chris McKenzie presented “Integrating the New with Existing Heritage Fabric—Seismic Considerations”. Delegates were then given a back-of-house tour before a walk to the Skytower for lunch.

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Caption: The Auckland Skytower in the distance.

At 328 meters, the Skytower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometers in every direction. Visitors rise in glass-fronted elevators to one of the three spectacular viewing platforms. For more thrills and excitement, they can walk round the pergola at 192 metres up, or even jump off the Tower (with cables).

On Day Three, guests traveled by coach to Waitakere Regional Park. The Waitakere Ranges are a chain of hills running approximately 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from north to south, 25 km west of central Auckland. The maximum elevation within the ranges is 474 meters (1,555 feet). The subtropical ranges and surrounding areas were traditionally known to the local Māori as Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa (the Great Forest of Tiriwa).

The western coastline of the Ranges consists of cliffs exceeding 300 meters (984 feet), interspersed infrequently with beaches. The ranges are covered in native forest, most of which is in the process of regeneration since extensive logging and farming in the mid to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park now contains about 15,985 hectares (39,500 acres).

After a stop at the Visitor Centre, guests hiked approximately 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) down to a reservoir, where they could observe many of the native plants and birds.

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Caption: View from the Waitakere Visitor Centre.

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Caption: An old-growth Kauri tree, estimated to be 700 years old.

Guests then boarded their coach and headed for Soljans Winery, where they had lunch and a sampling of the best the Winery had to offer. Few wineries in New Zealand can claim such a proud winemaking history as Soljans Estate Winery. Bartul Soljan planted the first Soljan vineyard in New Zealand in 1932, leaving behind a legacy that has been carried on by his son Frank and then grandson and current owner, Tony Soljan. Today, Soljans represents three generations of winemaking, with over 70 years experience.

Following lunch, delegates returned to Auckland Art Gallery for the presentations “Casting New Light on your Collection” by Emrah Ulas, and “Benchmarking Recap”, by Keith McClanahan.

Delegates then boarded coaches, heading for the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum in Devonport, where they were welcomed by Commander David Wright, Director of the Museum. Housed in a nineteenth-century submarine mining station, the Navy Museum’s exhibitions showcase the story of the Navy’s contribution to the development of New Zealand’s identity through the lens of the Navy’s values: courage, commitment and comradeship. There, delegates enjoyed a coffee break, and were given a guided tour of the Museum, before heading back to the Langham Hotel for a free evening.  

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Caption: The Royal New Zealand Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay.

For Conference guests, after lunch it was off to one of three gannet nesting colonies in New Zealand, at Muriwai beach, northwest of Auckland. Muriwai is one of Auckland's west coast beaches, with good fishing, strong winds and rough waves. You can often see the gannets soaring around the cliffs on the ever-present winds. As you might expect of a maritime bird, they're very good at gliding, with wingspans up to 180 cm (around six feet). Gannets feed by diving from high up into a school of fish near the surface of the water.

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Caption: Gannet nesting colony at Muriwai Beach.

Guests then hiked down to a beautiful black sand beach, and made their way back to the Langham to meet up with the delegates.

Camfil Farr, one of the sponsors of this year’s IAMFA Conference, hosted attendees at the Langham for a cocktail reception . . . and it was a great way to begin a free evening to explore Auckland’s nightlife.

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Caption: Sponsor Camfil Farr, host of the Tuesday evening cocktail reception at the Langham Hotel.

IAMFA’s Board of Directors met to discuss the business of the organization before walking to a local Malaysian restaurant for dinner. Day Three of the Conference was packed full of learning and networking for delegates, and exploration for guests.

The final day of the Conference began for delegates at the Langham Hotel, with the Annual General Meeting. Each of the IAMFA board members and each Committee Chair addressed the membership with a review of the current state of Regional Affairs, Administration, Treasury, Papyrus, and future plans.

No election was held at the meeting this year. A recent change in IAMFA’s bylaws now permits members to vote electronically ahead of the Conference eliminating the need to take time during this meeting to elect officers.

Three board positions were up for election this fall: Treasurer, VP Regional Affairs, and Secretary/Papyrus Editor. Incumbents to these three positions each volunteered to serve another term, and were elected by the membership in a ballot ahead of the Conference.

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Caption: Presenters at IAMFA’s annual general meeting. Left to right: John Castle, Guy Larocque, Randy Murphy, Joe May, Alan Dirican and John deLucy.

John Castle made a presentation on preliminary plans for next year’s 22nd Mid-Atlantic IAMFA Conference.

Following the AGM, members boarded coaches and departed for the Auckland Zoo. Guests began Day Four with a walking tour and marathon shopping in Parnell Village, before departing for the Zoo to rendezvous with the delegates.

Auckland Zoo has New Zealand's largest collection of animals, and is recognized as one of the most progressive zoos in the world. A winner of national and international environmental-related awards, it is home to 120 different species and over 750 animals. Delegates were greeted by Zoo Director Jonathan Wilcken, who followed with a presentation “Te Wao Nui—A Modern Zoo”. Delegates were then given a tour of the Zoo, and were met along the way by the guests, who had already arrived.

Guests then experienced one of the highlights of their visit to Auckland. The Zoo had arranged an animal encounter for the guests, and Burma was waiting when the guests arrived.

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Caption: Guests, like Livi deLucy, had a close encounter with Burma, a 29 year-old Asian elephant.

Each of the guests was able to feed Burma a piece of fruit and then pose with Burma for a photo op.

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Caption: Conference guests pose with Burma.

What a treat is was to meet Burma up close, and to feed her and pet her. We will never forget it!

A little more touring around this magnificent zoo, and then it was time for lunch in the Old Elephant House, where everyone could sit and relax a bit before boarding a tram, and heading for the nearby Museum of Technology and Transport (MOTAT).

MOTAT has one of the most impressive aircraft collections in the Southern Hemisphere, all with genuine New Zealand aviation pedigrees, and displayed in its new home, which just opened in September 2011. The project had two parts. The first part was the relocation and refurbishment of MOTAT's existing Blister Hangar (workshop), and the second was the construction of a custom-designed building to enhance the display of the Museum’s unique aviation collection.

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Caption: Historical aircraft in the new display hall.

MOTAT’s exhibits also include trains, trams, vintage traction engines, carriages, cars, buses, trolleybuses and trucks (particularly fire engines), as well as electrical equipment, space flight exhibits including a Corporal rocket, and general science exhibits. There is also a “colonial village” of early shops and houses, including a “fencible cottage” and a blacksmith shop. The Road Transport Collection rotationally displays in excess of 100 cars, trucks, motorbikes and emergency vehicles.

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Caption: A sampling of MOTAT’s antique automobile collection.

The Tram Collection includes over 20 electric, steam and cable trams, many of which are operational, with support equipment and vehicles from former New Zealand tramway systems in Auckland, Wellington and Wanganui, as well as the Mornington Cable tram system in Dunedin.

MOTAT was built around the site of a beam-engine pumphouse, which originally provided Auckland's water supply. Delegates heard presentations on “Auckland’s Water Works History” by Mike Austin and Dave Pearson, and “Development and Challenges within Architecture” by Evzen Novak.

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Caption: MOTAT’s beam-engine pumphouse.

Mid-afternoon, members and delegates returned to the Langham Hotel for a short rest, a quick change, and then a coach ride to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki for the closing Gala Dinner. This year’s Gala Dinner took place in the atrium of the New Auckland Art Gallery, just opened in September 2011.

The setting for this year’s closing gala could not have been more elegant. The new North Atrium at the Art Gallery was impressive, and dinner was held under Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa’s Flower Chandelier, a colossal, plump-petalled plant heaving and breathing.

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Caption: Choi Jeong Hwa’s beautiful Flower Chandelier.

The evening began with cocktails and canapés in the Mackelvie Gallery, built in 1916 and reinstated as part of the recently completed development project. Gala Attendees then made their way towards the Atrium, but stopped along the way for a photo.

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Caption: Attendees at the 21st IAMFA closing gala.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner accompanied by New Zealand fine wines, and a full dinner program, beginning with the New Zealand National Anthem performed by opera singer Alene Wistrand.

Prior to dinner, John deLucy, IAMFA’s President was presented with a korowai. The korowai is a traditional and prized Māori garment. The korowai cloak is decorated with short lengths of twisted fiber, usually dyed black. Of all cloaks, those adorned with feathers (kahu huruhuru) are the most prestigious and indicative of high rank.

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Caption: John deLucy is presented with a korowai at the closing gala.

In the evening’s other presentations, Alan Dirican and Patricia Morgan were awarded the George Preston (IAMFA’s Founder) Memorial Award for their efforts in advancing IAMFA’s mission.

Alan performed beyond what is expected of the Treasurer’s role over the past year, by getting us back on track with the changes needed to keep our non-profit status in good standing, and improving our financial documentation, along with several measures to reduce operating costs. All of this was done during a very challenging year, with a major capital project at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
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Caption: Alan Dirican is awarded the 2011 George Preston Memorial Award.

For Patricia Morgan, it has been a long road leading up to this 21st IAMFA Conference, and during the past two years she’s had to make preparations amidst constant worry about whether our world’s economy, which has caused so many institutions to implement austerity measures, would prevent IAMFA members from attending. During the same time frame, the beautiful new Museum where we met for our closing gala reopened. As conference host, Pat served on the IAMFA Board of Directors for the past year, and we’ve been able to see her determination to make this 21st IAMFA Conference a success. She didn’t give up, and we are so grateful to Pat that she persisted in making this year’s Conference one of the best in the history of our organization.

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Caption: Patricia Morgan being awarded the 2011 George Preston Memorial Award

In recent years a tradition has taken hold, and now it wouldn’t be an official IAMFA Gala Dinner without the “Annual Sock Competition”. Last year in San Francisco, two ladies took home bragging rights for the most colourful and unique socks. This year, it was a very different story! The IAMFA men were not to be denied. Three were recognized for their outstanding socks: Tony McGuire for color, John Castle for cuteness, and David Saunders for canniness, with his Peter Blake red socks! We can only imagine what our members may bring next year to cover their feet!

In conclusion, I believe I speak for all attendees of the 21st IAMFA Conference when I say that it was a true adventure this year visiting New Zealand. The people of New Zealand were so kind, helpful, and hospitable to all our members. We learned, we explored, we laughed, and at times we were nearly overcome by emotion from the welcome we were extended.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who made IAMFA’s 21st Conference so memorable.

Joe May is IAMFA’s Secretary, and Editor of Papyrus Magazine.

 

KIWI Cooking Class

By Lynn McGuire

The 2011 IAMFA Annual Conference Guest Program was outstanding!

Seeing Auckland from all sides, all of the delegates’ significant others enjoyed a chance to experience “down under” from the mountains to the beaches, and everywhere in-between.

One of the most unique experiences was visiting the Auckland Seafood School, where Chef Steve Roberts regaled us with stories as he prepared a succulent meal, which we then attempted to copy. Chef Steve had lived in Japan for many years, so his recipes reflected the Asian influence he had absorbed overseas.

After watching Chef Steve and his assistant prepare all of the food at one main station in a small auditorium, we entered another room where cooking stations were set up with all of the food items, utensils, aprons, etc. we would need. We were to break into groups of four, sharing the cooking responsibilities as we reproduced his meal.

Our menu was as follows:

• Grilled Salmon Skewers with Lime and Lemongrass Sauce

• Asian Style Coleslaw

• Grilled Seasonal Fish, Bok Choy, Mandarin and Ginger Sauce

We watched Chef Steve effortlessly blanch leek strips, which he then wrapped around salmon pieces to form medallions.

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Caption: Nancy Evans mimics Chef Steve’s technique as she wraps salmon with strips of leek during the Look, Cook, and Eat Luncheon.

We all laughed as we tried to produce perfect julienned carrots, shredded coleslaw and other ingredients for the coleslaw, dressing it with a sweet chili sauce. It looked remarkably easy—not quite as easy when we tried our hands at it.

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Caption: Harry Wanless prepares Asian Style Coleslaw.

Chef Steve then prepared fish fillets over bok choy, with two delicious sauces. Likewise, we chopped, diced, and stirred tiny pats of butter into the sauces while we had our fish entrees on the grill.

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Caption: Livi deLucy makes Lemongrass Sauce.

Our presentation may not have mirrored Chef Steve’s exactly, but as we all sat down to our meal we toasted our efforts and enjoyed every morsel. It was a wonderful afternoon.

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Caption: The Feast de Résistance prepared by IAMFA’s talented guests.

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Caption: We all enjoyed our seafood creations.

Chicagoans Lynn McGuire and husband Tony are long-time members of IAMFA, and are seasoned participants at the IAMFA Conference each year. 

 

Looking at Art in a New Light—Part 4: Greening Exhibition Spaces

By Mirjam Roos and Emrah Baki Ulas

We live in an era of sustainability and an increasing global emphasis on minimising energy use. This requires a change in the way we think about lighting in museum and gallery facilities. As a result, best-practice expectations for exhibition display are evolving, and appropriate display-lighting conditions for cultural collections and exhibitions continue to be a major topic of discussion at the international level. Most of these discussions revolve around legislation regarding the phasing-out of inefficient light sources, which have a significant impact on museums and galleries.

Most government activity around the issue of lighting is driven by energy savings issues, triggered by developments in lighting technologies within the past decade. These developments have shifted the focus of key lighting manufacturers into new areas of research and product development, which has in turn resulted in a change in business interests and manufacturing trends. It is predicted that the use of incandescent lighting is likely to shrink significantly within the next decade, and even virtually disappear in some countries. Given that most museum and gallery lighting is based primarily on incandescent lighting technology, as far as the museum and gallery sector is concerned, the phasing-out of inefficient light sources is perhaps the most significant legislation to date in the field of lighting.

Government legislation related to the phasing-out of incandescent light sources has been widely criticized by different groups and organisations for the extra costs imposed on the public by government dicta. Another concern is the characteristic light of available alternative technologies, which do not  match  certain  qualities  of  incandescent  lamps, such as the continuous colour spectrum, smooth dimming and colour shift when dimming, which can be preferable for certain applications. There are also environmental concerns over the potential for mercury pollution and contamination, particularly since the compact fluorescent (CFL) type lamps that have been commonly proposed as replacement contain toxic mercury, and there is little regulation and guidance on the appropriate forms of disposal and recycling.

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Caption: Phase-out of incandescent light sources. Illustration: Emrah Baki Ulas

As alternative lighting technologies continue to develop, these concerns are lessening and alternative ways forward are opening up new possibilities for museum and gallery lighting.

Common strategies taken on by many institutions to cope with the phase-out of certain lamps in the last few years can be summarised as:

bulk stocking of spare lamps

direct replacement of lamps only with alternative lamp technologies

• replacement of the complete luminaires or systems with alternative fixtures using alternative technologies

Although it goes against the objectives of government initiatives, bulk stocking of spare lamps has been effective as an interim measure—being acost-effective solution in the short term, while providing museums and galleries with time to assess their budgets and consider a future major upgrade for their lighting systems. Stockpiling also gives museums and galleries the time to wait on any major upgrade while alternative lighting technologies have continued to evolve and develop in the past few years, and while the costs of these systems have been dropping to more affordable levels. In this way, many institutions have bulk-stocked spare lamps in recent years, and have been able to maintain their lighting system for extended periods, without having to undertake a major upgrade.

The industry is now moving on from bulk stocking of spare lamps, to a phase in which replacement technologies are widely being considered.

Lighting is a very important element of the overall exhibition experience. It is a complex topic that extends beyond energy-saving considerations, requiring understanding on various other issues as well. When reviewing alternative lighting technologies to replace incandescent systems in museum and gallery lighting upgrades, it is important to study these wider issues and their impact in relation to specific spaces and specific applications. It is also important to select systems able to respond to the requirements in an optimal manner.

It is important to understand that there is no one-fits-all type of approach for exhibition lighting, and that a wide range of lighting considerations need to be taken into account when looking for suitable options. These considerations include issues such as the quality of light in terms of its spectral characteristics, beam distribution and conservation aspects, as well as lamp life, maintenance, embodied energy, disposal, recycling, flexibility, dimmability and control, future availability, and capital and operational costs. The change of lighting technologies also has an impact on air conditioning, as the new technologies generally have a lower heat impact in the space, as compared to incandescent lighting.

The oldest of all lighting techniques, daylight, should be considered as an option wherever possible. However, it is also perhaps the most challenging source of light compared to the use of electrical lighting systems.

The dynamic and ever-changing characteristics of daylight make it difficult to apply in museum and gallery spaces. However, it is these same qualities that can often enhance spaces significantly, adding comfort and enjoyment to the visitor experience. Many museums and galleries have strict guidelines on the use of daylight, and tend to eliminate it from exhibition spaces. Carefully designed use of daylight helps save energy, however, while also increasing the spatial quality of exhibition spaces.

As far as today’s alternative lamp technologies are concerned, there are three current technologies that have reached the stage where they are able to provide good-quality lighting with significantly less operational energy, compared to the incandescent sources. These are: high-pressure discharge sources (lamps such as the metal halide and white SON); low-pressure discharge sources (fluorescent lamps), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although each has distinct characteristics and qualities, all of these technologies offer certain advantages and may be given consideration in planning a new exhibition lighting system.

High-colour rendering versions of high-pressure discharge lamps have crisp white light and superior illumination characteristics that are suitable for certain types of display lighting applications, whilst also being energy-efficient. In addition, as a point source they can be controlled via optical means to achieve different effects. It must be taken into account, however, that these types of lamps are not practically dimmable through electronic means.

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Caption: Art Gallery of New South Wales—Kaldor Gallery, Sydney utilises a high-colour rendering metal-halide lighting system. Lighting Design: Steensen Varming/Photo: Simm Steel

Low-pressure discharge lamps, such as linear fluorescent tubes, are also available in high-colour rendering versions, and can be effective in providing even and uniform display-lighting conditions. Furthermore, they are smoothly dimmable using electronic control gear, are energy-efficient, and have long lamp life.

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Caption: The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra utilises a combination of high-colour rendering fluorescent lighting system, a track lighting system, and daylight. Lighting Design: Steensen Varming/Photo: Emrah Baki Ulas

LEDs are the latest of the alternative technologies that have improved significantly within the past decade, and have now become practical for some display-lighting applications. LEDs today are available in various warm, neutral or white colour temperatures, as well as tuneable colours, and are dimmable on compatible control gear. The energy performance of LEDs available on the market has just reached a stage that is comparable to fluorescent and metal-halide sources, and is expected to improve further. Colour consistency, smooth dimmability and optical control of the LEDs are still undergoing development, and need to be carefully considered in the design and planning process.

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Caption: The Australian War Memorial in Canberra utilises light emitting diodes for the lighting of display niches. Lighting Design: Steensen Varming/Photo: Mirjam Roos

It is also worth mentioning Organic Light Emitting Diodes as an upcoming technology. There has been significant interest and development in OLEDs in recent years. Whilst the practical uses of these sources are still limited to decorative effects and low-brightness applications for screens, mobile devices, etc., it is predicted that they will become common within the architectural lighting market in the future.

Perspective on sustainability in lighting for exhibition spaces should be widened beyond light sources to include consideration of lighting controls as well. Often, how a lighting system is controlled can be at least as effective in saving energy as how efficient the light sources are in converting electricity to light. Techniques such as zoning, dimming, timer or occupancy controls can provide substantial cost and energy savings.

When planning new lighting systems or upgrading existing lighting systems for exhibition display, a sustainable result should be achieved by focussing on the visitor experience, and by taking a holistic approach that understands the interdependence of design parameters and develops integral solutions. Consulting qualified and independent experts in the field of museum and gallery lighting not only simplifies a complex and multifaceted task, but also provides well-informed and tailored solutions that achieve a balance between optimal viewing conditions and conservation requirements, while often providing additional savings and creating sustainable outcomes.

Mirjam Roos (MA, Dipl.Ing., Assoc PLDA) and Emrah Baki Ulas (MA, BSc, PLDA) are Senior Lighting Designers at Steensen Varming Australia.

 

LEED Certification for the National Museum of the American Indian

By John Bixler

The Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Facility Management and Reliability is all about best practices in facility management, and our latest best practice venture involves LEED certification for the National Museum of the American Indian. 

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Caption: The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. achieves LEED Silver Certification.

On November 14, 2011 a ceremony was held in the Potomac Atrium at the National Museum of the American Indian, in celebration of the Museum obtaining LEED Silver Certification. NMAI is the first museum in the Smithsonian Institution family to receive LEED certification credentials. Contributors to this certification came from various Office of Facility Management and Reliability divisions, Building Management, Energy Management, Smithsonian Gardens, Engineering Technicians, Facility Service Supervisors and Workers, Life Safety and Management Support Assistants.

The Smithsonian Institution resolution to attempt LEED EB Certification reflects its unique mission for the “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and aligns with its current strategic plan grand challenge: “sustaining a bio-diverse planet.”

In 2007, seeking to continue improving the sustainability of the NMAI, the Museum’s founding director W. Richard West, Jr. made a commitment, with the support of staff, to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Major motivators included reducing the Museum’s environmental impact, and providing a healthier environment for staff and visitors. By the fall of 2007, the Smithsonian Institution had formed a core team; engaged Indigo Engineering Group, LLC to provide supporting technical guidance; and commenced working on the necessary improvements.

There had been no major renovations to the building since construction was completed in 2004. However there have been some significant capital purchases, replacements, and equipment upgrades. These have included improving boiler-plant performance by upgrading controls, providing variable-speed controllers on motors, and providing water softening for steam-generating boilers. Improvements were also made to Museum-wide heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system performance, by upgrading and integrating building automation with the Smithsonian-wide system. Three major accomplishments of the NMAI building’s sustainability performance were:

• Reducting energy consumption by 20%

• Choosing environmentally-friendly certified products for 90% of chemical purchases

• Implementing policies/plans to improve the Museum’s sustainability

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) was established in 1989 by Federal Public Law 101-185 as a bureau within the Smithsonian Institution (SI). The legislation provided for the transfer from New York City of the extensive and extraordinary collection of the Heye Foundation’s Museum of the American Indian. It also authorized the construction of three facilities which would together form the NMAI: an exhibition facility at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City (the NMAI George Gustav Heye Center); a public exhibition facility on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; and a storage and resource facility (the NMAI Cultural Resources Center) in Maryland at the Smithsonian’s Suitland Collections Center.

The law also provided funding for outreach programs to Native communities within the Western Hemisphere and established repatriation requirements. These facilities and programs are interdependent entities that, in order to fulfill implementing agreements and legislation, must operate together as one National Museum of the American Indian. The legislation also mandated that the SI provide one-third of the cost of the Mall facility from non-federal funds. The remaining two-thirds of the construction cost would be federal funds appropriated to the SI by Congress for this purpose.

The planning and design of the NMAI facilities were, and continue to be, conceived and executed with the direct involvement of Native Americans representing a wide cross-section of Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The NMAI continues to tap the ideas and expertise of Native and non-Native constituencies, staff, and consultants, while also maintaining an ongoing dialogue with its Native-American constituencies by organizing consultations with Native groups throughout the country.

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Caption: Wetlands bordering the NMAI.

Final construction documents for the NMAI Mall Museum were completed and handed over to the SI in September 2000 by the Architect/Engineer Design Team. The groundbreaking celebration for the NMAI Mall Museum was held on September 26, 1999. Site preparation was undertaken from September 1999 to January 2001. Building construction began with the Notice to Proceed on June 30, 2001. Construction was completed in mid-2004, with occupation of the NMAI building by SI staff beginning in January of 2004. The official public grand opening was held on September 21, 2004, when visitors were first allowed into the building.

The NMAI Mall Museum is the centerpiece of the National Museum of the American Indian’s public programs: its primary venue for exhibitions, performances, conferences, and other programs serving the general public. It is hoped that, as such, the NMAI will become profoundly important, both nationally and internationally, in promoting public knowledge of, and respect for, the vital indigenous cultures of the Western Hemisphere, their historical achievements, and contemporary realities.

The NMAI building is located in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall. It is one of multiple national museums and landmarks located on the National Mall and surrounding area. Other buildings of significance surrounding the NMAI building are the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the National Gallery of Art, the National Air & Space Museum, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site is bounded by Jefferson Drive, SW on the north; Fourth Street, SW on the west; Independence and Maryland Avenues to the south; and Third Street, SW to the east. The site covers an area of approximately 4.4 acres.

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Caption: The curvilinear building is constructed with Kasota Stone.

The curvilinear building was inspired by imagery of natural rock formations, eroded by wind and water. The building stone is Kasota, a buff-colored limestone quarried in Minnesota, which is complemented by warm gray, American Mist granite paving. The stone continues from the exterior to the interior of the building, reinforcing the Native-American design principle of connection to the landscape and the natural world. Other materials that are prevalent in the interior building construction are wood and metal.

Although built with sustainability in mind, recent upgrades to building systems have helped the NMAI to earn its LEED Silver Certification, thanks in no small part to the efforts of staff in all areas of operations.

 

Benchmarking Workshop Reveals Best Practices that Save Money

By Stacey Wittig

“Engagement with other participants after the data is collected is key to the benchmarking process. This is a strong type of professional improvement program,” said Keith McClanahan at the annual IAMFA Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop in Auckland. Designed to engage participants with roundtable forums and hot-topic discussions, the workshop kicked off the 2011 IAMFA Conference on November 13, 2011.

By comparing facility operating costs and practices, the IAMFA benchmarking exercise uncovers the proven, successful practices of better-performing institutions. The sharing of practical solutions and discussion of current issues is the main focus of the annual workshop. As best practices and lessons learned are shared and implemented over the years, the group betters its overall performance.

Analyzing year-over-year trends for the group, McClanahan summarized, “Energy costs are getting more and more under control. There is less consumption than last year.” In fact, the median electrical consumption per GSF was 19.50 kilowatt hours (KWH) in 2011, as compared to 23.73 KWH in 2009 and 23.50 KWH in 2010. McClanahan, principal of Facility Issues, which runs the benchmarking exercise, noted little change in electrical cost per KWH reported over the past three years: $0.113 in 2009, $0.114 in 2010, and $0.112 in 2011.

“How can some of you buy electricity at such low prices?” one incredulous participant asked the group. Discussion about collective purchasing and long-term futures contracts ensued. One member commented that perhaps political pressure might be superficially holding utility prices down in his city.

Another comparison in McClanahan’s analysis showed that cleaning cost per area cleaned (square foot) had bounced around over the past years: $2.85 in 2009, $2.23 in 2010, and $2.46 in the latest report. The discussion around cleaning brought to light many changes made over the past year to try to get cleaning costs under control. While some added shifts, others were eliminating shifts.

“Day housekeeping was changed to day and night; that was mandated to us as a cost-cutting effort,” sighed one participant.

Another institution switched to daytime-only cleaning and found a positive result. “The cleaning people become part of the team, the building is being handled better, there is less damage,” the institute’s facility director revealed.

One participant explained, “We went from three shifts to two shifts, but then overlapped the shifts during mid-day when cleaning was most needed. We bought chariots (stand-on floor cleaners) and increased technology.”

“Night shifts eliminate overtime for after-hour events,” advised another.

Frequency of cleaning was also in flux this year, as facility administrators looked to reduce costs. “We went from five cleanings per week to three cleanings per week. We revised the scope of the cleaning contract and reduced the number of staff. Now there is a central location for trash collection where employees empty their own wastebaskets. Areas with low visibility and low impact get fewer cleanings,” reported one participant.

“Let the contractor decide what needs to be cleaned two times or three times per week,” suggested a fellow facility administrator.

Feedback from the 2011 Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop suggests that discussions like these lead to better understanding. Many participants say that workshop take-aways can be implemented after they return home from the Conference. That could be one of the reasons that the average operating cost savings per institute since 2007 is now over $4 million. Don’t miss next year’s discussions. Be a part of the cost savings. Sign up now for the 2012 IAMFA Benchmarking Exercise at:

www.facilityissues.com/Registration/IAMFA/REG_IAMFA.asp

The 2011 IAMFA Benchmarking Exercise was sponsored by Conrad Engineers, McGuire Engineers and Steensen Varming. New IAMFA benchmarking participants included the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the California Academy of Sciences, Library and Archives Canada, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Museum of Old and New Art, and Questacon—National Science & Technology Centre.

Returning participants included the Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, British Library, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Getty Center, Getty Villa, Harley-Davidson Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, National Library of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery Australia, Natural History Museum – London, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal B.C. Museum, Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian—Cultural Resources Center, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Quadrangle, Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, and Winterthur Museum.

Stacey Wittig is the Marketing Director for Facility Issues located in Flagstaff, AZ. She can be reached at Stacey.wittig@facilityissues.com

 

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Museum Collections in Storage at Serious Risk Around the World

By Simon Lambert

Precious artifacts and national treasures hidden away in the underbelly of museums are not as safe as we think. A recent international survey on museum storage by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) confirms that, all over the world, museum collections in storage suffer from poor management and lack of maintenance, adequate space and equipment. This is particularly disturbing because on average 90% of museum objects are in storage, and despite poor conditions, collections continue to grow exponentially.

Of the 1,490 responses received from 136 countries, one in four museums report that their storage areas are so overcrowded that it has become difficult or impossible to get from one end to the other.

For two in three museums, the overall lack of space is a problem identified as “major” or “drastic”. However, the survey points to important root causes: two in five museums report an important lack of management support for storage-related activities and a lack of trained staff.

Equally striking is the fact that, in one out of three museums, it seems unclear who is responsible for storage. Furthermore, in one out of ten museums, the theft of objects from the collection is considered to be a major problem.

One museum wrote: “Our storage is 400% over capacity and growing at a rate of 100–200 new objects per year.”

“The main problem is taking care of incoming material. A documentation backlog of 10+ years is routine,” said another.

For the past 20 years, ICCROM has worked to improve the condition of museum storage worldwide by organizing international training activities, developing assessment tools, raising public awareness, and sending expert missions.

Mr. Gaël de Guichen, Special Advisor to the Director General of ICCROM, commented: “This is the first time we have a clear picture of the situation. In my 40 years of service at ICCROM, which has taken me all over the world, I estimated that about 60% of museum storage was in unacceptable conditions. With this data, we have a clearer picture of the problem areas. Most importantly, we have confirmation that this is not a developed vs. developing country issue: all countries find themselves in the same situation.”

The survey ran from June to September 2011, and was developed as part of a joint activity between ICCROM and UNESCO on the Preventive Conservation of Endangered Museum Collections in Developing Countries. In September 2011, ICCROM and UNESCO launched “RE-ORG” [http://www.re-org.info], a new online tool for storage reorganization, developed by a task force of museum professionals from 15 countries on five continents to assist small museums in reorganizing their storage and documentation systems. Online registration to RE-ORG is free and grants access to guidelines, assessment tools, an image database, and teaching materials.

In response to the survey results, ICCROM is currently looking for partnerships and funding to launch an international programme to strengthen professional and institutional capacity in addressing the key needs identified in this survey.

About ICCROM

The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage worldwide through training, information, research, cooperation and advocacy programmes. It aims to enhance the field of conservation-restoration and raise awareness of the importance and fragility of cultural heritage. The creation of the Centre took place as a result of a proposal at the UNESCO General Conference held in New Delhi, in 1956. Three years later, the Centre was established in Rome, Italy, where its headquarters remain to this day. ICCROM responds to the needs of its member states, which as of February 2010 numbered 129.

About UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture, in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights, along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the U.N. Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 193 Member States and seven Associate Members.

Simon Lambert works with the Collections Unit of ICCROM, and can be reached at sl@iccrom.org.

 

Coming Attractions: Preview of the 2012 IAMFA Mid-Atlantic Conference

By the 2012 Conference Team

Welcome to Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley in 2012!

By the time you read this, it will be just eight months until the start of the 22nd IAMFA Annual Conference. The 2012 Conference will be called the Mid-Atlantic Conference because venues will be in an area in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. All venues will be within 30 minutes of each other, but are located in two states: Delaware and Pennsylvania, both rich in American history.

The conference is scheduled for September 16–19, 2012, so mark your calendars, and begin soon to make your plans to attend. Registration information is up on the www.IAMFA.ORG website now, so don’t wait—make your plans now!

Read on for information on each of the 2012 Conference venues.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. It is located at the western end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The Museum was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year. Originally called the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, its founding was inspired by the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, which grew out of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses over 225,000 works of art and a wealth of exhibitions, encompassing some of the greatest achievements of human creativity.

Rodin Museum

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Located near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum houses the largest public collection of works, outside of Paris, by the celebrated late nineteenth-century French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

The Barnes Foundation

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On May 19, 2012, the Barnes Foundation will unveil its new Philadelphia home. In rooms reflective of the intimate layout and unique character of the original Merion galleries, this renowned art collection will be accessible to the public as never before. Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionism, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native-American textiles, metalwork, and more.

The Delaware Art Museum

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The Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art; works by Wilmington-native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators; and urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle. Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum houses a world-renowned collection that focuses on American art and illustration from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, as well as the British Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-nineteenth century. The Museum features an outdoor Sculpture Park, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, Studio Art Classes, and the interactive Kids’ Corner learning area.

Winterthur Museum and Country Estate

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Winterthur Museum and Country Estate is located in Winterthur, Delaware, and houses one of the most important collections of Americana in the United States. It was the former home of Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969): a renowned antiques collector and horticulturist. Until recently, it was known as the "Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum".

Winterthur is situated on 979 acres (4 km²), near Brandywine Creek, with 60 acres (0.2 km²) of naturalistic gardens. There were 2,500 acres (10 km²) when it functioned as a country estate.

There are 175 period-room displays in the Museum and approximately 85,000 objects. Most rooms are open to the public on small, guided tours. The collection spans more than two centuries of American decorative arts, notably from 1640 to 1860, and contains some of the most important pieces of American furniture and fine art. The Winterthur Library and Research Center includes more than 87,000 volumes and approximately 500,000 manuscripts and images, mostly related to American history, the decorative arts, and architecture. The facility also houses extensive conservation, research, and education facilities.

In the 1990s, more informal museum galleries were opened in a new building adjacent to the main house, where special rotating and permanent exhibits are now housed. The Museum is also home to the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation program.

Hagley Museum and Library

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Located close to Winterthur, Hagley Museum and Library is where the du Pont story begins. It was here that in 1802 E.I. du Pont established a gunpowder mill, which evolved into a major international corporation with worldwide impact. We will visit the scenic 235-acre campus along the banks of the Brandywine River, which includes the original mills of the DuPont Company, working machinery, a restored workers' community, and the fascinating links between history, science, and technology.

Longwood Gardens

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Longwood Gardens consists of over 1,077 acres (4.2 km²) of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania in the Brandywine Creek Valley. It is one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States, and is open to visitors year-round offering exotic plants and horticulture (both indoor and outdoor), events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses and workshops.

What is now Longwood Gardens was originally purchased from William Penn in 1700 by a fellow Quaker named George Peirce (1646–1734). Although it started as a working farm, in 1798 twin brothers Joshua and Samuel Peirce planted the first specimens of an arboretum, originally named Peirce’s Park, which has been open to the public almost continuously since that time. By 1850, they had amassed one of the finest collections of trees in the nation.

Industrialist Pierre S. du Pont (1870–1954) purchased the property from the Peirce family in 1906 to save the arboretum from being sold for lumber. He made it his private estate and, from 1906 until the 1930s, du Pont added extensively to the property. A world traveler from an early age, du Pont was often inspired to add features to the garden after attending world's fairs, the most notable additions being the massive conservatory, complete with a massive pipe organ, and the extensive system of fountains. Mr. Du Pont opened his estate to the public many days of the year during his occupancy and was even known, on rare occasions, to personally (and anonymously) provide tours to visitors.

National Museum of American Jewish History

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The National Museum of American Jewish History has long been a vital component in the cultural life of Philadelphia. Over the course of its history, the NMAJH has attracted a broad regional audience to its public programs, while exploring American Jewish identity through lectures, panel discussions, authors' talks, films, children's activities, theater, and music. The Museum has displayed more than a hundred exhibitions in the first three decades of existence. As the repository of the largest collection of Jewish Americana in the world, with more than 25,000 objects, the NMAJH has developed extensive institutional experience in preservation, conservation and collections management supporting the fulfillment of its mission to preserve the material culture of American Jews.

Independence Hall

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Constructed between 1732 and 1756 as the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania, Independence Hall is considered a fine example of Georgian architecture. From 1775 to 1783 (except for the winter of 1777–1778, when Philadelphia was occupied by the British Army), this was the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. It was in the Assembly Room of this building that George Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, and the Declaration of Independence was adopted here on July 4, 1776. In the same room, the design of the American flag was agreed upon in 1777; the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781; and the U. S. Constitution was drafted in 1787. The building, inside and out, has been restored wherever possible to its original late-eighteenth-century appearance. Most of the furnishings are period pieces. The “rising sun” chair used by George Washington as he presided over the Constitutional Convention is original.

National Constitution Center

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Located on Independence Mall, the National Constitution Center brings the U.S. Constitution to life for the whole family through multimedia exhibitions, live performances, timely public programs and dynamic educational resources. As America's first and only non-partisan, non-profit institution devoted to the Constitution, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires acts of citizenship, so that “We the People” may better secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia

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Located in one of Philadelphia's most historic buildings, the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia is a luxury hotel situated on the city's Avenue of the Arts: a stretch of Broad Street that is loaded with fine arts venues. It is also within walking distance of a number of other notable attractions, including the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music, City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, several theaters, and many historical buildings.

The hotel itself is located in the old Girard Bank Building, which was built in the 1830s. This stunning Neoclassical building with its signature rotunda is an ideal setting for a luxury hotel, and has become one of the most popular lodging choices in the city for those who are looking for upscale accommodation.

This is just a taste of what awaits you at the Annual Conference in Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley in 2012. We look forward to hosting you and your families.

 

A Sustainable Design Approach to Preservation Centres

By Martin Turpin

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) recently completed a nitrate film-preservation centre in Ottawa, Canada, merging strict conservation requirements and sustainable design principles. The facility houses LAC’s nitrate-based holdings, which cover many of Canada's important efforts during the First and Second World Wars. Other well-known archival holdings, such as the country's early work in filmmaking (Back to God's Country, 1919) and Yousuf Karsh’s earliest photographic works, are kept in the preservation vaults.

The project team demonstrated leadership in the area of sustainable design, which resulted in a building having a minimal impact on the environment. Their work was recognized with the Public Service of Canada Innovation Award.

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Caption: LAC Nitrate Film Preservation Facility. Photo: Gordon King, 2011

Design Intent

When the design phase began in 2003, Library and Archives Canada decided to make it a priority to build a green facility. The building’s function as a preservation facility requires a high level of energy to preserve its collection at 2°C and 25% relative humidity, which is the environment required to ensure that the cellulose nitrate films and photographic negatives are well preserved. While the project team opted to use the same approach to design the facility as the LEED standard (set by the Canadian Green Building Council), with the available technologies, they did so without pursuing accreditation because of the building’s high energy consumption and distance from the downtown core.

Some concepts adopted for the project included a simple volume facility with an exterior building envelope comprised of a green roof, highly insulated walls, and high-efficiency windows. The mechanical and electrical systems include energy-recovery ventilators, instant hot-water systems, and occupancy light controls with LED/fluorescent light fixtures. Care was taken to nestle the building within the site’s bedrock, orienting it to minimize site excavation.

The archival processing room and digitization room were designed to be interchangeable, and are equipped with adaptable workstations, allowing flexibility for future conservation and digitization technologies. These rooms, located on the northern side of the facility, highlighted in red in the rendering below, include large high-efficiency windows that are more airtight and provide superior insulation value to regular window systems.

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Caption: Architect’s rendering of the Nitrate Film Preservation Facility.

LEGEND

Blue: Preservation vaults

Red: Laboratories

Beige: Loading dock area

Yellow: Mechanical room

While the inclusion of high-efficiency windows was largely for occupant comfort, the northerly direction of each room helps reduce the heat load and avoids the casting of direct sunlight on the collections handled in these rooms.

The preservation vault wing, represented in blue in the rendering, required thick walls for fire separation. These walls were also used as structural support for the green roof, saving the cost premium to support the weight of the green roof and helping to expedite the construction process. The utilization of fly ash in the concrete helped to reduce the quantity of Portland cement, lessening the environmental impact, improving fire resistance, and reducing wall thickness.

Extensive Vegetative Green Roof

The main advantage of incorporating the vegetative roof was to provide a buffer zone between the indoor 2°C environment (of the preservation vaults), and outdoor heat during the summer months. According to research by the National Research Council of Canada, a green roof would reduce the summer peak roof temperature from 70°C, on typical tar roofs, to 30°C on a green roof. To best explain this, it is the equivalent of the temperature of a grass lawn versus paved asphalt on a hot summer day. Therefore, you only need to cool 28°C (30°C minus 2°C), on a green roof, versus 68°C (70°C minus 2°C) for a typical tar roof. In addition, a green roof will reduce the load on the city’s water treatment plants by eliminating water runoff, and will extend the life of the roof membrane by 30 years.

Energy and Water Efficiency

The energy performance of the building was maximized through the selection of appropriate building components and systems. Utilizing super-insulation construction details and capitalizing on thermal massing helps to retain the ambient temperature in the space, thereby lessening the requirement for cooling or heating. To explain this in a simpler way, think of your home refrigerator. It is more efficient when it is full than when it is empty, because the content (mass) helps to retain the desired temperature without continuously cooling the inside of the refrigerator.

Another initiative to reduce air loss was the introduction of an acclimatization corridor in the

preservation vault area, which reduced the leakage of conditioned air in the adjacent occupied spaces. And finally, the inclusion of a green roof over the preservation vault area contributes to the reduction of the cooling load on the mechanical systems.

Due to the preservation vaults being kept at 2°C, the vault wing functions as a large refrigerator. Consequently, efforts to design the mechanical system to minimize energy use include an independent Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) and Variable Speed Drives (VSD). The ERV recovers the energy from the vault exhaust air and reuses this energy to cool the fresh air going into the building, while the VSD, on the building’s mechanical systems, operate only when required, and to the level of the occupant load, instead of running continuously.

Instantaneous hot-water heaters, for all domestic water heating, eliminate the energy wasted with hot-water tanks when they are not in use. Energy is thus used only when the occupants need it. Duty boilers are used to provide the necessary heat to the desiccant wheels for dehumidification in the preservation vaults. To make the most of the boilers, they are also used for supplemental radiant heating to the occupied spaces and to complement the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, improving individual control of these spaces and occupant comfort.

Efficient fluorescent and LED fixtures, controlled with occupancy sensors, were used in the facility to reduce the energy load. Occupied spaces are outfitted with large windows to maximize daylight; and the metal roof decking, which acts as the finished ceiling, is painted white to reflect as much light as possible into these spaces.

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Caption: Main entrance area. Photo: Gordon King, 2011

Water consumption for the facility is reduced by providing touchless (for improved sanitation) lowflush fixtures, and drought-resistant plants for the green roof and the site. The landscaping is a managed meadow of native species, with only a small portion requiring maintenance, thus reducing ongoing maintenance costs. The landscape architect was committed to returning much of the site to its pre-development state, using indigenous plants.

Carbon Footprint

In order to reduce our environmental impact, the criteria used to source the building finishes were based on: local products (to reduce transportation from the producers to our door); durable products with the same lifespan as the building;and products that require little to no maintenance. Such products include interior and exterior metal walls (using 25% recycled content) that were painted offsite to avoid the introduction of pollutants into the laboratories and occupied spaces.

Using polished concrete floors and poured concrete walls, with the maximum amount of post-industrial recycled material (fly ash), and exposed architectural concrete blocks, eliminated cyclical replacement and maintenance of these finishes.

Exposing the roof decking and structure not only allows the reflection of light from the fixtures, but also provides easy access for maintenance work, eliminating the need for a suspended ceiling. Careful consideration was made in the selection of the cabinetry for the kitchen and washrooms, which were constructed with rapidly renewable agricultural fibres and Forest Stewardship Council Canada (FSC) wood. The interior design eliminates all unnecessary applied finishes and exposes the structural and mechanical building systems (which are used as design elements).

Creating the optimal preservation condition was paramount in the design of the facility, in order to preserve Canada’s nitrate-based documentary heritage for present and future generations. While using a sustainable design approach, the project team managed to construct the “coolest”—at 2°C—nitrate film-preservation centre in North America, while minimizing its impact on the environment and reducing its carbon footprint.

Conclusion

Even with construction completed, LAC continues to promote sustainable practices by educating the occupants and visitors about the benefits of sustainable design, specifying green maintenance practices (using non-toxic products that have minimal impact on the environment) in the facility, and through active design:a shower facility was included in the building to encourage employees to lead active lifestyles at the workplace.

Building construction has a significant impact on the use of non-renewable resources, as well as our environment. This is especially true when it comes to collection facilities, designed with high preservation standards, which often consume a lot of energy.

Project Team

Primary Consultants

Schoeler & Heaton Architects

Sub-Consultants

Mechanical/Electrical: Goodkey Weedmark & Associates

Landscape Architect: F.D. Fountain Landscape Architecture

Structural: Adjeleian Allen Rubeli

Commissioning: Cathcart Mechanical Performance

Site Services: Stantec Consulting

General Contractor: Laurin Group

Martin Turpin is Capital Project Manager at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa.

 

An Unexpected Attendance at the Lighting Designer’s Oscar Awards

By Alan Dirican

After attending a wonderful and highly educational IAMFA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, like many other attendees I also decided to take a few extra vacation days and do some sightseeing. After all, most of us don’t get to travel to the Southern Hemisphere very often. I decided on spending the three days after the IAMFA Conference in Sydney, Australia.

While in Sydney, I visited one of the local residents whom we had all just met at the IAMFA Conference, and who also happens to be a very talented lighting designer: Emrah Baki Ulas. If you attended the Auckland Conference, you heard Emrah make a presentation. If you didn’t attend, Emrah also co-authored a recent four-part series article in Papyrus: Looking at Art in a New Light. Emrah and his co-author Mirjam Roos, another very talented lighting designer, both work for Steensen Varming, a consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia, which was also a Principal Sponsor of the 2011 Auckland Conference.

After seeing and admiring Mirjam’s lighting design work at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, I thought it might be nice to see some of Emrah’s design work as well. During the Auckland Conference, Emrah mentioned his design at the John Kaldor Family Gallery at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in Sydney.

On my second day in Sydney, I met Emrah in his office at Steensen Varming. After meeting his colleagues and touring their very sleek and contemporary offices, Emrah gave me a personal tour of the Kaldor Gallery.

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Caption: The Kaldor Family Gallery at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Lighting Design: Emrah Ulas

Emrah also gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House, where I also saw Steensen Varming’s work. Steensen Varming were mechanical consulting engineers for the Sydney Opera House.

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Caption: The iconic Sydney Opera House.

Just as Emrah was explaining that we had to cut our tour short due to a previous engagement—he had to attend the Illumination Engineers Society of Australia and New Zealand (IESANZ) awards ceremony with his colleagues from Steensen Varming—he received a phone call from his boss, Dan Mackenzie.

Emrah had earlier explained to me that their firm submitted two different lighting projects for the IESANZ Lighting Design Excellence Awards. One of the projects was his design for the Kaldor Family Gallery; the other was Mirjam’s design for the Australian War Memorial Hall of Valour Gallery. I couldn’t help but sense the friendly rivalry between these two talented lighting designers, who are colleagues at the same firm, and partners in personal life.

On the phone, Emrah’s boss Dan was telling him that one of his colleagues was not feeling well, and would not be able to attend the awards dinner, which left an available seat at their table. I was so surprised when they asked me to join them. Having no previous set plans of my own for the night, and already having a tux in my suitcase—but more importantly curious about the outcome of the awards—I accepted the invitation.

I had never attended an event like the IESANZ before, but it became clear to me that this was like the lighting designers’ Oscar. Throughout the evening, there were a half-dozen different awards presented to individuals in different categories, each representing achievements in the lighting field.

Like the Oscars, the most prestigious award was saved for the end of the evening. After showing all the final project selections, including both Mirjam’s and Emrah’s designs from Steensen Varming, the jury made its decision. The announcer informed the audience that the IESANZ Lighting Design Excellence Award went to the design work for the Kaldor Family Gallery in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Earlier in the night, Emrah told me that he was hoping for Mirjam to win. I think he just didn’t want to sleep in the doghouse that night.

Then something very interesting happened. Apparently for the first time in the history of the IESANZ, the announcer indicated that the jury had had a very difficult time making a decision between two projects among the final selections, and ultimately decided two give two Excellence Awards. To the surprise of everyone, the other winner was the Australia War Memorial, which was also Steensen Varming project, and designed by Mirjam Roos.

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Caption for both: The Australian War Memorial Hall of Valour. Lighting Design: Mirjam Roos

I could clearly see the joy and pride in the faces of all of Mirjam’s colleagues, but especially in Dan MacKenzie’s—having submitted two separate projects by two of his firm’s designers, both of whom had won the most prestigious award. For me, I was so happy to be present for the evening, and to get to know such talented designers.

Alan Dirican is Deputy Director for Operations and Capital Planning at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and is Treasurer of IAMFA.

 

Architect of the Capitol Begins Restoration of Capitol Dome Skirt

In October 2011, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, announced that

passersby at the U.S. Capitol would soon see workers beginning restoration of the Capitol Dome skirt: the lower level of the cast-iron Dome.

Restoration work will include repairing and restoring historical ironwork, sandstone, and brick masonry. In addition, old paint will be removed from the interior and exterior of the

Dome skirt and it will be repainted.

Work has been going on behind the scenes for several months to prepare the site for the restoration project. Currently, a large scaffold tower is in place on the West Front Grounds. A second scaffold tower will soon be erected at the terrace level, and will connect the lower tower with a bridge that will be used to move materials to the skirt level. The scaffolding installed around the Dome skirt will be covered with a white scrim to allow it to blend in with the building’s exterior. The majority of the work will be done at night and on weekends to ensure minimal disruption to Congressional business, events, and public tours.

The Architect of the Capitol has overseen regular maintenance to slow the deterioration and, in summer 2010, had the Dome sealed and painted to provide a protective coating that would help preserve and protect the exterior cast-iron surfaces. To accommodate preparations for the 2013 Inaugural, work on the Dome skirt is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.

“There is only one Capitol Dome, and we are committed to preserving it for generations to come,” noted Mr. Ayers.

The iconic Capitol Dome serves as a symbol of our country and our government. It was designed by Architect of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter, and is the Capitol’s second dome. The first, finished in 1824, was a low dome made of wood covered with copper. By the 1850s, this dome was considered a fire hazard, as well as too small for the Capitol Building, which had been enlarged over the years.

Construction on the new dome began in 1856, and progressed through the Civil War. Made of cast iron, the new dome was added to the existing Rotunda walls. Its iron columns were cast hollow, allowing some to serve as chimneys or rain downspouts. Work was completed on December 2, 1863, when the last section of the Statue of Freedom was put in place atop the new dome.

 

Museum Environmental Standards in a Changing Environment

By Vicki Humphrey and Julian Bickersteth

The current generation of museum professionals has grown up working to the internationally recognised—and until recently unassailable—standards of 20°C +/- 2°C temperature and 50% +/- 5 % relative humidity. A number of factors, however, have led to these standards being re-examined. The growing focus on sustainability, and an increasing awareness of the carbon footprint of the world’s cultural institutions, have been significant contributors to this re-examination.

There is no escaping the fact that the current recommended environmental standards for display and storage conditions in museums and galleries rely on significant amounts of energy to keep these conditions constant, and Facilities Managers are all too aware of the cost of maintaining them. Facilities Managers may be less aware, however, that there is now general agreement amongst the international conservation community that collections can withstand conditions within a range outside of these currently accepted standards.

The need for a review of museum environmental standards has been recognised for a number of years now. The impact of climate change and the vulnerability of delicate collections that rely on controlled environments, as well as the effects on built heritage, have been concerns for the National Trust in the U.K. and other such bodies for some time. In 2008, these matters were the topic of discussion at the International Institute for Conservation’s (IIC) inaugural roundtable discussion, Climate Change and Museum Collections http://www.iiconservation.org/dialogues/IIC_climate_change_transcript.pdf

In 2009, the EU’s Science and Heritage Programme research cluster, known as EGOR (“Environmental Guidelines: Opportunities and Risks”), strongly recommended that new environmental guidelines be developed, reflecting recent scientific evidence.

Also in 2009, the U.K.’s National Museums Directors Conference produced a set of guiding principles for reducing museums’ carbon footprint.

These espoused four basic principles:

1.  Environmental standards should become more intelligent and better tailored to clearly identified needs. Blanket conditions should no longer apply.

2.  Care of collections should be achieved in a way that does not assume air-conditioning or any other current solutions. Passive methods and simple technologies that are easy to maintain, as well as lower-energy solutions, should be considered.

3.  Natural and sustainable environmental controls should be explored.

4.  When designing and constructing new buildings, or renovating old ones, architects and engineers should be guided to reduce significantly the building’s carbon footprint as a primary objective.

Museum and gallery directors have been very active in challenging what has been referred to as the “gold standard of museum” environmental control. The Art Newspaper noted in Issue 212, April 2010, that “Leading directors have been questioning the scientific validity – and cost – of running air conditioning to the current standard specification.” In this same article, they reported the fact that the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has relaxed its environmental standards and had offered lenders the opportunity to remove their collection items if they were not happy with these changes. None of the lenders chose to take up this offer. The Art Newspaper has continued to report on progress on this topic in subsequent issues. IIC has also continued the discussion in another roundtable discussion, The Plus/Minus Dilemma: The Way Forward in Environmental Guidelines (http://www.iiconservation.org/dialogues/Plus_Minus_trans.pdf) held in Milwaukee in May 2010.

Environmental standards for museums, libraries and archives have been a matter for discussion in Australia as well. In fact, the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) was advocating a more informed approach to environmental standards as early as 2002, when Guidelines for Environmental Control of Cultural Institutions was published by the Heritage Collections Council. The issue has become more pressing in recent years as, in common with our colleagues the world over, the Australian museum sector is facing a number of challenges: namely, rising energy costs; static or reduced budgets; and community pressure to be more environmentally sustainable. In response to these challenges and to the discussions and initiatives internationally – including the announcement that BS5454 was to be reviewed – AICCM established a taskforce to develop a set of environmental guidelines for Australian conditions in 2009.

It was acknowledged that there needs to be a shift in environmental standards, and that this shift must reflect a better understanding of the contemporary conservation needs of different types of objects, and the climate in which they are held. It must also engage with the context in which museums operate, from both a budgetary and an engineering perspective.

Image Page 38

Caption: The inaugural meeting of Facilities Managers and Conservators of Australia's national collecting institutions based in Canberra, was held at the National Museum.

The taskforce began by gathering data on existing Australian and international research in this area, along with details of initiatives that collecting institutions across the country were already taking. One important consideration was the fact that Australia is a net importer of museum loans, and if we want to continue to borrow objects and works of art from abroad, we have to take into account the pace of revisions in the standards in other countries. It was interesting to note that a degree of frustration was expressed by a number of participants from the U.S. and U.K., during informal discussions at the recent IAMFA Conference in Auckland, about the effect environmental requirements for loans was having on moves to revise the standards.

The AICCM taskforce found that Australian collecting institutions are already undertaking a range of significant initiatives. Work had been done to start reducing energy requirements and therefore costs, and also to research what wider tolerances can be achieved whilst still responsibly meeting the needs of our national collections. It is clear as well that energy usage is not dictated only by environmental standards for collections. It also involves the ways in which museums and galleries utilise what is generally their major physical asset: their buildings. Museums may often be captive to international trends, and thus unable to make unilateral decisions at their own behest when it comes to environmental conditions for loans; however, as we see in the pages of Papyrus, museums in Australia and elsewhere are taking steps to manage their buildings in more environmentally responsible ways.

The importance of the work of the AICCM Taskforce to Australia’s museum sector was evident when the Taskforce’s project – Environmental Guidelines for Museums and Galleries was awarded not only the national prize in the Sustainability category of the 2011 Museums & Galleries National Awards (the MAGNAs) at the Museums Australia Conference in Perth in November, but also the overall MAGNA Award.

The purpose of the AICCM Environmental Guidelines is to bring Australian collecting institutions up to speed with the latest thinking on appropriate environmental conditions for the long-term care of their collections, whether on display or in storage, and to help collecting institutions meet their responsibility for establishing and maintaining environmental conditions which will preserve the collections in their care for future use and enjoyment.

It must be noted, however, that it is no longer sufficient to implement blanket environmental standards that cover all material types, buildings, climates and eventualities. Thus, the Guidelines offer broad indicators and supporting information and data that can be used to aid in the development of site-specific and material-specific conditions. There is no universal range offered, although in a few instances actual figures have been suggested: for example, the upper limit of RH recommended for prevention of mould growth. Optimal conditions vary, depending on the type of material an object is made from, on the physical condition of that object, and in some cases the environmental conditions to which it may already be acclimatised.

This approach will certainly involve taking a different approach, and may be seen as more labour intensive for smaller organisations. It sits well, however, with an integrated collection-management approach that takes into account the use of collections, evaluation of content, significance and condition, as well as consideration of the “life cycle” of the collection, the objects within it, and the degrees of deterioration that are acceptable.

The Guidelines do not provide specific guidance on the architectural or engineering aspects of environmental control. Conservators can encourage consideration being given to passive systems such as utilising building mass, internal rooms and storing like with like, and establishing microclimates with the aim of achieving low-energy approaches. The Guidelines are intended to be useful for practical application, and thus each principal guideline is supported by advice on how that guideline should be implemented.

Links and cooperation between conservators and Facilities Managers will be critical in determining, implementing and managing specific environmental standards with organisations. This was also recognised during informal discussions at the recent IAMFA conference. To facilitate such cooperation, Vicki Humphrey has hosted an initial meeting between conservators and Facilities Managers from Australia’s national collecting institutions. The aim of this meeting was to establish a schedule of quarterly meetings to discuss issues of common concern, and to provide a forum for exchange of information between the two disciplines. It is also hoped that there will be updates on these meetings in the AICCM newsletter and IAMFA’s Papyrus.

The review of environmental standards is an important development in the management and care of collections. It has also served as a reminder of the common ground between Facilities Managers and their conservation colleagues, and as a catalyst for a closer working relationship between these two groups.

Vicki Humphrey is the Head of Conservation at the National Museum of Australia. Vicki has drawn on her 25 years of conservation experience and her previous architectural training to contribute to the development of conservation facilities at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the British Library. Vicki is a professionally accredited conservator (ICON, UK) and is the Vice President of AICCM. Vicki has an International Certificate in Risk Management and is a Prince 2 practitioner.

Julian Bickersteth is the Managing Director of International Conservation Services, which he founded 25 years ago. He is an AICCM Professional Member and was AICCM Conservator of the Year in 2002. He is a Fellow and currently Vice-President of IIC. He is also Vice-President of the Australian Decorative and Fine Art Societies (ADFAS) and is on the Board of the National Trust of Australia (NSW). Julian headed up the AICCM Environmental Guidelines Taskforce.

 

Security Tip

It may seem like common sense, but you should still always shelter your hand as you enter your banking code, even blocking the keypad with your body if you need to. Also, make sure you choose a PIN that is not easily associated with your name, address, phone number or birthdate—the more random it is, the more difficult it would be to guess from your personal info, or your family’s.

 

Regional Updates

Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter

By Maurice Evans

The Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter continues to grow and reach out to other museums and cultural institutions in the area. This increased membership and participation was evident at its most recent quarterly meeting.

The Chapter held its final quarterly meeting of the 2011 calendar year on September 14 at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The meeting was well attended with over 30 participants, including several first-time attendees.

The educational topic for this meeting was “Moving Towards Sustainable Operations at the National Archives”, presented by Mark Sprouse of the National Archives. Mark’s presentation was indeed informative. Mark shared his presentation electronically with the Chapter, providing us with good reference material if we wanted to implement any of the recommendations from his presentation.

The next chapter meeting will take place in January 2012. The host for this meeting will be the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This will be the first time the Holocaust Museum has hosted the Chapter meeting. All of the members are looking forward to visiting the Holocaust Museum, and to our upcoming meeting. 

U.K. Chapter

By Ian Williams

We’ve been a little busy here in sunny Liverpool, as our new building opened on July 19, 2011. We had 400,000 visitors in the first two months, who have tested the place to destruction—which keeps my stress levels high, and our contractors busy.

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Caption: Landmark buildings on Liverpool’s waterfront, including the Museum of Liverpool.

We also use one of our main windows as a big screen on which to project for events taking place in the city.

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Caption: One of the Museum of Liverpool’s main windows is used to project images.

New Zealand Chapter

Japan-based Shigeru Ban Architects has unveiled their proposal for a “Cardboard Cathedral”: a replacement structure for the Christchurch Cathedral located in New Zealand. An earthquake struck the city of Christchurch in February 2011, heavily damaging the existing church, and leaving the community in need of an interim structure to continue their daily activities.

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Caption: Damaged Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The design consists of an A-frame quickly erected with cardboard tubes and polycarbonate, which will rest upon foundations fabricated from shipping containers measuring 20 feet (six metres) in length. The interior volume will serve as an event and concert space capable of holding up to 700 people.
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Caption:
Front façade (left) and proposed structural A-frame (right). Images Courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
The monumental triangular entry facade would be composed of a series of smaller triangles, filled with stained-glass windowpanes sourced from local artists.

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Caption: Interior of proposed cathedral.

Once the initial research and engineering phases—currently underway—are resolved, the structure will take three months to assemble, with a projected completion of February 2012. The durable materials are weatherproof and fireproof, with a functional lifespan of at least fifteen years. Volunteers may assist with the rebuilding process, as structural connections of the tubes with three-inch (8 cm) diameter require minimal construction experience.
Shigeru Ban Architects has offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York and a long history of producing projects throughout the world.

 

2011 IAMFA Conference


Unscramble each of the clue words.
Copy the letters in the numbered cells to other cells with the same number.

Solution:

Pat Morgan

Auckland

War Memorial Museum

Voyager Museum

Skytower

Royal Navy Museum

Mudbrick Vineyard

Civic Theatre

Ted Ashby

Langham Hotel

Auckland Zoo

MOTAT

Thank you Pat Morgan

Created with Puzzlemaker at: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/DoublePuzzleSetupForm.asp

The IAMFA LinkedIn Group now has 213 members from 24 countries. Join the

Group and see what everyone is talking about, and PLEASE . . . join in the discussions; we'd like to hear what you have to say.

linkedin.com

List of Contributors

Julian Bickersteth

John deLucy

John Bixler

Alan Dirican

Maurice Evans

Vicki Humphrey

Simon Lambert

Eva Malecki

Joe May

Lynn McGuire

Mirjam Roos

Martin Turpin

Emrah Baki Ulas

Ian Williams

Stacey Wittig

2012 Mid-Atlantic Conference Planning Team