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Papyrus—Summer 2013

Caption for cover image

Andō Hiroshige (1797–1858)

View from Massaki of Suijin Shrine, Uchigawa Inlet, and Sekiya

This view through a semi-circle of boats on an inlet of the Uchi River features blossoms in the foreground and the Suijin Shrine in the distance.  Collection of the Library of Congress

Letter from the Editor

Greetings from Los Angeles!

In this issue of Papyrus, you will find up-to-date plans for the 23rd Annual IAMFA Conference in Washington, D.C. If you haven’t attended one of IAMFA’s annual conferences before, or are new to the organization, you probably wonder why we spend so much time discussing plans for our annual conference. Here is my reason: I attended my first IAMFA conference in 2003 in San Francisco, and by the end of the conference I was hooked! I haven’t missed an IAMFA conference since.

I think my experience may not be that much different from that of most IAMFA members. The conference is more than just the presentations, where you learn about topics important for managing your facilities department. It’s more than the behind-the-scenes tours of the venues, where you see new practices that have been implemented. It’s more than the dinners and social events, where you make friends with your peers, or renew friendships with those you see each year. It’s more than the closing gala, always staged in the most elegant settings you can imagine. 

The first gala I attended was held in the Legion of Honor in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was having dinner inside the gallery amidst all of the amazing sculptures. It’s obvious why so many IAMFA members bring along a guest or partner to take part in the Guest Program; you see so many wonderful sights that remain with you as memories forever. I hope some of you who have not before attended an annual conference will take a chance and see what you are missing, and why we publish so much material in Papyrus, and on our website, about IAMFA’s annual conference. 

In this issue of Papyrus, we have numerous articles contributed by our corporate members, benchmarking facilitator, regular members from our member institutions, and members from IAMFA’s LinkedIn Group.

You will find two articles on Building Information Modeling (BIM), written by Steensen Varming and Quinn Evans Architects. If you haven’t experienced BIM firsthand, these articles provide a very good explanation of what advantages BIM offers, and why you should consider using this approach for future expansion or redevelopment projects.

Stacey Wittig from Facilities Issues (our annual benchmarking coordinator) writes about Facility Issues’ twenty-second annual Facility Managers Roundtable at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of IAMFA’s member institutions. The Facility Managers Roundtable is a diverse group that meets to discuss best practices gleaned from annual benchmarking studies, much like the IAMFA benchmarking group will do in October.

The Best Practices Feature Article in this issue was written by IAMFA members from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and describes improvements made to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. This was accomplished in just the first few years of the program . . . and they are not stopping there!

You will find an article on Predictive Maintenance by Tom Westerkamp, whom I’ve known for over 30 years, and who’s spent the past 50 years consulting in the field of Maintenance Management. Tom is simply the best engineer I’ve ever known—and a tremendous resource, if you ever need to discuss an issue with your maintenance operations. Tom authored the Maintenance Manager’s Standard Manual 20 years ago, and it is a great tool for any maintenance department.

You will find an article in this issue with an overview of the Folger Library: one of the venues that you will visit during the IAMFA conference in October. You will also find an article about a project at another conference venue, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). When it was time to resurface the nearly quarter-mile of exterior handrails, architrave p.c., architects and the USHMM settled on a innovative approach that I know you will find very interesting.

In the centerfold of this issue, we have a collage of pictures taken at IAMFA’s mid-year Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. I hope this sampling of images from the conference venues will entice a few members who have never taken the step to attend the conference. Careful, or you may also get hooked!

I hope that everyone this issue reaches has had an opportunity to visit the Members Only Page on our website. If you haven’t visited the Members Only Page, you’ll find current updates on IAMFA. In 2010 and 2011, members participated in strategic planning sessions at the annual conference, and numerous suggestions were contributed for improving IAMFA. The Members Only Page has a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the results of those efforts. This fall at the conference, the Board will be introducing new plans to strengthen IAMFA during the next five years, and Nancy Bechtol will discuss these plans during the annual general meeting in Washington, D.C. I hope that many of you will also join in and contribute to these efforts. The Board looks forward to updating everyone this fall.

We’ve just added our members list to the Members Only Page also, as well as bylaws, our Nominating Committee Policy, and numerous other news items. If you have suggestions for how we can further use the Members Only Page, please send me a message.

Finally, a LinkedIn Group update: we now have 586 group members from 47 countries. If you haven’t joined yet, please do so.

I hope you enjoy this issue; thank you to everyone who contributed content, and to our advertisers whose generous support helps offset the cost of publishing Papyrus.

Joe May


Message from the President

The Washington, D.C. Conference Committee remains hard at work planning the upcoming Annual Conference on October 20–24. I hope everyone is planning to come early and stay late to enjoy the benchmarking session on Sunday, as well as the extra day they have planned for Thursday. 

The IAMFA Board had a fabulous meeting in early May, and walked through the entire planned program. We all came away with no doubt that this meeting will be up to our usual IAMFA par in terms of excellence in annual conference planning and execution. The Board stayed at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel during this meeting, which was very comfortable, with lots of large open spaces for gathering, as well as great shopping and restaurants. I am confident everyone will enjoy this hotel, as there is something for everyone at this resort location.

The Board and I can’t thank everyone enough for taking us on tours through the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, the Glenstone Gallery, the National Archives, the Smithsonian’s Environmental Research Center and the National Zoo. I hope you enjoy Joe May’s photographs from that meeting in this issue of Papyrus. 

The planning committee, headed by Tiffany Myers, is doing an outstanding job pulling together all of the details for the conference. The team represents all of the leading museums, archives and libraries of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Team members Kristy Brosius (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum), Tony Cerveny (Glenstone), Neal Graham (Library of Congress), Mark Sprouse (National Archives and Records Administration), Kendra Gastright (Smithsonian Institution) and Dave Samec (National Gallery of Art) have been meeting monthly to plan our meeting, and promise a fabulous program. Please register and reserve your hotel room right away, if you haven’t already done so. Rooms are going very fast!

All annual meetings require substantial sponsorship to be successful. IAMFA is very fortunate to have several corporate sponsors who have supported us for years, assisting with many annual conferences. I am most appreciative of John Bixler, Zone Facilities Manager for the Smithsonian Institution, for leading the charge this year in securing and raising over $50,000 in funding toward this year’s conference. Many IAMFA members have supported John’s efforts and assisted with contacts and networking, and the results are amazing! He is still working toward securing even more support! The entire Board cannot thank the thirteen 2013 sponsors enough. This level of sponsorship provides enough funding that we can avoid increasing our conference registration fees for members and their guests.

Have you visited the Conference Page recently? All registration details for the conference can be found there. We will also be resetting the password for the Members Only Page in the next few months, as soon as everyone has paid their annual dues for this calendar year. We established a July 15 deadline this year, but have extended it for another month to give folks time to pay their dues. This was the first year with an established deadline, and over 100 of our members did pay on time! 

In the spring issue of Papyrus, I asked for volunteers to serve on the Board; however, no one has come forward so far. The Board is still keen to welcome anyone interested in serving on the Board, and it is never too late to express your interest. We are always looking for volunteer help and assistance. Fortunately, all current Board members who are completing their terms are willing to go on for another term. Voting Members in good standing should have seen a ballot from Randy Murphy earlier in July. Please look for it and vote! It is important that we hear from as many members as possible. 

We look forward to welcoming Bill Caddick from the Art Institute of Chicago to the IAMFA Board this fall, and to our upcoming annual meeting in Chicago in 2015. We have DC 2013 and Scotland 2014 to enjoy before we all head to Chicago in 2015. Jack Plumb is busy planning our meeting in Scotland already, and has secured the hotel and all of the venues. The Board can’t wait to visit him in April of 2014 to see what his team has planned for all of us, come September 14–17, 2014. Make sure to save those dates on your calendar. 

The Board has drafted a new five-year Strategic Plan, Corporate Sponsorship Plan and Membership Plan, and we will be rolling these plans out to our members during the October 2013 annual conference. We are all very excited about the strategic direction these three plans provide for our Association over the course of the next decade. We hope to reach out to you, and offer ways for all of our members to become more involved in their facilities association. 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer, and I look forward to being with you all in October. 

Nancy Bechtol


Reducing Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

By Cecily Grzywacz, David Matthews, Ted Huynh and David Samec

Image Page 4

Caption: Primary chilled water pumps. ©National Gallery of Art

In October 2009, Presidential Executive Order 13514 for Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance was signed, mandating a 30% reduction in energy use and a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all Executive Agencies by the year 2020: 30/30 by 2020. While the National Gallery of Art (NGA) is not an Executive Agency, we strive to follow the Order’s spirit. In 2012, Darrell Willson, Administrator and Senior Sustainability Officer, presented the NGA Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) to staff: a plan which recognized that each of us can contribute to making a difference in our energy use and costs. 

The National Gallery of Art set SSPP goals for a 20% reduction in energy use, and a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2020—or 20/20 by 2020. By the end of 2012, these goals had nearly been achieved: energy use was reduced by 17% (Figure 1), and GHG emissions were reduced by 23% (Figure 2). 

Figure 1

Caption: Figure 1: By the end of 2012, the National Gallery of Art had reduced energy consumption by 17% from the 2008 baseline.

Figure 2

Caption: Figure 2: By FY2012, partial retro-commissioning of the National Gallery of Art’s air-washer air-handling units had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23% from the 2008 baseline. 

By re-investing some of the energy savings in emerging technologies, we believe that we can approach the Executive Order’s 30/30 by 2020. 

The following projects and accomplishments were identified in the Gallery’s SSPP:

  • HVAC optimization and retro-commissioning

  • Chiller Plant modification: heat exchanger de-rating and installation of fourth heat exchanger

  • Building Automation System (BAS) upgrades to include Sequence Modifications

  • Reduction in potable water use by more than 16%

  • Acquisition of EnergyStar or FEMP-rated equipment

  • Increased use of office supplies with recycled paper content

  • Recycling of building materials and construction waste

  • Expanded recycling program: cardboard, acrylic, all paper, and special items

  • Lighting: more energy-efficient lamps (T-8, T-5, CFL, LEDs) and occupancy sensors

  • Prototype touchless men’s restroom (WB Main Floor)

  • Encouraging staff to turn off room, office and task lighting when leaving for the day

  • Increased staff subsidy for public transportation; additional bike racks

  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): replacement of harsh chemicals with green products (cleaning, landscaping, maintenance) and low- to zero-VOC paints

Administrator Facilities Management’s (AFM’s) energy-conservation measures have been gradually implemented to ensure that modifications have no adverse impact on the preservation environment for the Gallery’s priceless collections: 70 ± 5°F with 50 ± 5 % RH (70/50). The Gallery maintains these parameters using heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) units based on 1920s air-washer technology. Fortunately, these air-washer HVAC systems are very effective at achieving 70/50. Unfortunately, they are also energy-intensive. 

Unlike most U.S. federal buildings, but like all museums, the Gallery must condition its spaces 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, for the preservation of priceless works of art. Still, there was an opportunity to reduce energy use and save funds. The Gallery is open to the public 7 hours a day; the volume of air conditioned was adjusted based on expected occupancy and time of day. Spaces only need to be fully illuminated during public and work hours; again, we were able to reduce the amount of air conditioned.

AFM has been able to reduce the amount of air conditioned by 10 billion pounds per year with the energy conservation measures implemented thus far. Based on recent savings trends, AFM has projected utility-cost reductions to help offset the impact of sequestration. We have a lot of work ahead of us in order to meet this aggressive goal. With all of us working together, however, we expect to be successful.

The energy and cost savings are the result of a change in the Gallery’s traditional culture. We have discovered better ways to manage the facility using common-sense approaches, while considering the needs of all stakeholders. AFM has enhanced communications with other departments and divisions. This in turn has led to mutual education of our different fields, areas of expertise, concerns and responsibilities and, most importantly, successful collaborations. 

Image page 5

Caption: The East Building of the National Gallery of Art. ©National Gallery of Art

Cecily Grzywacz is the Facilities Scientist; David Matthews is the Energy Manager; Ted Huynh is the Senior Mechanical Engineer; and David Samec is the Chief of Facilities Management at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.


The Folger Shakespeare Library

By David Conine

Have you ever wondered how Romeo wooed Juliet? Or how Hollywood turned Cyrano de Bergerac into the movie Roxanne? Whether you are interested in Shakespearean tragedies or comedies, your search will lead you to the Folger Shakespeare Library—one of the world’s largest resources for the works of William Shakespeare.

Image page 7

Caption: Folger Shakespeare Library, West Entrance: corner of 2nd Street and East Capitol Street.

Institutional Overview

The Folger Shakespeare Library is located near the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. It opened in 1932 as “a gift to the American people” from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger. An independent board of 27 members governs, and the Trustees of Amherst College (Henry Folger’s alma mater) administers the Folger, in accordance with Mr. Folger’s bequest.

The current annual operating budget is $15.6 million. The Folger’s staff includes 100 regular full-time, six grant-funded full-time, and 34 part-time employees. In July 2011, the Board appointed the seventh Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Dr. Michael Witmore.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-class center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and the world’s third-largest collection of early modern English books and manuscripts, and is a primary repository for rare materials on the early modern period in Continental Europe.

Standing in the Folger’s rare book vaults, one is surrounded by half of the books printed in English before 1640. As an internationally recognized research library, the Folger is a hub for advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs.

The power and depth of the Folger’s collection inspires the best scholarship in college and university classrooms, leading scholarly publications, and new discoveries in the field. The Folger shares the wealth of its collection with everyone from Shakespearean scholars to actors, students, and teachers. Scholars from more than 20 countries and 242 colleges and universities come to study and take part in a diverse array of conferences, seminars, and symposia. Over 50,000 pages of collection materials are available online in a digital image database. Researchers and teachers from across the globe can access the Library’s bibliographic information through the online database, Hamnet, as well as the Folger’s website (, which also includes lesson plans, exhibitions, and subject-themed resources.

Building Overview

As previously mentioned, the Library was built in 1932 by Henry and Emily Folger. Henry Folger was an avid Shakespearean collector, as well as the president and chairman of Standard Oil of New York. Sadly, Henry Folger never saw the completion of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The building was later completed by Emily Folger, with the assistance of architect Paul Cret, who is also known for the Federal Reserve Bank and the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, in addition to the Southwest D.C. Power Plant.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has multiple components, including the Exhibition Hall, Old Reading Room, New Reading Room, Theatre, meeting rooms, offices, collection spaces, and additional exhibit spaces. The majority of these areas were part of the original building in 1932. A major renovation in 1978 included the addition of the New Reading Room, 17 offices, two conference rooms, mechanical modifications, and additional collection spaces. During this renovation, the Folger started utilizing the Architect of the Capital Chilled Water and Steam. The Folger has also experienced many other minor renovations, ranging from upgrading the Theatre to rearranging office configurations.

Currently, the Folger is in the midst of an institution-wide strategic plan. Some areas being evaluated include architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire detection, fire suppression, security concerns, ADA regulations, LEED practices, collection needs, hazardous materials, and space usage and availability. These evaluations could potentially lead to a major renovation in the near future. In the meantime, the Folger’s Exhibition Hall and critical mechanical systems are currently under construction. The Exhibition Hall renovation will be described in further detail on October 21 at the 2013 IAMFA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The mechanical renovation was previously described on pages 20–21 in the article “Preserving the Works of Shakespeare” in the Spring 2013 issue of Papyrus.

Performing Arts

The Folger presents a variety of performing arts and cultural programs: exhibitions, theater, music, poetry, lectures, and performance-based educational programs for audiences of all ages. Folger exhibitions bring the collection to life by putting the Library’s treasures on view for the public through a rotating, free exhibition series. Folger Theatre is the centerpiece of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s programs for the public, its thought-provoking productions, performed in an Elizabethan theatre, have won 18 Helen Hayes Award awards for excellence in acting, direction, design, and production. These include the best-play-of the-year awards for Folger Theatre’s 2010 Hamlet and 2006 Measure for Measure.

The Folger Consort, led by Robert Eisenstein (Five College Consortium, Massachusetts) and Christopher Kendall (University of Michigan), has been at the forefront of the Washington area’s distinguished tradition of early music for more than 30 years. The Folger Consort has been named the Best Chamber Music Ensemble by the Washington Area Music Awards for the past four consecutive years.


The Folger’s award-winning K–12 education programs are a vital part of its outreach activities, bringing students to perform on its Elizabethan stage, and taking Folger educators into the classrooms of D.C. schools. The Library’s professional development programs reach teachers around the country, with workshops and institutes in a dozen states each year, as well as web-based courses and curriculum. The Folger developed all of its programs in response to teachers’ stated needs, knowing that Shakespeare is studied in more than 90% of our nation’s high schools, and each serves as a point of entry to understanding the language and the context in which Shakespeare wrote.

Special Events

The Folger also organizes and facilitates special events for non-profit and for-profit events. These events range from educational to political to corporate events. The Exhibition Hall, Old Reading Room, New Reading Room, and the Theatre are utilized for these special events. Some of these events are the only times that the public may access certain areas. For example, the Folger celebrated its 80th anniversary last year with its annual birthday party for William Shakespeare. During these birthday parties, the Library opens its doors to the public and they have access to the Reading Rooms.

Image page 8

Caption: Owiso Odera as Othello, and Ian Merrill Peakes as Iago in Shakespeare's Othello, presented at the Folger Theatre in the fall of 2011.

David Conine, LEED AP, is Head of Facilities at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. David has been a member of IAMFA since 2010.


Building Information Modelling: “To BIM or not to BIM?”

By Sam Collard

What is Building Information Modelling (BIM), and should I consider using it on my next project?

BIM is a 3D digital representation of a building. The BIM model presents the physical and functional information of a building format as an accurate assessment of the building, its form, its engineering services and, potentially, its assets.

Using BIM, design and construction teams can “build before they build” in a virtual environment. Information embedded within the model, if correctly set up and maintained, will serve the building during its lifetime. The “as built” or “as fitted” BIM model can then be expanded and modified with each new iteration of the building’s design and intended use.

Image page 9

Caption:  3D BIM model view.

Challenging structures made possible by BIM 

Both new-build and refurbished museum buildings can create an opportunity for the client and the project architect to produce a design statement which pays homage to the historical context and form of the existing building or, alternatively, expresses the new building as a more challenging architectural form and statement. In itself, the building can become an engineering and tourist attraction during its construction, as well as in its final built form, creating significant interest while ultimately contributing to the quality of the visitor experience. The deployment of BIM allows design teams to integrate and efficiently engage with increasingly complex building geometry that traditionally would pose significant challenges to design and construction teams. Thorough analysis in a virtual 3D building format allows stakeholders to conceptualise and review options for the proposed gallery spaces, structure, enclosure and MEP systems.

Increased engagement with stakeholders

Add to this BIM “fly-throughs” from completed models and those in progress, and increasingly informed decisions become possible for museum curators—especially those new to the design and construction process. BIM aids designers, builders and clients alike in maximising visual and revenue-generating relationships and opportunities for exhibition areas. Collaborating in BIM allows design teams, builders and major trade suppliers to minimise risks in the building programme. BIM thus enables teams to provide unique, complex, bespoke designs that can be assembled using offsite prefabrication techniques.

Asset Management in BIM—late adoption

Museums, by their very function, record and capture our links to the past. Because of their age, however, they cannot always offer good information on structural elements and engineering systems, which in itself poses a significant challenge. Information on the building and its assets may be contained in paper records, or a proprietary electronic register or database that was designed before the utilisation of BIM on the project. Complicating matters, the quality of content normally diminishes through use.

Most of the benefits of BIM are currently realised during the design and construction of a facility. The FM and Asset Management element of BIM is not, as yet, a consistent and mainstream deliverable to clients. BIM can be useful, however, to museums in planning, accommodating and validating how new and existing exhibits can be produced. A number of “pathfinder” projects are currently detailing their Operations and Maintenance and Asset Management in a BIM model.

Can BIM be used on an existing building?

Retrofitting of museum buildings using BIM can now be seen as a different prospect, together with laser scanning to capture building geometry, spatial relationships, geographical data and building components. This can present an accurate and detailed “as-built” overview of the entire building interior and exterior. When converted from a point cloud scan, this can be used to prepare a 3D BIM model.

BIM, governance and knowledge sharing

The early adoption of BIM created a substantial amount of “Ba”—a concept for new acquired knowledge and learning. This was achieved through early adopters pushing the boundaries of what BIM could do. Whilst not all attempts were entirely and wholly successful, new learning in BIM was achieved, and we learned through our successes, and sometimes through intelligent failure.

Image page 10

Caption:  Equipment tagged in BIM model.

Increasingly, BIM management models of delivery, governance and procedures are being authored without the learning earned through custom, practice and use. Onerous and untried BIM requirements are often specified, which by their very nature and risk of litigation discourage new and early adopters from applying BIM “stretch” and pushing the current boundaries. It is important that we consider what we can achieve today; that this is supported by an “evidenced-based“ approach to BIM; and that we write performance requirements that the industry can confidently achieve.

Potential BIM enablers and barriers to implementation

There are a number of criteria that can affect a team’s ability to engage in BIM. If tackled correctly, however, these can create a more effective platform for a new project working in BIM. And, whilst there can be perceived and real barriers to the implementation of BIM, these are not usually sufficient in magnitude for you not to deploy a BIM project.

Potential enablers include:

§  Most designers will be working in BIM, or thinking about it. Choose a team that has been working in BIM for a number of years, and has mature BIM working processes, and BIM object content.

§  The proposed constructors may already work in BIM, and would like to use it on the project.

§  The asset software you use, or are considering using, may already be BIM-enabled. Consider radio frequency ID tagging of assets and link this to your asset database, the BIM model, and mobile technology.

§  There are skilled practitioners involved in the project, such as BIM model managers, who are available to help in the transition to BIM.

§  Museum BIM case studies for similar projects will give you insight into the successful adoption of BIM, as well as areas to consider for improvement.

§  Governments may require BIM on the project as part of a National Procurement Strategy.

§  BIM can be deployed for planning exhibits through extensive visualisation and planning.

§  BIM can help verification of the proposed build in a virtual environment.

 Potential barriers include:

§  The extent of current CAD or record drawings in a 2D format.

§  The building’s existing asset register is not BIM-enabled, and the time required to convert the information is overwhelming to the building’s operators. The facilities managers are not familiar with BIM, and therefore do not consider BIM viable.

§  The building’s current designers do not work in BIM. In this instance, you should consider whether they are the right people for your exciting new project.

§  The Return on Investment in deploying BIM on the project is not clearly defined and measurable, and staff are not trained to work in BIM.

§  Immature industry standards exist that can be universally adopted.

§  Cost of entry seems high to the client. Clients should not fund the development of BIM. The cost of entry is borne by efficiencies realised in the design and construction processes.

§  It can appear hard to keep the BIM model relevant for the lifecycle of the building.

·         Specifying the BIM inputs and outputs during the design and construction development for FM can be challenging.

Whilst there can be no conclusive guarantee that BIM will benefit your project, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that teams which work in BIM achieve better project outcomes within the environs of the project build.

Sam Collard is a Technical Director for Steensen Varming, a firm of Building Services Consulting Engineers who have an extensive worldwide portfolio in museums and art galleries. He has been involved in the management and implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on over 50 projects, with a total construction value of over 3 billion Australian dollars in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, India and Australia. Sam’s career has crossed the boundaries of design, contracting construction and manufacturing, placing him in an idea position to engage in the debate about Building Information Modelling and what it can bring to the construction of new and refurbished buildings.


Predictive Maintenance: Knowing How to See
By Thomas A. Westerkamp

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1503), famous as the artist who painted the Mona Lisa, was also a highly talented and creative inventor, engineer and architect. He conceptualized and sketched technology centuries before its time, including prototypes for a tank, helicopter, calculator and solar power. Da Vinci taught at a studio in Milan, where he expounded to his art students on saper vedere, or “knowing how to see”. He said that the key to art is perspective. Creativity is knowing how to see. He stressed altering perspective, viewing the subject from several directions until one sees and fully understands the subject.

The successful museum facility manager is a modern da Vinci. The FM is constantly challenged to imagine, often under difficult time constraints, ways of achieving maintenance cost and functional objectives. The cost objective results when a workable budget is completed and funds are approved; when actual cost versus budget is maintained; and when optimum lifecycle cost is approached more closely. The functional objective is achieved when the facility meets design intent, and continuous improvement is institutionalized as a reliable, sustainable way of life.

To stay ahead of all the demands, the FM uses Predictive Maintenance (PdM), a highly effective means of achieving saper vedere when used as an integral part of the annual preventive maintenance program. PdM employs da Vinci’s principle by extending the senses of touch (vibration, temperature) and sight (vision, thermal imaging), as well as trending (rate of change of conditions). These are all examples of how to see the entire facility from different perspectives. Each of these PdM measures offers a different perspective to improve understanding; identify optimual repair intervals; and optimize the lifecycle of structural, mechanical, and electrical assets. It uncovers hidden, impending breakdowns before they occur, averting health and safety issues and major damage costs. Energy and cost savings, continuous improvement, greater reliability, and getting more out of budget dollars, are all realistic outcomes. The following are a few real-life examples of PdM at work:

  Improving HVAC/R systems—using a clamp-on ammeter to measure compressor amps, then adding compressor oil and seeing amps drop, electric bills decrease, and compressor life extended. Also, a refrigerant leak detector with the new semi-conductor sensor is very sensitive to small leaks of most refrigerants in use today.

  Optimal constant temperature and RH is maintained to protect art collections with intelligent thermostats, as well as a temperature and relative humidity recorder-controller to document trends.

  Integrity checks of roofs and exterior walls using coring, contact moisture meters, and thermal imaging—these inspections reveal roof damage, allowing repairs to be done earlier, often before they are obvious, thereby reducing roof-maintenance costs and interior damage. Simple improvements such as soft shoes, protective walkways, and care in walking or setting equipment on the roof, can avoid punctures that turn into leaks. Frequently checking roof flashing, joints and seals around penetrations, and resealing them, will add years to roofing systems. And frequent use of imaging to locate moisture under the surface will lower costs by avoiding interior damage that remains hidden in walls and above ceilings until major water damage has occurred.

  Piping system—camera inspections, test specimens, and use of flow sub-metering to see where all the water is going are ways in which “knowing how to see” can save. Some facilities use routine cleaning of all piping on a scheduled basis to keep piping clear; but not all pipelines become blocked at the same rate. Some pipe disassembly is wasted. Also, the frequency may be too often, in which case the cost is higher than needed. In other cases, the frequency is not often enough, in which case the piping becomes blocked, interrupting service and costing emergency rates to fix. On the other hand, using fiber-optic cable and a camera, lines are checked and cleaned at optimal, scheduled intervals, minimizing unscheduled downtime and costs.

  Test specimens are useful for measuring the rate of piping wall corrosion and erosion. The technician prepares a specimen of the same material as the pipe wall, threaded on one end, and rod-shaped on the other. The diameter of the rod end is measured with a micrometer to thousandths of an inch. A bushing is welded to the pipe wall at the test location—near an elbow, for example, where high erosion is likely. The specimen is threaded into the bushing and remains for a recorded period of time, say a year. It is removed a year later and measured. If the original diameter of the machined rod was 0.500 inch and the diameter a year later was found to be 0.400 inch, then the rate of wall loss is 0.100 inch per year. The years of life are calculated by dividing the original wall thickness—say 0.250 inch—by the rate of loss: 0.100 inch, or two-and-a-half years. This method is far better than the play-it-safe approach—changing the pipe before it wears out, or the take-a-chance method—letting it fail before replacing it.

  Sub-metering water consumption can find leaks and high usage areas early; can measure the effects of upgrading to low-flow fixtures; and can control water cost even when rates are going up.

  Infrared scanning of the electrical distribution system for hot spots—the electrical distribution system is one of those “out of sight, out of mind” elements of a facility. Distribution system design, motor and control design, and switchgear have benefitted from major design improvements over the years. Almost no problems happen. But wait. What about power outages? What about transformer explosions? Lightning strikes? Relay outages due to overload? Downtime does happen in the wider infrastructure, and can happen inside the facility, too. The way to find out if hidden problems are threatening the distribution system is saper vedere. You could go around and visually inspect, but you won’t see much out of the ordinary. You could touch motors, controls, conduit and switchgear looking for hot spots. But a safer, more sensitive way to do this is with non-contact thermal imaging.

  Energy efficiency through lighting upgrades can enhance constant lumen output: a critical factor in improving the longevity of art. Are those incandescent lights costing too much and providing diminishing output over their lives? Are fluorescent lights in the galleries, garage, halls, offices, classrooms humming? Are ballast replacements happening frequently? You could keep using old technology, but 100- and 75-watt incandescent bulbs and T12 fluorescent tubes, introduced in 1938, are no longer legally manufactured in the U.S. When supplies are gone, upgrades will be needed. Measuring lumen output may indicate significant lighting loss in these old lamps. Switching to LEDs or other high-efficiency lighting will bring the lighting level up to a more constant optimum, and switching to more efficient lamps will improve function and save many dollars in energy and maintenance cost. LEDs last 50,000 hours or more—that’s five years without changing, at an energy cost that is as low as ten percent of incandescent cost for the same lighting level.

  Lube program—another PdM technique is facility-wide lube analysis. Using the right lubricant, applied with the right method, at the correct frequency, in all the right locations, sounds simple. In fact, however, a comprehensive lube program requires a lot of careful planning and can be aided by lube analysis, by a lubricant supplier doing an assessment, and by setting up an annual program.

•   Vibration analysis—blower motors, bearings and drives; pumps; vent fans; generators; turbines and compressors all have one thing in common: they have rotating elements. Since the 1950s, vibration analysis has been used to predict the remaining life in rotating machines. Measured amplitude and frequency of vibration tell the technician a lot about condition and remaining life. Actual vibration amplitude close to the breaking point on a general severity chart means an impending breakdown. The frequency of the high vibration identifies the component. For example, if the high vibration is at a frequency of four times the rotating speed, and the pump has an impeller with four blades, then the impeller needs to be rebalanced or replaced to avoid serious damage.

  Vibration analysis acceptance testing is another method that can ensure that equipment fits the application, ensuring long life for new rotating-equipment installations.

  Studies show that, if not tested, fifty percent of circuit breakers do not function normally after five years, mostly due to mechanical problems. Circuit-breaker vibration analyzers perform trip tests, recording and comparing the first trip with later trips to identify problems such as spring weakening and excess friction. An accelerometer circuit-breaker analyzer app uses the same iDevice capability that senses pull of gravity, and rotates a smart phone picture from landscape to portrait format, to differentiate horizontal from vertical axis tests.

  Ultrasound—facility managers can apply ultrasound, acoustic-emission analysis to detect high-frequency noise inaudible to the human ear. It detects leaks in boilers, condensers, steam and air systems, and other big energy consumers. It is also very effective in detecting electrical discharges such as arcing, tracking and corona. A manufacturer saved nearly $80,000 annually by correcting numerous leaks in the air system after a brief ultrasound inspection. Other ultrasound uses include the monitoring of bearing, lube and machine conditions.

Six Steps to Initiating Predictive Maintenance

Is PdM right for your facility? If you want to find out, have an outside firm run a pilot test on a sample of mission-critical equipment and provide a savings-versus-cost analysis before committing to purchase of PdM analyzers. Once a clear justification can be made, selling the program is easier. Once the all-in decision is reached, a six-step PdM installation program consists of the following:

1. Select the assets to include.

2. Design a history record for each asset as part of the CMMS.

3. Select PdM analyzer(s).

4. Establish measurement intervals as part of the preventive maintenance program.

5. Initiate readings; record results.

6. Analyze records for corrective action.

Payback for PdM analysis costs has been shown to be very rapid—often less than a year. What is the worth of one avoided roof or pipe leak? One avoided electrical transformer fire? One avoided arc flash fire? Saper vedere makes obsolete other costly, unreliable “take-a-chance” or “play-it-safe” strategies for deciding when to repair, keeping the facility in top condition, and earning rave reviews from employees and visitors.

Thomas A. Westerkamp is a consultant, lecturer, and author of the Maintenance Manager's Standard Manual and Aware.MPS, Maintenance Productivity Suite. He founded Productivity Network Innovations, LLC (PNI), in 1986, and has written over 200 articles for Maintenance Solutions and numerous trade journals.


BIM for Building Operations and Upgrades

By Alyson Steele and Rob Fink

The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in architecture, engineering, and construction has soared over the past decade, with this powerful 3D modeling tool now used routinely for new facilities. The digital technology has enabled teams to improve communication and visualization; coordinate and integrate building systems; test and evaluate alternatives; and assess proposed design concepts for functional attributes such as daylight, glare, and energy use.

A Watershed Moment

While BIM has greatly facilitated the design process for new buildings and expansions, we are now beginning to see frequent use of the technology for ongoing building operations, upgrades, and repairs as well. Recent advances in the way we access, edit, share, and maintain digital information has created a watershed moment in facilities management—a major step forward for building operations, which can save museums and galleries significant amounts of time and money.  

The latest technology, which supports a new wave of “Project Information Management”, or PIM, enables any amount of digitally available information, such as a scan or a jpeg, to be paired with a centralized information management system and mobile devices. Facility owners and managers don’t need to commit to a full-fledged 3D model with materials and systems. Instead, use of these software tools can help address specific operational and troubleshooting issues quickly and efficiently, while also permanently recording the building information for future use.

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Caption: Following an earthquake in 2011, a combination of BIM software, iPads, and construction lifts aided consultants in assessing needed repairs at the historical Sherman Building in Washington, D.C.

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Caption: Digitized photos overlaid with color-coded repair marks helped prioritize façade repairs at the Sherman Building.

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Caption: Digitized information for the Sherman Building included a color-coded survey of exterior conditions.

Point Solution Approach

Many museum owners and facility managers will appreciate the “point solution approach” as they begin to take advantage of BIM for operations. This approach addresses a particular problem, crisis situation, or operational task by using BIM and mobile technology for greater efficiency, communications, consistency, and establishment of a digital record.

For example, Quinn Evans Architects recently assessed needed repairs at the Sherman Building on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. The 107,000-square-foot building, a National Historic Landmark, had suffered damage in an August 2011 earthquake. Our consulting team began with jpegs of existing plans, elevations, and photos, in tandem with PIM software—in this case, Newforma® Punch List. At the site, using iPads and construction lifts, the team inspected the damage and identified major repair tasks—specifying, for example, exterior cracks, open joints, missing mortar, and staining. The resulting punch list was used to formulate the contractor’s scope of work. A similar punch-list effort could also serve as the basis for an ongoing maintenance program.


Newforma’s Info Exchange software was particularly useful on another recent project for a large institutional client in Washington, D.C. The project involved inspection of 1,200 doors throughout the facility, in order to review accessibility and functionality. To manage the scope and progress, we used several software programs that together enabled us to optimize information—reusing data and eliminating duplication—while Info Exchange enabled us to share and update the information with the project team.

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Caption: An interactive iPad application using BIM software facilitated the punch-list process for the inspection and repair of several hundred doors at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

We created a database outlining the scope of work for the door project using a standard form with preset fields on laptops to collect data. Using a combination of AutoCAD, Revit®, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Access, we generated a project schedule and construction documents. Onsite, iPads facilitated updates to the punch list and the viewing of specifications, product cut sheets, and construction drawings and submissions. Here, PIM proved especially useful in streamlining the door inspection and repair process for a routine facilities operation challenge.

The Smithsonian Institution is also taking advantage of BIM software capabilities in assessing mechanical systems at the 1.3-million-square-foot National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Using laptops and iPhones, scans of as-built drawings, coupled with systems diagrams and jpegs, can together be accessed in the field. This method facilitates the identification of discrepancies in existing records—such as incremental changes that may not have been documented—and helps staff establish priorities for facility recommissioning.

Enterprise Approach

The “enterprise approach” to BIM for building operations is the most powerful—a holistic, comprehensive approach, rather than an as-needed process for maintenance or repair issues that arise. The enterprise approach enables owners and facility managers to benefit from the broad array of powerful BIM tools now available, and strategize for long-term operations and maintenance.

This approach requires the most upfront investment, but over time will offer significant advantages and time/cost savings, from addressing preventive maintenance issues early on, to being able to respond to emergency repair needs promptly and efficiently. While the point solution approach is useful for tackling challenges on a project basis, the enterprise approach is certainly optimal, offering widespread benefits and value in building operations.

With museums and galleries constantly looking to minimize expenditures for facilities management, maintenance, repairs, and improvements, BIM now offers multi-faceted technological tools that can expedite and streamline the use of critical building information. BIM is no longer limited to the realm of major new construction, and no longer implies comprehensive 3D modeling. It is now a flexible and targeted tool for routine use—another important step forward in helping museum owners in the responsible stewardship of their buildings.

Alyson Steel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal and Rob Fink, AIA, an associate with Quinn Evans Architects in Washington, D.C.


Get a Grip: Sustainable Handrails at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

By Judith Capen

Almost thirty million hands on 1,255 linear feet of painted steel handrails over 20 years created a problem for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). In a building open 363 days a year, a massive handrail-repainting project was too logistically challenging. But the worn and multi-colored railings, and the bare steel and red primer showing through the gray/green finish color, compromised the architectural intent of the award-winning building, and a solution had to be found.

The architecture of the building choreographs visitors along particular paths, toward stairs and bridges, as part of the experience of the building as a metaphor for the Holocaust.


Painted steel is used prominently and deliberately throughout the interior of the Museum in overhead trusses, extensive guardrails, and steel-tube handrails. All the steel is painted the same custom gray/green matte finish color, which was actually named for the Museum: “USHMM Gray”.

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Caption: : The prominence of the red primer showing through at a section of worn paint emphasizes wear on painted handrails at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, leading to our study of refinishing options for the Museum.

An unintended consequence of paint reformulations to reduce VOCs is that today’s paint doesn’t hold up as well as the old toxic versions. The longest-lasting touch-up at the Museum lasted no more than three years. In addition, paint build-up contributed to the problem of unsightly paint.

The USHMM hired our firm, architrave p.c., architects, to help find a long-term solution to paint wear. The handrail problem poses an interesting challenge. Often, the artifacts in a museum are curated and protected, while the museum building itself is seen as just a container. This museum building, however, is integral to the collection.

The worn paint on the highly visible handrails detracted from the quality of the space. And, unlike artifacts that can be removed to a conservation studio for restoration, the Holocaust Museum’s twelve hundred feet of handrails, bolted and welded to brackets, can’t be removed. Restoration work has to be done during the sixteen hours a day the Museum is closed to the public. Interventions have to be odor- and fume-free by 10:00 a.m. each day, when the Museum opens. In addition to technical feasibility, the work had to be cost effective in both the long and short term, as well as durable.

The Museum needed a solution that was environmentally, practically, and economically sustainable. And the Museum needed a solution consistent with the architectural aesthetic of the building.

We realized that this handrail study was not a typical contractor effort, so we brought in a firm of architectural conservators, Conservation Solutions Incorporated (CSI), with whom we have worked in the past. They do diagnostic/investigation work, not unlike what we do architecturally; but they also do hands-on conservation. They were involved from the very beginning in identifying and testing paint stripping and refinishing options.

With the Museum and CSI, we reviewed the problem’s history, reviewing records, original specs, previous re-painting campaigns, and the handrails themselves. CSI proposed paint stripping products, paints, and, ultimately, patination chemicals (“patination” here refers to the use of chemicals to color the steel handrails) to test, including gel strippers and a range of “high performance” paints.

Realizing that, over the past fifteen years, Museum maintenance staff had worked through the range of typical approaches to refinishing, we looked for end runs in addition to obvious possibilities.

For a seemingly simple project—“repaint steel handrails”—we innovated by:

  Involving conservators to control testing processes closely, and develop processes that could be replicated.

  Field testing stripping and refinishing methods to establish methods and processes, as follows:

   We early recommended that good candidates for paint removal and re-finishing should be field tested, subjected to normal visitor wear, and monitored for performance.

   Field testing had to replicate the projected work conditions with all work done during off hours, railings completely usable at museum opening, and no lingering fumes or odors. Mockups allowed us to assess how long various stripping and refinishing options actually took, assess Museum disruption, and estimate costs. In the process, we also fine-tuned methods.

   At the end of the project’s research phase, we proposed three to five nights in the Museum, testing six paint removal methods, installing five different finishes, and monitoring them for up to a year.

   While handrails are located throughout the building, the railings along the monumental stairs in the central Hall of Witness—the building’s most visually prominent area—receive the most use and show the most wear. With Museum staff, we selected the heavily used south railing on that stair for the mockups.

   Rebecca Stevens, principal investigator for the project from our office, developed the field-testing plan, including evaluation rating sheets for paint removal, finishes, and monitoring. Rebecca commented on how pleased she was that USHMM accepted our plan. “Most institutions want immediate answers. The monitoring period gave us time to see what worked best.”

   We spent four nights testing chemical and laser paint removal methods, then applying five finishes: two patination and three paint. We discovered that some of the chemical/gel paint strippers worked not at all; some, difficult to pinpoint, caused odors in the Museum the next day. We then monitored the test finish areas for nine months.

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The laser at work.

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Caption:  This handrail on the ramp behind the platform in the Hall of Witness has an “Egyptian Lacquer” finish with hand-worn patination. Its appearance has an appropriate continuity with the surrounding finishes.

   Laser stripping for paint removal:

   Robert Weinstein, principal at architrave, first saw laser paint stripping (or “de-coating”) demonstrated at an APT (Association for Preservation Technology) conference on hazardous materials.

   Laser stripping seemed to offer an ideal solution for this project. Lasers remove coatings without the clean-up associated with other paint removal products, control minor residual vapors with built-in fume-containment systems, and pose virtually no risk to surrounding finishes.

   Patination as a finish alternative to paint:

   The years since the Museum’s opening had clearly established that paint on heavily-used handrails is problematic.

   One end run to re-painting was not repainting at all, but patinating the railings with a chemical finish.

   One hand- and guard-rail section in the Museum was originally finished with an “Egyptian Lacquer,” patinated by hand wear. This section’s finish is consistent with the building’s architecture, and looked good after 13 years of service. Unfortunately, the Museum has been unable to replicate it. It is possibly a particular metal finisher’s proprietary finish.

   During one of our initial site visits, Dianne Driscoll, Facilities Specialist with the Museum, and Michael Zisk, Museum Architect, showed us this railing and its finish, observing that it had performed well. This acceptance by the Museum presented the possibility of a no-paint finish.

   Qualification of contract workers:

   If the Museum selected patination for the handrail finish, we suggested that the work be done by professional metals conservators or a conservation firm, rather than a construction contractor. The specialized nature of the paint removal and metal re-finishing demands the sort of detail attention conservators bring to their work, including care in protecting surrounding finishes.

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Caption: Test Areas 6 and 7: dark and light patination.

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Caption: We discovered this previously unknown fabrication flaw under layers of paint: an area filled with putty for a smooth, paintable surface. We also found grinding and welding marks at corners and armature attachment locations, and a stippled texture on some railing sections.

   We suggested that the USHMM include a Competency of Bidder Specification for the paint removal and patination specialties in the contract documents, if indeed a traditional full set of drawings and specifications is required.

   We also recommended that the Museum use the findings of the mock-up and monitoring as the basis for the Request for Proposal, targeting the announcement to the American Institute of Conservators (AIC).

In spite of our methodical investigation, we encountered the unexpected. One surprise was the discovery, on the first night of paint removal, of fabrication defects in the steel pipe railings, previously obscured by filler and paint.

Findings and Recommendations

   Paint removal:

The laser method ranked highest of all the removal methods tested, scoring 26 out of our evaluation matrix’s 28 possible points. While not a traditional paint removal method, laser de-coating has significant advantages over chemical removers:

   No hazardous or bulky waste requiring clean up and disposal. No environmental issues.

   No odor during or after paint removal, as the paint becomes odorless and dust-free plasma.

   Little to no chance of damage to the Museum’s architectural finishes—unlike chemical strippers—making protecting surroundings unnecessary.

   The only safety equipment necessary for the person removing the paint is special-lens glasses.

   It is quick to set up and take down, providing flexibility in mobilizing and demobilizing.

Even so, the laser is not without preparation and demobilization. Protecting Museum staff within 60 feet of the laser light is a concern, solved with a lightweight enclosure around paint removal areas, staff wearing safety glasses, or keeping staff outside the laser light zone.

Rental of the laser equipment is expensive. While we used a 150W machine for the trials, we recommended a 1000W laser to strip paint much faster, estimated at two to three minutes per linear foot. This laser requires a lot of power, which the USHMM’s existing electrical system could support, and storage space on site during the project.

Some chemical paint removal is still necessary to remove paint from areas the laser light can’t reach and touch up. ProSoCo Fast-Acting Stripper is the most effective chemical remover we tested, meeting selection criteria best.


   We recommended patination, ranking highest in the selection criteria.

   We estimated a five- to fifteen-year life for patination, with routine monthly wipe-down with corrosion-inhibiting towelettes.

   Application ease, short drying time, and no curing period makes patination of the railings the most cost-effective finish over the longer term, especially compared to annual recoating of paint surfaces and periodic complete paint removal, priming, and repainting.

   The patinated railing is finished in one continuous operation, with one application of chemical patination immediately after stripping, repair, and cleaning. This avoids repeated nightly set-up and demobilization for multiple finish coats. The railing is ready for use after the patination chemicals and corrosion inhibitor dry—about a minute. This process minimizes disruption to Museum operations.

   Repairing fabrication flaws, dings, and dents adds expense to patination, although not to painting, since the paint finish covers the flaws.

   The three patinated test areas worked with the building’s aesthetic and continued to look good for the six-month monitoring, showing no wear, demonstrating durability and ease of maintenance.


   If the Museum decided to keep repainting the handrails, we recommended Rustoleum Gray #7852 Primer and DevGuard 4303 Rust Preventative Eggshell enamel. Of the paints tested, it was the most durable, maintaining an acceptable appearance through the monitoring period.

Since completion of our study on railing refinishing at the USHMM, the Museum has proceeded with incremental handrail refinishing and a maintenance program of monthly applications of Cortec Cor Wipes on refinished handrails.

In February, 2013, the Museum stripped and patinated a final 825 feet of handrails, completing handrail refinishing in all exhibition and public areas. The Museum continued to refine methods as they proceeded with refinishing. They diluted the patination formula further to match the finish of the handrails completed in the Hall of Witness in 2011 for a more transparent finish.

Surprises continued to appear, too. The Museum discovered at least four different steel alloys in the handrails refinished since the study. The different alloys have required various sanding methods, various amounts of sanding, and variations in the patination formulas.

Dianne Driscoll, USHMM Facilities Specialist, reported on the continued refinishing, “It was very difficult to figure out the new formula, due to so [much variation] with the handrail metals. Each handrail length required a change in the formula to have a uniform appearance.” She further observed that the more dilute patina formula shows less rust and was easier to maintain from the beginning, while presenting a very clean look that closely matches other areas.

Careful, detailed study over almost 18 months resulted in a successful and sustainable method for refinishing hundreds of feet of handrails in an internationally important building. Rebecca Stevens reflected, “I find it rewarding to know that together we found a refinishing process and maintenance practice that works for the Museum.”

Link to video of 1000-Watt laser:

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and Project Team

• Michael Zisk, Museum Architect

• Eugene Ramatowski, Facility Manager

• Dianne Driscoll, Facilities Specialist

• architrave p.c., architects—Judith Capen, Registered Architect, principal; Robert Weinstein, Registered Architect, principal in charge

• Rebecca Stevens, AIA, Project Architect, principal investigator

• Conservation Solutions Incorporated Conservators

• Mark Rabinowitz, Vice President, senior conservator

• Patty Miller, conservator

Judith Capen, RA, is a principal at architrave p.c., architects in Washington, D.C. If you would like the longer version of this article, with product names and more detail, please contact her at


Harley-Davidson Museum Hosts Facility Managers Roundtable

By Stacey Wittig

Last month, Facility Issues held the twenty-second annual Facility Managers Roundtable at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Facility Managers Roundtable is a diverse group that meets to discuss best practices gleaned from annual benchmarking studies, much like the IAMFA benchmarking group will do in October.

Joyce Koker, the Museum’s Facilities and Systems Manager, and a member of IAMFA, gave the roundtable group a back-of-house tour of the five-year-young museum, the only Harley-Davidson museum in the world. “This is the largest collection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles anywhere—there are more in storage than on display,” said Koker, who gave a brief history of the Museum’s construction.

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Caption: IAMFA member Joyce Koker gives a Harley-Davidson Museum back-of-house tour to the Facility Managers Roundtable group.

“We wanted a brownfield location; this site was attractive, because there is water on three sides,” Koker added. Over the past 150 years, the site had been home to Morton Salt, Lake Shore Sand and Gravel, and others reflecting an industrial history similar to Harley-Davidson. A large portion of the site was below the floodplain elevation, and had to be raised before construction of the Museum began. “It was fortuitous that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had a large project in the area going on at the same time. There was construction all around us. We received approximately 80,000 cubic yards of clean soil to raise the elevation of the property from those DOT road projects,” said Koker. Half of the parking space west of the main campus is in what the Museum calls “parking gardens” where overflow visitors park on grassy areas edged with low-maintenance native plants, trees and bushes.

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Caption: The Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently hosted the annual Facility Managers Roundtable.

“We rely heavily on contractors—that’s our model,” said Koker as she guided the group around the two 300-ton chillers that cool the whole campus. The chillers, in addition to four high-efficiency boilers, help meet the Museum’s stringent temperature and humidity requirements.

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Caption:  The Harley-Davidson Museum, surrounded by water on three sides.

“We have a preventative maintenance program for the stainless steel heat exchangers used in our humidification system, to prevent corrosion issues,” said Koker. UV lighting is used for mold control in the air handlers when lowered chilled water temperatures create additional condensation in those units. Another best practice that the Harley-Davidson Museum implemented was installation of LED lights inside the decorative metal muffler-shaped fixtures hanging high in the lobby and main entry area. “We would have to change the previous bulbs once per month, before they switched to LEDs. Based on the quantity of outdoor lighting, we continue to look for opportunities to use LED lighting where the technology and implementation makes sense,” added Koker.

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Caption: Duct socks work well near garage doors that are opening and closing more frequently than Harley-Davidson curators would like.

Later, Jonathan Smith, Facilities Manager, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. in Carson City, Nevada, delivered a presentation on how to use the janitorial portion of the benchmarking report. “The CFO questioned the amount we pay for snow removal and, as a direct result of the benchmarking surveys, we verified what we were paying,” said Smith. Similarly, Smith took the benchmarking results to his cleaning contractor and negotiated a huge reduction in monthly cleaning costs.

In a Hot Topics discussion, Smith revealed that he uses Grainger USB data loggers to monitor repeat hot and cold calls from clients in his call-center facility, which was designed in the shape of Harley-Davidson’s unique V-Twin engines. The Harley-Davidson participants in the Facility Managers Roundtable all talked about the extreme loyalty of their employees. “Fifty percent of our employees have Harley-Davidson tattooed on their bodies,” said Grayson Albert, Facility Manager at the Harley-Davidson Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility.

The Harley-Davidson Museum is in the third size classification—125,000–249,000 GSF: 11,000–23,000 GSM—of the IAMFA benchmarking study.

Facility Issues conducts benchmarking studies for the Facility Managers Roundtable, IAMFA, IFMA Utility Council, Research Facilities Benchmarking Group, and others.

Stacey Wittig is Marketing Director at Facility Issues. She welcomes your questions about IAMFA benchmarking participation or sponsorship. Contact her at 001-928-225-4943 or


Linked In Group Collaborative Article
Which Call Center Structure Works Best for You?

Question Posted in the IAMFA LinkedIn Group: We are exploring different options on how to man a call center. Of particular interest is if others may be outsourcing this function. The overall goal is to have someone answer, regardless of time of day. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Response 1: At our museum, we use our 24/7 security control room as our call centre. The security control room operator records the call in a daily operations software application, then dispatches the request to the appropriate responsibility centre, such as Facility Management, Conservation, Exhibitions, Public Affairs, Marketing, etc. The security control centre may receive anywhere from none to a dozen calls a day, and they usually occur during the 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-to-Friday workweek, because they most often come from staff.

Response 2: We have a "hotline number" that is answered 24/7 also, but we use FP&O administrative staff from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, to answer calls and dispatch trades; custodians and managers to deal with the issue reported; and the security console to man the hotline after hours. We have handled nearly 2,800 calls YTD through our CMMS system repair module. I've used an outside call center in the past, but the issue always is familiarity with the facility.

Response 3: We have a 24/7 call center, with a dedicated number and email site as well. I believe our organization has developed a cost-effective means to balance the need for customer service with the need to monitor facility environmental conditions. Our call center, providing a 24/7 presence, is staffed by a team of 12; consisting of six mechanical engineering technicians, four customer service representatives, and two program analysts. Our staff reacts both to concerns identified by the building automation system, and requests submitted by customers, by entering the requests into the CMMS and notifying the appropriate service provider needed to address the request.

During the past year, our group has processed 24,374 requests for service. I would hesitate at the thought of outsourcing this function. Having a group that is familiar with a facility—the service agreements, customers, and providers—can have its benefits, as well as a direct impact upon the level of service provided by an organization.


Member Regions

New England Member Region
By Jim Moisson

On April 26, IAMFA’s New England Member Region gathered at the job site for a tour of the Harvard Art Museums Expansion and Renovation Project, designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The New England Member Region is also assembling the necessary approvals for possible hosting of IAMFA’s 2016 Annual Conference.

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Caption: Left to right: Pete Atkinson, Harvard Art Museums; John Lannon, Boston Athenaeum; Jim Moisson, Harvard Art Museums; Dave Geldart, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Jim Labeck, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Mike Holland, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

U.K. Member Region

By Jack Plumb

On April 23, twenty or so IAMFA members travelled to Liverpool for the Spring meeting of the U.K. IAMFA Member Region, at Tate Liverpool.

In the evening, we all gathered at a local hostelry for greetings to old friends, and introductions to new IAMFA colleagues. The evening meal was sponsored by Spie Matthew Hall. Mike Freeland and his colleagues from Spie Matthew Hall, as well as the Facilities Manager at the Tate – a well-known face to IAMFA members – were also on hand to ensure that we all had a great time. A very special thank you to Spie Matthew Hall.

On Wednesday morning, our host David Redrup welcomed us to Tate Liverpool, and provided the first presentation, explaining the development of the Tate of the North—or Tate Liverpool, as it is now known. The Tate Liverpool building was originally one of the warehouses built as part of the Albert Dock complex that opened in 1846. The docks covered about seven acres, and were the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, with no structural wood. As a result, it was the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world.

In the 1980s, Alan Bowness, then-director of the Tate, decided to create a “Tate of the North”, as the project became known. In 1981, redevelopment of the dock began, when the Merseyside Development Corporation was set up, with the Maritime Museum leasing one of the warehouses, along with the opening of restaurants and bars. Tate Trustees visited the Dock in November 1981, during their site-selection process, and made the decision to set up in Liverpool. Construction commenced in October 1985, and Tate Liverpool opened to the public in May 1988. In 2008, Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture. To celebrate this, in 2007 Tate Liverpool hosted the Turner Prize: the first time the competition had been held outside London. Nowadays, the gallery is a firm favourite with the Liverpool public, welcoming more than 600,000 visitors a year.

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Caption:  Tate Liverpool. ©Tate Photography

Next up was Richard Murphy of the Energy Consortium, (TEC) which is a not-for-profit organisation whose team specialises in providing the most economical suppliers of energy to the higher-education sector in England and Wales. Studying this market in detail gives Richard and his team valuable insight into the energy market.

Richard explained that, with the U.K. Government’s current Energy Reform Bill – which includes de-carbonisation of the U.K. generation market – and with a current growth in demand – the demand for electricity in the U.K. will exceed generation in 2018. With a 1% reduction in electricity, this only pushes demand exceeding supply to 2022. However, with local supplies of gas becoming scarcer, electricity generators were turning to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as a possible alternative source of energy.

In the U.K., 25% of gas consumption already comes from LNG, and 80% of the price is directly linked to the price of oil. To emphasise the requirement to reduce the use of fossil fuels, Richard mentioned that, in March 2013, the U.K. used 137% of its normal consumption, due to abnormally cold temperatures. In addition, the U.K. rough storage site beneath the North Sea was empty for the first time in 12 years.

Richard also briefly discussed the emergence of hydraulic fracturing of rock (fracking), which involves injecting pressurised liquid into boreholes to release natural gas. Whilst this process has been very successful – especially in the U.S., where it has substantially reduced the cost of natural gas – there can be significant environmental impact, including contaminated groundwater, depletion of freshwater sources, and potential air pollution. Richard concluded that, whilst suitable sites for fracking had been identified in the U.K., because of these environmental issues it was unlikely that more densely populated places, like Britain, would see significant expansion of this process. Richard did leave us with one rather frightening thought: a prediction that energy prices would double by 2020 – scary indeed.

Next up was Michael Reeve of Working Environments, who took us through the selection of the central chiller-plant selection process that he has recently delivered for the current Tate Britain development project. Michael explained that, first of all, working with the project’s consulting engineers – Max Fordham Consulting Engineers – they established an estimated chilled-water load throughout the year, then set about selecting a suitable chiller plant to meet that load profile.

What became very apparent was that using conventional chiller technology was not going to meet the load profile with the efficiency demanded by the sustainability team at the Tate, without utilising Turbocor technology. Whilst this chiller technology is more expensive that convention screw, scroll, or compression chiller technology, Michael was able to demonstrate that Turbocor chillers would provide a reasonable payback and meet the efficiency requirements of the Tate. Following a tendering process, ICS Industrial Cooling was appointed to supply and install Turbocor chillers.

(It should be noted that more and more IAMFA sites are installing Turbocor chillers, including the British Library, National Gallery, National Library of Scotland, National Archives as well as Tate Britain. Perhaps this is something to consider for your own next chiller replacement project?)

The last presentation of the morning was delivered by Gemma Driscoll, the sustainability manager at the Tate, who gave us an update on the progress they had made with their conservation colleagues in working to reduce energy consumption, and hence their carbon footprint.

Gemma explained that, in 2007, the Tate started to think about its sustainability responsibilities, initially mostly driven by its social responsibility issues. The focus has now moved on, however, to waste management issues. The Tate has now produced a Green Vision. This targets a 15% reduction in carbon emissions, a 33% reduction in waste to landfill, and a 38% reduction in water consumption by 2015, based on a 2007/2008 baseline. Whilst these are the headline aspirations of the Green Vision, Gemma stated that the Tate is looking to become a major influence within the cultural sector by working towards an ISO14001 accreditation and increased level of public involvement.

After lunch, we were treated – and I do not use that word lightly – to a visit to the new Museum of Liverpool, which included a presentation on the tri-generation installation that provides the Museum of Liverpool with its electricity, heating and cooling. Most of us well remember the hospitality shown by Ian Williams and Chris Bailey at our IAMFA meeting in Liverpool in 2010, when we visited the almost complete Museum of Liverpool. This time, we got to see the completed Museum of Liverpool with all its exhibits in place.

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Caption:  The Museum of Liverpool.

The evening saw IAMFA members do what they do best: meet up with old friends and discuss the presentations of the day and the issues they are dealing with at the moment, along with a chance to meet new colleagues. For this evening we were especially grateful to welcome Norland Managed Services, who sponsored the Wednesday evening dinner – a very special thank you for that.

On Thursday morning, it was back to Tate Liverpool, where we welcomed our conservation colleagues for our joint meeting. First up was John Bevin of the National Science and Industry Museum (NSIM), who introduced Louise Burden, Head of Conservation, and Matt Moore, head of their site at Wroughton and Sustainable Development Manager. Wroughton is a former RAF site just outside Swindon, and now houses the NSIM’s large objects in former aircraft hangers.

The NSIM team explained that they had just completed a new hanger, lined with “hempcrete” panels. Hempcrete is a breathable, self-insulating and carbon-negative material. The hempcrete panels were lined with mesh and timber panels; the mesh was installed to stop rodents entering the building. The minimums of relative humidities of between 40% and 60% , and temperatures between 14°C and 16°C, have been achieved.

Chris Collins, Head of Conservation at the Natural History Museum, delivered the next presentation. Chris explained that they were currently carrying out a top-to-bottom review of collection storage, called the “Collection Storage Infrastructure Project” (CSIP). This review has resulted in CSIP Environmental Standards being set for the design of the new Earth Sciences development currently underway:


Area Description                                             Temperatures

Non-storage                                                    18–20°C                     

Collection area adjacent to work space          16–20°C

Collection storage                                           15–17°C

Wet collection storage                                    13–15°C (This is because ethanol has a flash point of 16.6°C)

Humidity (RH):  40–50% rate of change not to exceed 2%/hr and 20%/week


The next presentation was delivered by David Crombie, Senior Painting Conservator at the National Museums of Liverpool. He took us through their recent experiences with the Walker Art Gallery, where the air conditioning that served some galleries – but not all –had failed or were failing. The challenge became deciding what to do next.

David explained that the museum decided to go back to basics to try to understand the implications of not replacing all of the air-conditioning equipment. The museum carried out a heat survey of the building to understand how the different rooms performed during the day. As a result of this investigation, David and his team started to change the way they thought about preserving the collection. In the end, it was determined that sustainable climate control could be achieved with the installation of portable humidifiers, without the use of any air-conditioning equipment.

Helen Smith, Preventative Conservator at the Tate, gave the next presentation, explaining how the Tate was now installing LED lighting for their exhibits. Helen pointed to the work by Joe Padfield at the National Gallery, which provided a good insight into how conservators thought about LED lighting.

The final presentation of the day was given by Steve Watson, Engineering Manager at the Royal Academy (RA), and Becca Jones, formerly Sustainability Coordinator at the Royal Academy, but now a Project Manager at the Natural History Museum. Steve opened by explaining the project to refurbish Burlington House. This first required a costed Master Plan, in order to attract the major sponsorship required to fund the project. Unfortunately, no sponsorship could be found, so the RA had to come up with the funding plan itself, which has been achieved up to 2018. Becca then explained the sustainability issues developed for the refurbishment – and delivered – to achieve reduced running costs. 

David Redrup thanked everyone for their participation, especially those who presented over the two days. He agreed that continuing to meet with our conservation colleagues was the only way our cultural establishments could continue to preserve our valuable collections in a sustainable way. He looked forward to our next meeting in the late autumn. Final thanks were given to Spie Matthew Hall and Norland Managed Services as well as Tate Liverpool, for all their hospitality over the two days.

Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Member Region

By Maurice Evans

In the midst of planning and preparing to host the upcoming annual conference in October; the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Member Region took time out and held its first quarterly meeting for 2013 on April 25. Neal Graham of the Library of Congress was the host for the meeting. 

The meeting was very well attended, with over 35 participants. It was a chance for everyone to get together and relax a little, and discuss some of the ongoing issues at their museums.

The program included two presentations entitled “Operational Energy Reduction Initiatives” and “The Adams Building Monumental Doors Life Safety Fix”.  The meeting also included a buffet-style lunch and a tour of the door-fix project at the Library of Congress. 

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Caption:  Members of the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Member Region at their quarterly meeting, held at the Library of Congress on April 25.


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List of Contributors

Nancy Bechtol

Judith Capen

Sam Collard

David Conine

Maurice Evans

Rob Fink

Cecily Grzywacz

Ted Huynh

David Matthews

Joe May

Jim Moisson

Jack Plumb

David Samec

Alyson Steele

Thomas A. Westerkamp

Stacey Wittig