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Papyrus Fall/Winter 2012

Letter from the Editor

Greetings from Los Angeles!

As I write this, it’s nearly December, and 2012 will be over by the time IAMFA’s members receive this issue of Papyrus. In September, IAMFA’s members had a great time visiting with one another at the 22nd Annual Conference in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. John Castle and his team deserve a lot of credit for organizing one of the most memorable conferences in our organization’s history. Attendance at this year’s conference totaled about 120, and I heard many say that they had a wonderful time learning from this year’s presenters, while also networking and exploring with their counterparts from around the world. You can read a recap of the conference in this issue, and I’m sure you will join me in thanking our sponsors and hosts for a terrific conference!

In this issue of Papyrus, there is an article on page 4 that I hope all IAMFA members will be sure to read. The article is titled “Sustainability Certification for Cultural Institutions” and was written by Adam Meltzer from Arts:Earth Partnership (AEP). Since AEP’s inception back in 2008, they’ve developed and are executing a Green Business Certification Program designed specifically for the cultural sector. Over the past few months, we’ve been discussing with AEP the possibility that IAMFA and AEP may be able to assist one another in advancing our missions and expanding our scope worldwide.  There are numerous benefits to AEP’s Sustainability Certification program. Please read this article; I would like to know if you and other IAMFA members believe this is a relationship that IAMFA should pursue. I will be looking for feedback from you as to whether you believe IAMFA should play a role in establishing a worldwide standard for sustainability certification at cultural facilities.       

You’ll see author Adam Meltzer’s picture at the top of the article. Many of you in the U.S. may recognize Adam as the voice and face of the Chevy Volt. General Motors (GM) Volt commercials are seen on U.S. television numerous times a day, so you may recognize Adam. When GM embarked upon a nationwide search for real-life Volt owners,  they felt that Adam’s authenticity, sincerity and look were just right. He exemplifies the values of those who place an importance on environmental sustainable technology and development.

In this issue, we have a near-record number of articles, including a Best Practices Feature that we hope to make a standard article in future issues of Papyrus. Thanks go to Jack Plumb from the National Library of Scotland and Keith McClanahan from Facilities Issues Inc. for this inaugural Best Practices feature article. We are also including a collaborative article in this issue by Darragh Brady that consists of responses to a post in our LinkedIn Group. We hope also to include an article in future issues that summarizes responses to a post on a topic with which IAMFA’s members deal on a regular basis. Please join IAMFA’s LinkedIn Group, if you have not done so already. The group has doubled in size this year, and now has 440 members from 37 countries. 

You will also find a reprint of the very first issue of Papyrus, published back in 1997. This current issue represents the 15th anniversary of Papyrus. Thanks go to our members and other experts in pertinent fields over the past 15 years, for taking time to write about improvements they’ve made recently. 

Thanks also to Stacey Wittig for authoring a recap of this year’s Benchmarking and Learning Workshop, held on the day prior to the start of this year’s Annual Conference.  More than 50 people attended this year’s workshop, and I understand that the workshop was very helpful to members participating in the 2012 IAMFA Benchmarking Exercise.

Michael Harold from Steensen Varming Ltd. has also contributed an article entitled “Ideal Maintenance” that is an excellent instructional article on a topic with which we all live on a daily basis. Steensen Varming has demonstrated they are ready to assist when IAMFA’s members need expertise in lighting design, and more general for engineering and maintenance support. 

You’ll also see a preview of the plans for IAMFA’s 2013 Annual Conference, scheduled for October 20  next year in Washington, D.C. One of the venues—the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland—contributed an article to this issue. The plans for next year’s conference are shaping up nicely, and by next summer, we hope to have an article in Papyrus about each of next year’s conference venues. Please start marking your schedules, and make sure you join us in 2013.

IAMFA’s website, has preliminary information on the conference venues, and Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center is where we’ll be based.  There are some good pictures on the website of this spectacular hotel. While you are on IAMFA’s website, please visit the Members Only page to see the latest news from IAMFA. In the next few months the new website will assume the name of our long-running website name IAMFA.ORG. It is possible that this change may take place by the time you read this issue of Papyrus.

There’s more in this issue: too many articles to introduce individually, as well as updates from several of our member regions. I hope you enjoy this issue; thank you so much to everyone who contributed this issue’s content.

Joe May, Editor


Message from the President

This is my first message in Papyrus, and I am not sure exactly how to start. So much has occurred within IAMFA since our last issue. This is one energetic organization! John and Shonie Castle and his team—Jill Abbott, Mike Downs, Bruce Cantor, Rich Reinhart, Bob and Mary Ann Morrone—designed and executed an absolutely fabulous conference in Philadelphia for all who were able to attend. It was amazing in every way. The hotel was perfect (we will most likely never be able to top that again!), food out of this world, and the worst of the weather held off and ended up being just fine for the entire meeting. 

The benchmarking workshop was well attended, with 47 participants. Each person came prepared to share and participate in the discussions. Both Stacey Wittig and Keith McClanahan did an outstanding job keeping the content flowing and discussions lively.  Every one of us met new members, and had an opportunity to make new contacts. If you are not yet a participant in the benchmarking exercise, you are missing out on a chance to compare your facility against some of the best in this business. 

Our conferences are dependent on the support of our sponsors, and this past year John Castle and his team were assisted by some of the best companies in our field. Steensen Varming led the way as principal sponsor, and was joined by many others, including the Camfil Farr Group, Allied Barton Security Services, McGuire Engineering, Mueller Associates, CleanTech Services Inc., Pennoni Associates Inc., Hughes Associates Inc., Hess Energy, Chubb Group, DEDC, LF Driscoll, Limbach Inc., Atkin/Olshin/Schade Architects, Olin Landscape Architecture, and CVM. We depend so much on our sponsors to host the Annual Conference, and this coming year, John Castle will lead a Sponsorship Committee to ensure that sponsorship of IAMFA’s Annual Conference each year results in a win-win result for our very generous, and much-needed sponsors.

During this conference, we recognized two very deserving members for the IAMFA Lifetime Achievement award. Our fearless President for the past four years, John De Lucy, was honored in Philadelphia, as was Tony McGuire—a faithful member since 2001. Everyone in IAMFA knows both of these gentlemen, and knows them well because of their amazing contributions to our organization. IAMFA is a volunteer organization that requires its members to perform all the work necessary to make it an outstanding association. Both John and Tony are shining examples of totally committed members.

We also presented two members with the George Preston Memorial Award: Dan Davies and Joe Brennan. For over a decade, Dan Davies has captured every single annual meeting on film for all to see. Check out the Members Only page of our new website (thanks Joe May!) at to view the video and pictures that Dan Davies took while in Philidelphia. You will quickly see why Dan is so deserving of this award.  Joe Brennan organized two annual conferences in California for our membership—can you even imagine! And, somehow he makes this task look easy! He is also a most deserving member of this award. 

Our Board has been busy meeting by conference call and has established two new strategic member committees for membership and sponsorship. These committees will be led by David Sanders, Stacey Wittig and John Castle, who are already hard at work. We also welcomed two new Board members this year—Jack Plumb and David Sanders—and both have definitely hit the ground running! As a matter of fact, we held our first three-hour conference call meeting that didn’t start till 9 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time! These poor guys hung in, and Dave produced meeting minutes and calendar appointments before 8 a.m. the next morning, Eastern Standard Time! Apparently they do not need much sleep.

The Board is always looking to hear from members interested in serving on the IAMFA Board. We will have a couple of positions coming up this year for reelection, and if you think you might be interested, please let Randy Murphy know. Randy will be organizing our electronic voting process again this year. We launched a new election procedure this past year, and if you are interested in learning more about how the procedure works, information is posted on our website. 

Planning is already well underway for our October 2013 annual conference in Washington, D.C. You can learn more about the conference in this issue of Papyrus, but I wanted members to know that the venues in 2013 will be totally new. No repeats for the guest program, or the members program, so please plan to attend. Check out the IAMFA website to see some great images of our conference hotel at the Gaylord National Convention Center. I am already looking forward to seeing everyone next October.

The best to you all, and I wish you a wonderful holiday season! 

Nancy Bechtol

President, IAMFA


Sustainability Certification for Cultural Institutions

By Adam Meltzer  

For years now, facilities professionals at cultural institutions have become increasingly involved with sustainability efforts, for a number of reasons. Our cultural institutions have become a focal point for sustainable development within our communities, and those who fund operations at these institutions have shown a sincere interest in demonstrating the community’s commitment to sustainability. 

It has also become common in recent years to embark upon significant expansion/renovation programs at cultural institutions, and most of these projects have sustainable features incorporated into their designs. While many cultural institutions have undergone changes, most facilities professionals have been required to do more with less, due to budget constraints that have left few unaffected.

While nearly all IAMFA members have had some involvement in sustainability efforts, few have had the resources to become LEED-Certified, or certified in the prevailing system in their country. Those who have tried have found that the unique operating characteristics of their institutions make it more difficult to achieve sustainability certification than it would be with a commercial building.

This is where Arts:Earth Partnership (AEP) comes in. AEP is a not-for-profit green-business certification program created specifically for the Arts & Cultural sector.

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Caption: A sampling of Arts:Earth Partnership-certified facilities and members.

We advise, assess and educate cultural facilities and arts organizations on how to become more environmentally sustainable businesses. In this way, our member organizations save precious resources that can be redirected toward fulfilling their missions. They also reduce their negative impact on our cities and planet by reducing CO2 emissions, energy costs, material and water waste, while setting an important and visible example for their audience and visitors. In addition, the adoption of environmentally friendly business practices and attaining a Green Business Certification allows for positive marketing and outreach. A bonus is that the certification gives the organization an opportunity to grow a donor base to include those who champion environmentalism and earth-conscious business practices.

AEP’s certification checklist and process have been vetted by the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and by the Department of Toxic Substances Control in Sacramento (the capital of California): the body that administers and approves all the green business programs operating in the State of California—the eight-largest economy in the world.

Established in 2008, AEP is the first and only Green Business Certification Program created specifically for the Arts & Cultural sector in the United States. AEP was started as a program of the Electric Lodge in Venice, California: a hub of cultural activity, and a visual and performing arts center powered by 100% renewable energy.

Justin Yoffe, co-founder and Executive Director of AEP says, “When looking into becoming an officially recognized green business, we were concerned about the language, length and high cost of existing green-business certification programs, and decided to develop our own. Our goal was to create a certification checklist and program that was commensurate with existing programs like LEED, but tailored to the Arts & Cultural sector, very easy to understand, incredibly low-cost and with personal support built in every step of the way. We knew the Arts & Cultural sector was predisposed to sustainable practice, and their access to the general public is profound and immediate: a great way to demonstrate positive action to the communities in which they reside.”

Arts & Cultural events bring whole communities together, making them something of a captive audience. A cultural institution that demonstrates cost-saving environmentally sustainable practices can influence millions of patrons annually. And, if just a fraction of those people are inspired to make changes at their homes or businesses, the impact can be profound.

Larger museums may have over a million square feet of space, and may see a million or more visitors each year. The savings from making simple changes in lighting, water conservation and waste management alone can return much-needed dollars to art or educational events. This is the critical message: Less waste equals more art. Donors are behind it, patrons are behind it, and employees are always excited about implementing environmental sustainability measures.

Two things separate AEP’s certification process from others. The first is our onsite assessment, which plays a major role in reducing the documentation needed, as well as the time required to upload it. The second is that our measures are easily achievable and tailored to your needs. We have required measures and elective measures. The elective measures give you choices in implementing the measures most important and achievable for your organization. 

All the measures play a part in achieving environmental sustainability and certification. AEP believes that movement toward being a truly environmental sustainable organization is better than not moving at all. AEP’s certification process is meant to give organizations a roadmap to begin their journey towards true comprehensive environmental sustainability. Many times, organizations aren’t sure where to start, how much to do, or how to do it. We address all those issues and more.

After an initial site visit, AEP gives members 90–120 days to complete the measures contained in a customized certification document. A follow-up visit then occurs, and an assessor walks through the facility to make sure the measures are complete. If they are in fact complete, the organization is then certified—and, in many cases, the certification will give them access to benefits for being a green business.

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Caption:  Assessors walk through the museum to verify the selected sustainability criteria have been satisfied.   

Without going into detail about other certifications, I think everyone can agree that some of the other certifications out there are not sensitive to the time, cost, labor issues and power needs related to the cultural community. Arts:Earth Partnership’s certification process is. They have created measures that are easily achievable, even without a full-time facilities operations person or an outside consultant—if you have one, however, it’s even easier. In a nutshell, significantly fewer hours of internal resources are needed to complete the certification documents.

AEP works with facilities that range from a thousand square feet to a million square feet, and results in these facilities creating measurable results at a fraction of the cost. Costs for the certification process are very low: typically $400 for two years for a facility that is between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet. Please see our website for current rates at: and scroll down halfway down the page. The initial costs shown on the website include capital improvements with lighting and water conservation.  This is also where the savings come in. For a small 5,000-square-foot theater or museum, we estimated they would spend $2,300 US on retrofitting and replacing incandescent lighting. Within nine months that would be made back, and within 10 years they would have saved over $55,000 US.

Joe May from IAMFA has been exploring with AEP how our two non-profit organizations might possibly assist one another in gaining greater recognition of, and sustainability certification for, cultural institutions around the globe. AEP is currently developing an international training program for facilities willing to be host members. All interested IAMFA members should contact AEP at, or get in touch with Joe May to discuss this further. AEP and IAMFA working together represent a wonderful opportunity to bring art and comprehensive environmental sustainability together, which is why we exist.


We all are aware that our cultural institutions are no longer just facilities in which to store, preserve, and display art. They are gathering places and centers to attract tourism to our cities, and our civic leaders are increasingly interested in demonstrating their commitment and leadership in sustainable development. They want to be seen as responsible members of the world’s cultural community, and we are exploring the possibility for IAMFA to become influential in setting a world standard for sustainability certification at cultural institutions. We’d like to gauge the interest of our membership in pursuing Arts:Earth Partnerships sustainable certification. If it were simpler to achieve, and less costly to achieve, would IAMFA members be interested in pursuing sustainability certification? If IAMFA could be instrumental in establishing a world standard for sustainability at cultural institutions, would our members find this a worthy pursuit? We want to hear from you!

Joe May, Editor, Papyrus

[End of Sidebar]

Stay tuned for AEP’s first annual Sustainable Arts Summit in Los Angeles on June 8, 2013!

Adam Meltzer is Director of Operations/Programs for Arts:Earth Partnership, and is an accredited LEED AP in Los Angeles, as well as a QCxP(Qualified Commissioning Process Provider). Adam’s past experience includes LEED consulting projects, environmental assessments, program coordination, marketing and research, graphic design, and social networking. He can be reached at


Benchmarking at the National Library of Scotland: A Journey of Discovery

By Jack Plumb

It took a meeting with Karen Plouviez, Facilities Manager at the British Library in 2000, to introduce me to the possibilities of what serious benchmarking could achieve. This led to the National Library of Scotland joining IAMFA and signing up for the benchmarking workshop at the London conference in 2002. Listening to Ian Follett of Facilities Management Inc., who in those days coordinated the benchmarking exercise for IAMFA, opened my eyes to the potential of what serious benchmarking could achieve.

So in 2003, we participated in our first benchmarking exercise. The first thing I had to decide was whether to benchmark the whole National Library of Scotland (NLS) estate, or just a single building. This is still a major dilemma today for those colleagues just starting out. At the Library in 2003, I was in the middle of a major plant replacement programme at our major site, working on the design of a replacement chiller installation which would incorporate a radical new free-cooling facility. To measure the success – or otherwise – of this bold new design, I decided to benchmark this building alone, and we have continued to benchmark this building. I will come back to the results of this plant replacement programme later in this article.

Since embarking on the benchmarking exercise, we have gotten a pretty good idea of just how this building operates – but also just how good, or otherwise, the information is that we use for the benchmarking exercise. As you can see from Table 1, there are some strange-looking readings – especially if you follow the cost of security, which ranges from $60/m² down to $10/ m² – which are not entirely due to savings, but more likely a result of our original decision to benchmark a particular building. In our case, we do not split our security costs by building. For the benchmarking exercise, this means that we have to take total security costs and apportion this figure based on the floor area of this building, as a percentage of the entire estate – not the best way to guarantee consistency.

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Table 1: Building Operation Costs per Square Metre at NLS Since 2003

Caption: Building Operation Costs per Square Metre at NLS Since 2003

What the table does show, however, is that over the years we have become more efficient in all our efforts. By consistently scoring below the IAMFA medians, we can say with confidence that in our current provision of services – whether it be security, cleaning or maintenance – we are delivering value for the money by achieving an acceptable result at below-market rates. I am particularly pleased by the way in which building maintenance costs have been maintained consistently below the IAMFA mean, (the figure for 2008 does appear to be an anomaly – which is another lesson to be learnt; we do not always report the correct number).

Looking at the total operating costs for this building, the table also shows that, not only is it consistently running at less than the IAMFA mean, but we also appear to becoming even more efficient, driving running costs down at a time when the IAMFA mean appears to be drifting slightly upwards. The main driver for this continuing decrease in running costs has been achieved through a major focus by the Library and the current FM contractor, ECG Facilities, on examining the operation of every item in the plant to ensure that it is delivering the minimum amount of energy to achieve the desired environmental condition, for only the time required.

When reading benchmarks – especially if you start to compare yourselves with other benchmarks and, even worse, start to give yourself a pat on the back because your particular facility is top of the class – beware, and stop and ask yourself why. A good example of this involves examining electrical consumption for the particular building assessed for the NLS benchmarking exercise. At first glance, you would think that your humble author is best in class! The truth is, of course, slightly different. That is why, with a team of IAMFA colleagues, we developed the IAMFA energy performance certificate, which compares your facility/building on a year-by-year basis. If you score well with that test, then you may well give yourself a pat on the back!

Back to the building that we in the Library use for our benchmarking exercise. It is a very heavy concrete book repository, with a number of novel energy-saving initiatives – more of which later. Basically, it scores very well for two main reasons:

The first is that this building is a storage facility with only individual members of the collection management team touring the collection spaces. This means hardly any sensible heat gain, (they are under strict instructions to switch lights off once they leave a space) and minimal latent gains, as there are so few people in the space. Compare this to a popular gallery or museum, where they have to cope with hundreds of wet tourists who pop in to look for dry place to get out of the rain, direct into the collection space; you can see we are not comparing apples with apples.

The second is the climate in Scotland, which means we hardly ever have to de-humidify. In fact, we set the controls up, and manage the temperature and humidity sets points to design out the requirement for de-humidification as much as possible. This is achieved by ensuring that, at the start of de-humidification season – usually in early August – we let the humidity drift as close to 40% as possible (our lower limit), with the temperature as cool as possible without excessive use of the chillers (a hot summer in Scotland is something only us old-stagers can remember, 1976 I think was the last one). We then let the humidity rise over the summer months, letting temperatures in the collection space drift slowly upwards, controlling the humidity by carefully controlling the temperature, as required.

Without wishing to be too harsh on myself, within the Library we have set ourselves challenging targets for reducing carbon emissions. When embarking on any initiative, as I have said many times before, the best place to start is with your IAMFA colleagues. In my book, there is no better way to spend an evening than debating different types of plant and plant installations over a beer or three with your fellow FM colleagues. I believe it was at one of these debates that I heard about voltage optimisation for the first time.

For those unaware of voltage optimsation devices, they were first developed in Japan, at a time when it was essential for their economy to save as much energy as possible. These devices deliver savings by slightly reducing the voltage supplied to the building. The voltage remains sufficient to deliver 10% (on average) energy savings, whilst not affecting the normal operation of the building. As with all good ideas, it was quickly copied and there are now a number of different types of voltage optimisation manufacturers. My concern, however, was that we install a device with no maintenance, no moving parts, and a 17-year guarantee. We also wanted a winding arrangement, meaning that, even in the very unlikely event of a plant failure, it would continue to supply the original line voltage. Following the lead taken by my IAMFA colleagues, the vast majority of our current devices are Power Perfector units, which contains all the qualities we require.

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Caption: Power Perfector voltage optimisation unit.

When faced with the requirement to replace aging chillers, I noticed that it is rather cold outdoors in Scotland. Very quick to notice these things was I, so I wondered if we could use existing air-blast coolers (which are normally used to reject heat from the chillers during the summer months) in winter to generate cold water. With the help of my excellent FM Contractors, ECG Facilities, we experimented a bit, and discovered that we could deliver chilled water roughly 2ºC higher than ambient. We already knew that we could run the chilled water installation with a set point of 10ºC during the winter months, which means that, once the ambient temperature falls below 8ºC, we could generate our own chilled water at a fraction of the cost, as the chiller would be shut down. Based on these calculations, we designed a chiller replacement installation that included a heat exchanger connecting the air-blast coolers with the chilled water installation. When this was combined with variable-speed high-efficiency pumps designed and supplied by our specialist pump supplier, Grundfos Pumps, we managed to achieve an 18% reduction in energy consumption.

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Caption: Grundfos variable-speed twin-headed pumps.

I should mention that, based on this successful outcome, we used the same design principles at another site. This time, as well as using our specialist pump suppliers, we also used a specialist Turbomiser Chiller supplier: Klima-Therm, (which had previously successfully supplied Turbomiser Chillers to our colleagues at the National Archives in Kew, London).

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Caption: Klima-Therm Turbomiser Chillers.

On this other site, working closely with our controls specialists, East Coast Controls, several further innovations have been introduced. These included changing all the valve arrangements on the supply to the chilled-water batteries installed within each air-handling unit. These now operate as two-port valves, (which means they are either open or closed, or some position in-between), using a pressure switch to control the speed of the pump. Another change to the control strategy was to keep raising the temperature of the chilled water, until at least one of the now two-port chilled-water battery valves was 100% open. This meant that only the minimum of chilled water was being delivered, at the highest temperature possible, sufficient to meet the demands of the collection spaces. (Please see the excellent article by my colleague Allan Tyrrell of the Portrait Gallery in London in the Spring 2012 issue of Papyrus on this very subject).

Whilst my two previous examples show how working with your IAMFA colleagues have resulted in the Library making significant energy savings, in my next example I had to harness the knowledge of our specialist suppliers, in order to reduce the delivery of energy to the air-handling units. Air-handling units are an important consideration in any energy-reduction programme, as the energy supplied to air-handling can be considered almost in isolation in terms of the energy supplied to the space.

Our scope for achieving significant energy savings on the delivery side of this energy equation is a bit more difficult to achieve. There is less scope for savings; although there are a few possibilities. Perhaps the most significant of these relates to the temperature and humidity conditions required within the space. Working with our Preservation colleagues, we have made massive strides in widening this environmental-control envelope, resulting in significant energy reductions. However, there are also less obvious changes that can be made to maximise energy savings, and these are within the air- handling units themselves. By now, all electric motors should be nothing less than the most highly efficient electric motors possible. Whilst it makes no sense to replace perfectly operational electric motors, motor rewinds should now be a thing of the past. When the opportunity arises – for example, on a motor failure – they should be replaced with high-efficiency electric motors. Getting back to our energy reduction measures at the Library, again working with our specialist suppliers (this time Camfil Farr), we have installed a range of low-energy filters, helping to make a significant contribution to our overall energy-reduction achievements.

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Caption:  High-efficiency Camfil Farr filters.

So how do we sum up this energy reduction achievement? It is very clearly shown on the energy-performance certificates produced as part of the IAMFA benchmarking exercise, but what have we learnt?

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Caption:  IAMFA Energy Label for NLS.

I would respectfully suggest that you can learn the most from talking to your IAMFA colleagues. If you are not a member already, join up soon and join in the discussions. Secondly take part in the IAMFA benchmarking exercise; it is only by examining the trends, and discussing them with your colleagues, that you can start to understand what the numbers really mean. Finally, a resource not to be overlooked: your specialist suppliers. They might not know your requirements, but they do know their products. Join all three together – well, the energy performance certificate gives you a clue. See you down the pub for the next discussion.

Jack Plumb is Facilities Manager at National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and serves on the Board of the International Association of Museum Facility Administrators. He can be reached at 

[Sidebar to the above article]

Jack’s analogy that benchmarking is a journey of discovery resonates with me, for the IAMFA benchmarking exercise is certainly a tool for discovering and uncovering ways to increase efficiencies at your facility. Since benchmarking is a continuous improvement process, the further you journey, the more nuggets you pick up.

Every year, facility administrators like you find new ways to tweak their processes when they listen to others discuss successes and failures. Join the conversation by first sharing your operating costs and practices on the easy-to-use website portal. The data you enter online is “benchmarked” or compared to other museums, libraries and cultural institutions.

Next, the annual benchmarking workshop—designed to get participants comfortable with sharing and discussing both challenges and successes—is held prior to the annual IAMFA conference. But more on that later, in a separate article in this issue by my colleague Stacey Wittig. Let me simply say here that so much networking goes on at the workshop that you will feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling peers for advice throughout the ensuing year.

By measuring results, finding industry averages, and then sharing best practices, you will find ways to shave your costs, just as Jack demonstrates in his article. In fact, the average benchmarking participant reduces their costs about 8% in the first year. Jack’s story is not an anomaly.

The IAMFA benchmarking group traditionally measures utility, cleaning, maintenance, and security costs. This year, for the first time, you have two options: benchmark all these categories, or benchmark the utility category only. The new survey, aptly named the Energy Survey, was proposed by the IAMFA Benchmarking Steering Committee as a means of getting more—specifically, smaller—institutions involved. The Energy Study, offered at a lower enrollment fee, should be easier to leverage into any tight budget. Both surveys collect temperature and humidity set points, and participants cross-reference data charts to learn how changing set points is affecting energy consumption.

The original enrollment fee was $1,875 US. Support from our generous sponsors has lowered that to $1,499 US. New participants can make use of an introductory offer of $999 US, and the Energy Survey is only $499 US. You are invited to participate with, or sponsor, this interactive group by going to

Keith McClanahan, Principal

Facility Issues, Benchmarking Consultants

[End of sidebar]


The Important Topic of Bathroom Accessories in the Museum Setting

By Darragh Brady

I attended the recent IAMFA conference in Philadelphia, where I had the pleasure of meeting many IAMFA members. After the presentation on benchmarking, I realized that this IAMFA group of members represents a huge pool of valuable information on all things relating to museum facilities. It then occurred to me that I should tap this pool for advice on what types and styles of bathroom accessories we should specify for the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is undergoing a major renovation/rejuvenation.

As a member of IAMFA’s LinkedIn Group, I had the ability to post a question in the Group, and ask everyone’s opinion on how members would chose to equip a bathroom in a museum.

"If you could specify all new accessories for your public bathrooms would they be:

·         Electronic over manual?

·         Soap dispensers?

·         Toilet flushing?

·         Sink faucets?

·         Paper towel dispensers?

·         Other?

·         Would you have paper towels and hand dryers, or just one or the other?

·         Would you have the jumbo toilet paper rolls, or the regular-sized ones? Does your answer depend on how you procure the paper?”

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Caption:  Here is a well-maintained but rather unattractive lavatory setup. They have obviously moved to the GoJo soap dispensers, because the original pumps by Bobrick either stopped working or were too hard to fill. They have installed a new paper towel dispenser, in addition to still maintaining the recessed C-fold dispenser/mirror units over the sink. You can see the electronic devices under the sinks that operate the faucets. Overall, while spotless and reasonably well ordered, this is a very busy and unattractive setup.

It seems that these accessories often fail over time and are replaced in an ad hoc manner, resulting in a cluttered appearance.

Thanks to all who responded with suggestions from your valuable experience. Here is how some members of the LinkedIn Group responded:

“Years back, I was PM of a capital project at The Cloisters, New York, which included restroom renovation and had lots of input from facilities personnel. The spec was out when I took charge, and there were interesting challenges. Here they are to share:

“If electronic units are used, they should be hard-wired for power, not battery-powered, as battery replacement is always untimely and one ends up with very wet floors/slip hazard if it is the paper towel dispensers that go out. Both air and paper towel units were preferred, and the units themselves came from facilities to conform to museum-wide standards for ease of maintenance and paper-product replacement. There were complaints on the auto-flush toilet units, where the model was superseded by newer designs; i.e., spare parts must be included in the spec for future repairs. 

“As mentioned above, the paper products were standardized per stocking/order protocols, and big rolls were preferred due to cost (C-fold hand towels and individual TPs can cost 2–3 times more). Paper supplier would sometimes throw in the dispenser units themselves to ensure you have to go back to them for their products, which may contribute to the ad hoc installations.

“It took a bit of time to find out what the museum’s purchasing department favored, and to find the hardware that takes the paper/soap supplies, in addition to anticipating maintenance requirement.

“Hope the above helps!”

“The recent interior conservation effort at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia had our team asking many of the same questions when it came to the restrooms. Our decisions included electronic faucets and auto-flush valves. We stayed with manual soap dispensers and our tandem dispenser-size toilet tissue. The latter was driven by what stock we maintain at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I suppose, if I could start with a clean slate, I would use electronic soap dispensers. We also added high-velocity hand dryers to eliminate paper towels. We are still monitoring the “no paper towel” policy to see how the visitors respond – so far, so good.

“A word of caution on the high-velocity hand dryers: try them in the restroom space before permanently installing them. Some models tend to have a very high dB levels, particularly when hands are placed into the air stream. This can be a distraction to visitors if they can be heard in the gallery spaces. And finally, since the Rodin is a smaller museum and does not utilize a central toilet EXF, we use occupancy sensors to turn on the fractional hp bathroom exhaust fans, as well as the bathroom lights.”

“Here are some observations from the Physical and Operational Security disciplines. We work extensively with architects and designers on renovations and new buildings for museums, and here are some general recommendations on security:

·         Maze entrances (as opposed to physical doors—think airports).

·         Tamperproof hardware throughout, including the luminaries.

·         No hatches or access doors within the washroom leading to utility spaces; if the above access doors are unavoidable, monitor them via the security systems.

·         Electronic control of faucets, soap dispensers and flush mechanisms.

·         Avoid the use of paper towels, as they can be used to block toilets and basins.

·         Ceramic/porcelain tiles preferred over drywall (graffiti control).

·         Mirrors securely mounted but easy to replace. Have spares on hand. (Mirrors are often vandalized by persons with diamond or carbide-pointed tools.

·         At least one flush-mounted floor drain.

·         Stall partition vertical dimension limits the possibility of observation over/under.

·         Stall materials designed to resist graffiti (e.g., basket-weave stainless steel)

·         If you have a 24/7 guard force, an emergency call button should be provided at the mobility-impaired stalls. If no 24/7 guard force, then the use of call buttons must be reviewed for the ‘Response’ component and to avoid nuisance calls to a monitoring station.

·         If you are working with a completely new building design, avoid locating washrooms (and mechanical spaces) directly above exhibition, collections storage, collections workroom spaces or any other sensitive space such as computer server rooms.

Lots more, but that should get you off to a good start.”

“Most of the big things are easy to define. Some depend on whether you prefer a commercial look, or favor a more residential look. A more residential look guides you toward single-roll toilet paper dispensers, etc. Often overlooked is incandescent lighting for mirrors in the women's restrooms, and shelves next to the lavatories where women can place their purses on while they freshen up—rather than in the water that collects on the countertop during heavy usage. It is also nice, if you have the room, to provide some seating for older ladies as they wait for others, or for nursing mothers. Just some ideas I have run across.”

“Years ago, my facility had toilet paper dispensers that held two rolls of toilet paper side by side. People would use paper from both rolls since they were both accessible, and rolls would become smaller and smaller, usually at about the same rate. When the custodial crew serviced the bathroom, if the rolls were more than half used, they would just throw them out, because usually both rolls would be used equally, and they felt that if they didn’t replace the rolls, then the toilet paper would run out in that stall since both rolls were getting smaller at the same rate. Since I was heading up the LEED Certification effort, this was particularly annoying to me. We always heard complaints from staff seeing custodians throwing out partial rolls of toilet paper. I suggested putting a piece of tape or rubber band around new rolls, so that maybe visitors would completely use up one roll before starting the other, but the janitorial contractor resisted this, and I didn’t have direct influence over them. I would never suggest using toilet paper fixtures that hold two side-by-side rolls, unless one roll can’t be used until the other is finished.

“In addition to your typical accessories, the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates protecting people from scalding drainage lines.  Typically this means either plastic shields, weird insulation, or built-in shielding as part of the casework (the best solution). But there is one other solution, which is to specify a ‘thermal mixing valve’ on the lavatory fixture, with a temperature set at the factory to the mandated maximum (typically 105˚F). This allows for simple and clean installations with no need for all the shielding. It meets the ‘equivalent facilitation’ clause stipulated in section 103 of Standards for Accessible Design- Department of Justice.”

Thanks to all who contributed to this article!

Darragh Brady is a Senior Associate at Ziger/Snead Architects, and specializes in cultural and educational projects. Darragh is based in Baltimore, MD and can be reached at


U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Sustainability . . . and Beyond!

By Kevin Anderson and Donald Overfelt

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Caption: The Archives II building in College Park, Maryland is situated on 33 acres (13.35 hectares) and has 1.8 M ft2 (167,225 m2) of floor space (primarily archival storage).

Historically, proponents of economic growth, social needs and environmental protection have been at odds with one another, thus hindering communication, and there is a need to bring these three groups together on common ground. Sustainability is a buzzword for addressing climate change and improving energy- and water-efficiency, and the concept of sustainability is a way to bridge the communication gap. Continued dialogue on sustainability is necessary to promote viable economic and social development, while protecting the environment.

Sustainability can be defined as the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship and the responsible management of resources. A typical Sustainability Model has three key components—Social, Economic and Environmental—all of which must overlap if the model is to remain properly balanced in order to achieve sustainability. 

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Caption: Typical Sustainability Model.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is currently achieving a balance of social, economic and environmental considerations in its daily activities and planning. It is doing this through a variety of avenues. NARA’s energy and water conservation efforts continue to mature. More importantly, the corporate culture at NARA has changed to more fully acknowledge impact of our actions, along with a commitment to preserving the environment. By understanding the effects, and planning for future challenges, NARA is rapidly adapting its facilities to a changing climate. This also puts NARA on the road to resiliency—the ability to recover quickly from climatic setbacks—thus taking it beyond sustainability. 

Our efforts have been recognized with national awards. In 2008, NARA won a Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management. In 2010, NARA won a GreenGov Presidential Award for Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. NARA was also recognized as the 2010 winner of the Presidential “Lean, Clean, and Green” award, for outstanding achievement in building energy efficiency and renewable energy development and deployment.

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Caption:  One of numerous awards ceremonies recognizing NARA for its efforts in achieving higher levels of sustainability.

We are proud of our achievements, and although the awards demonstrate our commitment to conserve energy, NARA recognizes that we must focus on more than just energy savings in order to achieve real sustainability. NARA is becoming more resilient by committing to LEED principles as a guide for attaining sustainability. NARA now also requires LEED Platinum certification for new construction, and at least LEED Silver on any new construction projects at existing buildings.

Making this kind of commitment requires going far beyond just replacing old mechanical systems with new ones. Because achieving archival standards is far more demanding than meeting typical building standards, NARA works hard to balance social, economical and environmental needs. Steps are taken to improve and redesign processes and systems, using state-of-the-art technologies, while looking holistically at improvements to make them sustainable. We make sustainable purchases by procuring environmentally preferable, Energy Star®, EPEAT, biobased products, etc. We also are looking at additional ways to reduce waste by reducing packaging, by recycling and reusing products, and by finding ways to make products from waste (e.g., composting). Taking these steps ultimately reduces energy and water use, and decreases greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the amount of waste produced.

Our processes are regularly measured and verified to maintain intent, design standards and performance. Achieving sustainability and resilience means that processes and systems must be regularly and formally audited. Since September 2006, NARA has conducted regular site visits (audits), and makes recommendations for improving operations and maintenance.

Between 2006 and 2011, NARA invested heavily in energy-efficiency projects. The two most innovative and noteworthy projects are a $5.7-million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) project with an eight-year payback at Archives II; and a $5.8-million ESPC project with a seven-year payback at Archives I. The Archives II project alone saves over 26,000 M BTUs annually over the 2008 baseline, and 2400 Mt CO2e. 

NARA worked directly with the Energy Service Company to develop and implement the following Energy Conservation Measures at Archives I & II:

• upgrade and optimize the energy-management control system;

• improve the heating plant;

• reduce steam-distribution losses;

• rebalance HVAC systems;

• reset condenser water temperature;

• reduce water use;

• reduce the run time of bathroom exhaust fans;

• retrofit lighting and controls; and

• upgrade the building envelope.

In FY2008, and again in FY2009, Archives II—NARA’s largest building—realized the greatest reduction in energy use, and saved the agency over $1 million in energy costs.  Although these savings are attributed to ESPC projects, employee awareness, aggressive conservation measures, and a change in agency culture ultimately helped NARA achieve these reductions. Since results of the projects have been so positive at Archives II, a similar ESPC contract was implemented for Archives I, with similar monetary savings (>$1M/yr). In addition to the ESPC projects, direct NARA funding paid for a green roof, solar arrays, cogeneration units, and a high albedo (solar reflecting) roof-membrane project at Archives II. The existing 150 kW photovoltaic panels now produce an average of 175,000 kWh/yr.

NARA is working on yet another ESPC project for the Presidential Libraries, and Southeast Regional Archives (Atlanta). This project will be implemented in FY2013.  

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Caption: Solar array—Archives II.

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Caption: Aerial view of green roof on Archives II.

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Caption: Green roof on Archives II, Spring 2012.

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Caption: Cogeneration units produce both heat and electricity.

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Caption: This rainwater collection tank stores condensate water and rainwater for irrigation.

Finally, NARA recognizes that meeting sustainability goals and achieving resilience require the awareness and efforts of all. NARA published sustainability tips for recycling, energy and water conservation, and waste reduction that could be used at work and home. The agency conducts training and interacts with staff via website, newsletters, fairs, video displays, guided tours, and conferences. Providing these avenues helps employees learn more about how our activities affect the environment, and how each of us can reduce our carbon footprint. Input from employees is encouraged, and is rewarded when the idea can be implemented at NARA. Using this knowledge, each individual can lessen his or her environmental impact.

In September 2010, NARA published its first agency-wide Sustainability Plan. The Plan details our approach to climate-change adaptation; how we manage energy consumption, water and waste streams; and our commitment to the sustainable buildings program. By committing to sustainable buildings and moving toward resilience, NARA has committed itself to exceeding federal mandates, and to going beyond sustainability.

Kevin Anderson is the Agency Environmental Specialist at NARA. Donald Overfelt is the Chief of Facilities and Property Branch.


First issue of Papyrus

As Papyrus completes fifteen years as IAMFA’s official publication, we thought it would be appropriate to reprint the very first issue of Papyrus from late 1997. Thanks go to IAMFA members who so generously share their experiences in improving operations at their facilities.


The 22nd IAMFA Conference in the Mid–Atlantic Region of America:  Learning, Networking, Touring and Culture in one of America’s Most Historic Regions

By Joe May

The 2012 IAMFA Conference took place from September 16 to 19, 2012, in Philadelphia and the surrounding region in Delaware and Pennsylvania. 

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the fifth-most-populous city in the United States. It is located in the northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and is the only consolidated city-county in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley, home to 6 million people. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia are “Philly” and “The City of Brotherly Love”—the latter of which comes from the literal meaning of the city's name in Greek, compounded from philos (φίλος) “loving”, and adelphos (δελφός) “brother”.

In 1682, William Penn founded the city to serve as the capital of Pennsylvania Colony. By the 1750s, it was the largest city and busiest port in British North America. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. During the nineteenth century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew with an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration, and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.

Let me begin by expressing gratitude to all of the conference organizers, led by host John Castle.

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Caption: The Conference Committee, left to right: Michael Downs, Hagley Museum and Library; Jill Abbott, Winterthur Museum, Garden & and Library; Bob Morrone, Philadelphia Museum of Art (retired); Mary Ann Morrone, Thomas Edison State College (retired); Rich Reinert, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Shonie Castle, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library; Bruce Canter, Delaware Art Museum; and John Castle, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. 

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 sponsors who made this year’s conference possible:

Steensen Varming (2012 IAMFA Conference Principal Sponsor): Danish engineering firm founded by Niels Steensen & Jørgen Varming in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1933. The firm specializes in civil, structural and building services engineering, with offices in Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Ireland.

Allied Barton Security Services: Local Response, National Support—Security Officers are our focus!

Atkin Olshin Schade Architects: Leads the planning, design, and construction of significant new facilities.

The Camfil Farr Group: Global air filtration specialist with 24 production units and R&D centres in four countries in the Americas, Europe and the Asia–Pacific region.

Chubb: Business Insurance for Cultural Institutions; Tailored Solutions for Treasured Institutions.

CleanTech Services Inc.: General Commercial Cleaning for over 35 years with a personal, hands–on approach.

CVM: Assess/Plan/Design/Construct—with an innovative approach to problem-solving.

DEDC (Delaware Engineering & Design Corporation): Dedicated to providing excellence in engineering and services.

Hess Energy: Providing electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and green solutions to over 22,000 commercial and industrial customers in 18 East Coast States and Washington, D.C.

Hughes Associates, Inc.: Fire Protection Engineers, Code Consultants.

LF Driscoll Construction Managers, Builders: – Innovative Museum Construction Management.

Limbach Inc.: Provider of sustainable building solutions focused on innovative and cost–effective HVAC management.

McGuire Engineers: Building Engineering Systems with effective, efficient, economic, and innovative solutions.

Mueller Associates: Inspired Design, Innovative Engineering.

Olin Landscape Architecture/Urban Design/Planning: Creates Places that Enhance Life.

Pennoni Associates Inc.—Consulting Engineers: Providing Engineering Services since 1966.

These sponsors contributed to the intellectual content of the conference through presentations, and by generously contributing financially, which enabled 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 with, 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 exercise allows member institutions to compare building operation costs and practices, in order to find better ways to accomplish the work they do.

Building operating costs have four components: Utilities, Security, Building Maintenance, and Janitorial. Benchmarking participants compare cost per square foot (or meter), as well as work processes within these four categories. Participants also compare empirical data related to Space, Sustainability, Grounds, Customer Service, and Best Practices. Those whose costs are lower than others share their methods and processes with the group, creating a best practice in itself. The 2012 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 2012 IAMFA Benchmarking and Learning Workshop.

The opening reception for this year’s IAMFA conference was held at the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia is a 30–storey skyscraper located adjacent to City Hall in the Center City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1930–1931 as the Girard Trust Building. The tower was actually an addition to a domed lowrise building that was constructed in 1908. It was then renamed Two Mellon Plaza.  The building was converted in 2000 into a 330-room Ritz-Carlton hotel. James Garrison and Dr. George C. Skarmeas were responsible for the building’s conversion.

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Caption:  Atrium Lobby at the Ritz-Carlton.

Conference delegates and guests enjoyed canapés and cocktails at the reception, and IAMFA members and guests renewed friendships after last visiting a year earlier, when we met in Auckland, New Zealand for the 21st IAMFA Conference.

As in past years, the Mid–Atlantic Conference included separate programs for delegates and their guests. During the four days of events, the two programs took place in parallel while delegates and guests travelled together to the 11 venues included in this year’s conference. This scheduling permitted both members and guests to be together much of the time while accomplishing their individual objectives: Learning and Networking for delegates, and Exploration and Discovery for the guests.

The eleven venues included in the 2012 conference were:

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Barnes Foundation

Rodin Museum

Delaware Art Museum

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Hagley Museum and Library

Longwood Gardens

National Museum of American Jewish History

Independence National Historical Park

National Constitution Center

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Philadelphia

On Monday morning, members and guests boarded trolleys and traveled to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. It has collections of more than 227,000 objects that include world–class holdings of European and American paintings, prints, drawings and the decorative arts. The Main Building is visited by more than 800,000 people annually, and is located at the western end of Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Construction of the Main Building began in 1919, when Mayor Thomas B. Smith laid the cornerstone in a Masonic ceremony. Because of shortages caused by World War I and other delays, the new building was not completed until 1928. The façade and columns are made of Minnesota dolomite.

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Caption: Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Caption: IAMFA conference delegates in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

IAMFA members were welcomed by Gail Harrity, Chief Operating Officer, and heard presentations on “Making Museums and Cultural Institutions Safer” by Stacey Irving of Allied Barton Security Services, and “Master Planning at the Philadelphia Museum of Art” by Carl Freedman of Aegis Property Group. Next, Susan Weiler of Olin, Robert Schaeffer of CVM, and Michael Schade of Atkin, Olshin, and Schade presented “Construction Challenges at the Philadelphia Museum of Art”.

Following a break, delegates chose between tours of the Building Automation System, Behind the Scenes, and the Sculpture Garden.

On Monday morning, guests toured Philadelphia by trolley. After a tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, guests joined delegates for lunch at the Museum. 

Following lunch, delegates and guests walked to the nearby Barnes Foundation. The Barnes Foundation opened the doors to its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia in May 2012. The Foundation’s collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes's old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multi-billion-dollar collection.

From the outside, you would never confuse the new Barnes with the old one. Whereas the original building was sober and Neoclassical, the new Barnes is postmodern—all raw stone and glass. Inside, however, it’s as if the old Barnes galleries have been copied and pasted into downtown Philadelphia.

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Caption: The new Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Delegates heard the presentations “Are we Prepared” by Stephen Layne of Allied Barton Security Services, and “Designing a Positive Environment” by Chris Arkins and Emrah Baki Ulas of Steensen Varming. Guests enjoyed a docent-led tour of the Barnes Foundation, and were able to wander on their own at the Barnes as well. Delegates had a choice of tours at the Barnes, then both delegates and guests were able to walk to the nearby Rodin Museum for a tour before returning to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Rodin Museum contains the largest collection of sculptor Auguste Rodin's works outside Paris. The Rodin Museum reopened in July 2012 after three years of renovations.  The Museum was the gift of movie-theater magnate Jules Mastbaum (1872–1926) to the city of Philadelphia. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923, with the intention of founding a museum to enrich the lives of his fellow citizens. Within just three years, he had assembled the largest collection of Rodin's works outside Paris, including bronzes, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters and books.

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Caption:  The Rodin Museum.

Back at the Ritz, the Camfil Farr Group—one of the sponsors of this year’s IAMFA Conference—hosted attendees for a cocktail reception . . . and it was a great way to begin a free evening exploring Philadelphia’s nightlife. The IAMFA Board of Directors met during the evening of Day Two discuss the business of the organization before the annual Board of Directors’ Dinner.

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Caption:  IAMFA Board and guests at the annual Board of Directors’ Dinner.

A very busy Day Three of the conference began with delegates and guests traveling by coach to the Delaware Art Museum, about an hour’s ride from Philadelphia. The Museum was founded in 1912 as the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, in honor of the artist Howard Pyle, and is now celebrating its centennial. The collection focuses on American art and illustration from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries, and on the English Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-nineteenth century. The Delaware Art Museum houses a collection of more than 12,000 objects. The museum building was expanded and renovated in 2005, and includes a nine–acre (36,000 m2) Sculpture Park, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, studio art classes, a children's learning area, as well as a cafe and museum store.

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Caption: The Delaware Art Museum.

The agenda for Day Three began with the annual general meeting of IAMFA’s members.  Each of the IAMFA board members addressed the membership with a review of the current state of Regional Affairs, Administration, Treasury, Papyrus, and future plans for IAMFA. No election was necessary during the meeting this year, as was also the case last year. A 2011 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, and permitting all voting members to vote.

Three board positions were up for election this fall: President, VP Administration, and Editor. Nancy Bechtol from the Smithsonian Institution was elected President of IAMFA, and Randy Murphy and Joe May volunteered to remain in their current positions, and were not opposed in the election ahead of the conference. 

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Caption:  IAMFA members gather at the Delaware Art Museum for the AGM.

Outgoing President John De Lucy welcomed everyone, and the meeting proceeded.  Randy Murphy demonstrated the new IAMFA website, and the Washington, D.C. delegation presented an overview of plans thus far for the 23rd IAMFA conference in 2013. Full minutes of the Annual General Meeting can be found on the Members Only page of the IAMFA website. 

Following the AGM, members and guests were able to tour the collections before once again boarding coaches headed for Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, where they were welcomed by Jeff Groff, Director of Public Programs.

Winterthur is an American estate and museum in Winterthur, Delaware[update], 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. Many years ago, it was known as the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum.  In the early twentieth century, H.F. du Pont and his father, Henry Algernon du Pont, designed Winterthur in the spirit of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European country houses. The younger du Pont added to the home many times thereafter, increasing its number of rooms nearly sixfold. After he established the main building as a public museum in 1951, he moved to a smaller building on the estate.

Winterthur is situated on 979 acres (396 hectares), near Brandywine Creek, with 60 acres (24 hectares) of naturalistic gardens. It had 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares) and a premier dairy cattle herd when du Pont operated it as a country estate.

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Caption: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Both conference delegates and guests enjoyed lunch and tours of the museum, as well as a tram tour of the grounds and gardens. Everyone then boarded the coaches again, this time heading for Hagley Museum and Library. 

In 1802 a French immigrant, Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, chose the banks of Brandywine Creek to start his black powder mills. He chose the location because of the natural energy that the water provided; the availability of timber and willow trees (used to produce quality charcoal required for superior black powder); the proximity to the Delaware River (on which other ingredients of the powder—sulfur and saltpeter—could be shipped); and the quarries of gneiss which would provide building materials for the mills. The E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company's black powder manufactory became the largest in the world.

In 1921, the mills along the Brandywine closed, and parcels of the property were sold. It was on the occasion of the DuPont Company's 150th anniversary in 1952 that plans for a museum were established. Of course, this is the site that began the DuPont legacy, and it is located at the midpoint of the DuPont Historic Corridor.

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Caption:  Powder Mills along the banks of the Brandywine River at Hagley Museum and Library.

We were welcomed to Hagley by Executive Director Geoff Halfpenny, before touring the Powder Yard, the Residence and Garden, and finally, an amazing gunpowder demonstration and cannon firings. 

The last stop on Day Three was Longwood Gardens, which consists of over 1,077 acres (435 hectares) of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square in the Brandywine Creek Valley. It is one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States, and is open year-round for visitors to enjoy exotic plants and horticulture, events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses, and workshops. 

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 an extensive system of fountains.

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Caption: Inside the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens.

Members and guests chose from tours of the Pump Room, Tunnels, and the Conservatory Gardens, prior to being treated to cocktails and dinner.

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Caption: Conference delegates and guests enjoying a breathtaking dinner inside the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens.

Following dinner, everyone enjoyed a fountain show choreographed to music, prior to boarding coaches for the late coach ride back to the Ritz-Carlton.

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Caption: Fountain show at Longwood Gardens.

Day Four of the conference began with a trolley ride to the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH). NMAJH is a Smithsonian–affiliated museum in Center City Philadelphia, located on Independence Mall within the Independence National Historical Park. Construction of the new NMAJH broke ground on September 30, 2007. The 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2), $150-million glass and terracotta building was designed by James Polshek, and includes an atrium, a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) area for exhibits, a Center for Jewish Education, and a theater. 

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Caption: The National Museum of American Jewish History.

The Museum’s opening ceremony was held on November 14, 2010, and was attended by over 1,000 people, including Vice-President Joe Biden, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and Rabbi Irving Greenberg. The building opened to the public on November 26, 2010.

The exhibits feature pieces from the Museum's collection, which includes over 20,000 objects and ranges from the Colonial period to the present day. Exhibits focus on Jews in America. Professor Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis University led the development of the Museum’s core exhibits.

During the first presentation on Day Four, panelists Keith McClanahan (Facility Issues Inc.); Guy Larocque (Canadian Museum of Civilization); Kendra Gastright (Smithsonian Institution); and Jack Plumb (National Library of Scotland) presented “Using and Presenting Your Benchmarking Results to Benefit Your Organization”. 

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Caption:  From left to right: Keith McClanahan, Guy Larocque, Kendra Gastright and Jack Plumb discuss IAMFA’s Benchmarking Exercise.

Following a break, Jack Mawhinney from Hughes Associates presented “Advancements in Fire Protection”. Before lunch, both members and guests selected from a choice of gallery or facility tours.

After lunch, delegates and guests were able to tour the area on their own (including Independence Visitor Center), and view its most famous artifact: The Liberty Bell. 

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Caption:  Independence Visitor Center.

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Caption: Independence Hall.

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the biblical text (part of Leviticus 25:10): “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions, and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.

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Caption:  The iconic Liberty Bell.

Upon returning to the Ritz, everyone had time to relax a little, and get ready for the evening’s closing gala.

This year’s Gala Dinner was held at the National Constitution Center (NCC). NCC is an American organization that seeks to expand awareness and understanding of the United States Constitution, and operates a museum to advance those purposes. The Center is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan institution. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the museum was held on September 17, 2000: 213 years to the day after the original Constitution was signed. The museum was opened on July 4, 2003, and the National Constitution Center joined other notable sites and iconic exhibits in what has been called “America's most historical square mile” because of the proximity of historical landmarks Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, officiating at the opening ceremonies, said, “t will contribute each and every day to the reinforcement of the basic principles that bind us together as a nation and a people.”

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Caption:  The National Constitutional Center, venue for the 2013 IAMFA Conference Gala Dinner.

Conference delegates and guests travelled to the gala by trolley. The evening began with a group photo, followed by cocktails and canapés in Signers Hall. It was a gorgeous setting overlooking Independence Mall. We next moved to the Center’s theater, where we were treated to an inspiring performance of Freedom Rising, depicting the conditions leading to the origins of America as an independent nation. 

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Caption:  Conference attendees at the closing gala at National Constitution Center.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner accompanied by fine wines, along with a dinner program. Four IAMFA members were recognized with awards at this year’s closing gala.  First was Tony McGuire from McGuire Engineers in Chicago, who was recognized with IAMFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for remarkable career achievements, as well as his support and sponsorship of IAMFA for the past decade. Tony has been an active IAMFA member and advisor, and all IAMFA members have benefitted from Tony’s expertise.

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Caption:  Tony McGuire receives IAMFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award from IAMFA President John De Lucy.

IAMFA’s George Preston Memorial Award was presented to Joe Brennan from San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art for his service to the IAMFA organization. Joe has hosted two IAMFA conferences over our organization’s history, and has also led one of the most successful IAMFA Chapters: the Northern California Chapter. Joe’s support of IAMFA has been unwavering, and his contributions to IAMFA have been many.  The George Preston Award is given in honor of IAMFA’s founder.

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Caption:  Joe Brennan receives the IAMFA George Preston Memorial Award from IAMFA Board Member Joe May.

The George Preston Memorial Award was also given to Dan Davies from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Dan is longtime member of IAMFA, previously served on IAMFA’s Board of Directors, was Editor of Papyrus, and has served as IAMFA’s dedicated photographer for many years. Many of the images you see in Papyrus were taken by Dan.

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Caption:  Dan Davies receives the George Preston Memorial Award from IAMFA’s VP of Administration, Randy Murphy.

One final award, IAMFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, was given to John De Lucy for his outstanding career achievements, and his unwavering dedication to IAMFA. John has served on IAMFA’s Board of Directors for the past six years, the past four of which were as IAMFA’s President. John recently retired from the British Library, and is IAMFA’s outgoing President. Under John’s leadership, IAMFA has thrived, and we truly appreciate his dedication to making IAMFA the world leader in supporting Facility Professionals.  We all hope John will remain active in IAMFA. His creative, personal touch inspired us all to make IAMFA better, while advancing the organization’s mission.

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Caption:  IAMFA’s President Elect, Nancy Bechtol, presents IAMFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to John De Lucy, IAMFA’s outgoing President.

As dinner wound down, IAMFA’s new President, Nancy Bechtol, addressed attendees and, along with Dan Davies and Tiffany Meyers, described preliminary plans for IAMFA’s 23rd Annual Conference, scheduled for October 20–24, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Please mark your calendars, and make sure you come back to the East Coast of the United States to visit again next year with all your friends at IAMFA.

This brought an end to the closing gala, and the end of a wonderful 22nd Annual Conference. We saw so many interesting sights at the conference venues, and enjoyed the opportunities to learn and network with our peers from so many other cultural institutions across the globe. 

The conference hosts worked tirelessly, and made the 2012 IAMFA Conference one that we will never forget. Thank you, John Castle! And thank you to your team, who planned an amazing 22nd IAMFA Annual Conference, kept everyone together, and showed us a wonderful time during a very busy week in the MidAtlantic Region of America.

Joe May serves on IAMFA’s Board, and is Editor of Papyrus.


Benchmarking Workshop: What Happens Behind Those Closed Doors?

By Stacey Wittig

“This is the most interactive session of the entire conference. You hear the most from members at this session,” wrote Kendra Gastright of the Smithsonian Institution in her feedback following the IAMFA Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop last fall. The annual workshop is designed to get IAMFA benchmarking participants talking about current challenges, solutions and best practices. Broken up into roundtable discussions on hot topics, forums on practical solutions to everyday challenges, and presentations on key lessons from the past year, the all-day workshop is packed with networking opportunities.

First-timer Kristy Brosius, Director of Operations at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said, “I did not fully understand the format of this workshop from the registration materials—I expected the entire session to be spent reviewing the results of the benchmarking report.” In fact, only 45 minutes were devoted to analysis of the survey results, which were presented by Keith McClanahan. His consulting firm Facility Issues facilitates the benchmarking exercise and workshop for IAMFA.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the hot-topic discussions and found them to be beneficial,” added Brosius, after suggesting that a broader description of the hot topics, presentations and networking be made available to potential participants. As a result, we are describing the workshop in this article. Let us take a look at what happens behind those closed doors.

This year, the doors opened into a beautifully appointed conference room at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. The workshop began with an exercise that helped get the 50 participants moving around the room and talking. They were prepared to share a process at which their institution excelled and a process that was a challenge. Upon entering, they were asked to get a cup of coffee or tea, then write those processes on a flipchart, along with their name and the name of their institution. This gave participants, many who had not seen each other for a year, a chance to mingle and meet newcomers.

After the welcome and safety briefing, one person from each institution presented a three-minute, one-slide overview. After introducing attendees from their institutions, they revealed the process that was working well, and the issue that was a challenge. This exercise, designed to get participants to feel comfortable sharing, helped others identify peers who face similar issues. The flipcharts hung around the room throughout the rest of the day to serve as reminders to network with those having common concerns.

After a group photo and break, McClanahan presented the highlights of the benchmarking survey results. He reviewed the anomalies, showed year-over-year cost savings in key categories, and offered strategies on how to use the benchmarking information.

Next, Jack Plumb of the National Library of Scotland delivered exciting new information in a presentation entitled “Acceptable Adjustments to Environmental Conditions within Archive Spaces”, which sparked good discussion during lunch.

After lunch, the roundtable discussion on collection storage began with hot topics such as temperature and humidity ranges, alternative shelving options, and “Space Wars” (what do with the issue of growing collections, which in turn causes shrinking storage.) Many ideas and practical takeaways were shared as the microphone passed back and forth.

During the second hot-topic discussion, titled “Energy, Sustainability & Utilities—Hot Topics and Emerging Issues”, participants discussed water-loss reduction in evaporative coolers, return on investment for recycling and salvage programs, composting, LED lighting options and energy procurement.

Two more interactive discussions on cleaning and maintenance issues ensued as participants jotted ideas on their iPads or notebooks. Participants had a chance to ask the group about any issue, problem or program in the “Town Hall Discussion”, which typically sparks lively discussion. After a wrap-up and critique of the workshop, participants turned in their feedback forms and adjourned to the bar for more lively debate.


You think you might know now what happens behind those closed doors; but in actuality, you need to attend a session to understand the full value of what can be brought back to implement at your institution. A past participant said it best: “Much as I enjoyed the IAMFA conference's excellent presentations, eye-opening tours and extraordinary meet-and-greet sessions, the benchmarking presentation and accompanying print-outs were my most valuable take-away.”

Don’t miss next year’s spirited discussions by registering now for the 2013 IAMFA benchmarking exercise—the interactive workshop is included as part of your benchmarking fee.

Register at before December 31 to guarantee 2012 prices for 2013.

Conrad Engineers, McGuire Engineers and Steensen Varming sponsor the 2012 IAMFA Benchmarking Exercise.

Stacey Wittig is Marketing Director at Facility Issues. She welcomes your questions about participating in or sponsoring the IAMFA Benchmarking Exercise. Call or email her at 001-928-225-4943 or 2012 workshop presentations and photos are available for download at

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Caption: Left to right: Jack Plumb, Tony Young, Brian Coleman, John Lyon, Greg Simmons, Charon Johnson, Pam Lowings and Jon Roodbol.

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Caption: Patrick Jones of the Art Institute of Chicago interacts at IAMFA Benchmarking Workshop.

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Caption: Nancy Bechtol of the Smithsonian Institution focuses on others’ ideas at the annual workshop.


Preview of the 23rd IAMFA Annual Conference October 20-24, 2013 Washington, D.C.

By Angela Person

IAMFA is following up this year’s fantastic conference in Philadelphia with the opportunity to explore more of the East Coast next year, during the 23rd Annual IAMFA Conference, to be held October 20–24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

When Washington, D.C. last hosted the conference, delegates were treated to tremendous tours and educational programs, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, to name a few. This time around, an entirely new program—with tours of state-of-the art, historical and, on at least one day, downright “wild” facilities— has been carefully curated to delight and inspire conference delegates.

In addition to these fabulous tours, substantial educational programs will take place onsite at the different tour locations, adding rich context to each program. A wonderful guest program is also being arranged in parallel with the conference program, including opportunities for guests to see incredible local attractions and take their own behind-the-scenes look at special D.C. hotspots.

The impressive Gaylord National Resort, located on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland, is the hotel and staging area for the 2013 conference. With its 18-storey glass atrium, a posh rooftop lounge, and a 20,000-square-foot (1,858-square-meter) spa and fitness center, the Gaylord is ready to welcome IAMFA in style. The Gaylord will host the annual Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop, as well as Sunday’s welcome reception, within its beautifully appointed resort-style facility.

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Caption:  The Gaylord National Resort on the Potomac River.

Conference delegates will have the privilege of visiting not one, but two world-class library facilities: the Folger Shakespeare Library and the U.S. Library of Congress’s James Madison Memorial Building. The main Folger Shakespeare Library building, which IAMFA will tour, was built in 1932, and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. This marble building with a Tudor-style interior keeps the world’s largest collection of William Shakespeare’s printed works safe, while also preserving the world’s third-largest collection of English books printed before 1641.

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Caption:  The Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Caption: Exhibition Hall in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The Library of Congress’s James Madison Memorial Building, which is part of the U.S. Capitol Complex, was built in the mid-1970s. The Madison Building’s impressive size places it among the three largest public buildings in Washington, D.C., at 2.1 million square feet (200,000 square meters). With all of this space, the Madison Building is able to house the Mary Pickford Theater, known as the “motion picture and television reading room” of the Library of Congress, as well as the Law Library of Congress, and the U.S. Copyright Office, among other features.

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Caption:  The Library of Congress’s James Madison Memorial Building.

We mentioned that “wild” facilities were on the program—and we meant it! This year, the National Zoological Park is excited to lead a number of back-of-house tours of its highly specialized facilities. The National Zoo’s urban campus features 163 acres (66 hectares) of beautifully landscaped grounds, hundreds of animal species, and several sparkling new exhibit areas. Delegates will have an opportunity to tour the recently renovated American Trail, which features diverse vegetation and a range of majestic North American wildlife, including seals and sea lions, bald eagles, and wolves, to name a few. You will also be able to tour Elephant Trails, which features a “green” elephant barn designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certification standards. This barn, built for the Zoo’s Asian elephants, features a green roof and geothermal wells, as well as natural lighting. Delegates will also have the option of touring the Great Cats exhibit, while learning about the specialized facilities that accommodate the Zoo’s Sumatran tigers and African lions.

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Caption: American Trail at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

During the 2013 conference, IAMFA delegates will enjoy the rare privilege of a back-of-house tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This impressive 265,000-square-foot (24,619-square-meter) facility, which houses study, documentation, and interpretation of Holocaust history, has welcomed more than 30 million visitors since it opened in 1993. Included in its collection are over 16,000 objects, more than 60 million pages of archival documents, and over 90,000 library items. This beautiful facility was designed to “engage the visitor and stir the emotions,” and touring it is truly a moving experience.

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Caption for two images:  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The National Museum of American History (NMAH), with its collection of over three million objects, is another 2013 conference destination that you won’t want to miss. During their back-of-house tour, NMAH will showcase its recent renovations, including the results of a $85-million project that was carried out over two years. One result of this renovation—the Star Spangled Banner’s environmentally controlled chamber and specialized fire-protection system—is sure to be of interest to IAMFA members on this tour.

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Caption:  The National Museum of American History

The 2013 conference offers delegates and their guests the opportunity to stay an extra day and visit several impressive facilities in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.: the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater; the National Archives in College Park; and Glenstone, a private museum in Potomac. These three very different facilities will give delegates added insights into cutting-edge archival procedures, sustainable landscaping initiatives, and the challenges of managing a facility with a scientific mandate.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is a 2,650-acre (1,072-hectare) property located near the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, allowing scientists exceptional access to estuaries, wetlands, and other ecosystems. Currently, SERC is home to a $45-million, 69,000-square-foot (6,410-square-meter) expansion project, scheduled for completion in 2013. The project, which updates and expands SERC’s Matthias Laboratory, is seeking LEED gold certification through a variety of green strategies, including wastewater reclamation, solar panels, geothermal wells, and low-flow fume hoods in its chemistry labs.

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Caption:  The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland.

In addition, the optional day features the National Archives in College Park, MD, which is the central repository for the U.S. federal government’s records. One of the world’s largest and most advanced archival facilities, the National Archives in College Park is able to house millions of documents, by utilizing space-saving mobile shelving technology. The facility is home to patents, architectural drawings, ships’ plans, maps, and literally millions of photographs and graphic images, among countless other priceless records, reels, and recordings.

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Caption:  The National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

Delegates who stay for the extra day will also be treated to a back-of-house tour of Glenstone, a private museum located on a gorgeous 150-acre (60-hectare) estate in Potomac, Maryland. Featuring post-World War II and contemporary art, Glenstone was conceived as an “environment where art, architecture, and landscape are presented as a seamlessly integrated experience.” Glenstone’s manicured landscape is tended using environmentally-friendly practices, and it was the first museum to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club.

As you can see, the 2013 IAMFA Conference program has been carefully prepared to showcase a broad range of cultural facility management perspectives and practices. From landscaping to lions, sustainability to storage, this program has it all. In short, IAMFA members from the Washington, D.C. metro can’t wait to welcome you next October!

For more information about the 2013 IAMFA conference, please continue to check and upcoming issues of Papyrus as the conference draws nearer.

Angela Person is a visiting student at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she is writing a book that documents best practices in museum facility management. She can be reached at PersonAM@SI.EDU


Ideal Maintenance 

By Michael Harrold

What is Maintenance?

By asking various people within your organization what maintenance is, you will often get a few different responses to the definition of maintenance, including: “That is something we will deal with after the project is completed.”

Simply put, maintenance is the upkeep of property and plant, operating efficiently to enable the facility to remain open for business. Those responsible for maintenance, however, are keenly aware that there are various types of maintenance. They also know that the process is not always simple, and that it involves more than just keeping the facility’s doors open. 

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Caption:  The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

The Challenges

The challenges faced by facility managers and maintenance managers are often overlooked and underestimated. The importance of maintenance is often not realised and not appreciated until an undesirable event or situation arises. In some cases, the lack of maintenance can go unnoticed, which could contribute to significant issues and consequences.

The story often told by maintenance and facility managers is one of limited funds and a lack of time. History indicates that most private and government organizations do not expend the necessary resources to maintain equipment in proper working order.  Maintenance budgets are often allocated to fix problems, rather than to prevent them in the first place.

In many cases, the plant is forced to work in a less than ideal state or condition. This contributes to poor performance, which in turn leads to inefficient operation and increased energy and costs.

More importantly, an inefficient plant puts at risk the assets it is designed to protect. In the case of an art gallery or museum, this could mean damage to priceless artifacts, or even a report indicating unacceptable conditions, which could affect future lending opportunities from other organizations.

Various Types of Maintenance

Before ascertaining the ideal maintenance strategy for a facility, it is important to understand and review the various types of maintenance used in today’s economic climate.

Maintenance falls into the following categories; Statutory, Preventative, Reactive, Predictive, and Risk & Reliability.

Statutory Maintenance is maintenance that is required by law. It is generally associated with essential safety services within the building, such as fire systems and emergency services. A statutory test or inspection is one that is required by law. It is not negotiable and must be completed by qualified personnel. In some cases, a new code or statutory standard may need to be implemented retroactively, such as the installation of electrical safety switches.

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Caption:  Mechanical Systems in G11 Building, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Preventative Maintenance is maintenance that is scheduled in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and best practices. When resources are allocated to complete the recommended maintenance, the life of the equipment is prolonged and generally works more efficiently, saving energy and costs. The majority of equipment and services installed within a building requires periodic maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

A routine maintenance check may identify, for example, a “hot spot” in a switchboard which will require servicing, such as tightening of an electrical connection to reduce the risk of fire. Other systems may be identified and need to be adjusted or lubricated, and in some cases replaced, such as bearings in a supply air fan.

The operating life of a system is affected anytime scheduled maintenance is not completed. In some cases, not completing the maintenance tasks may also affect existing warranties, and may increase the potential for undesirable consequences.

The pros for Preventative Maintenance are:

  • Total Asset Management Budgets are more accurate

  • Work is planned in a staged and controlled manner

  • Plant life is prolonged

  • The likelihood of failure is reduced

  • Warranties remain valid 

The cons for Preventative Maintenance are:

  • Catastrophic failures can still occur

  • It can be labor-intensive and disrupt operations

  • It usually includes additional maintenance which may not be needed

  • Required maintenance in warranty agreements may be exhaustive

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Caption:  Electrical boards in the G11 Building at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Reactive Maintenance is basically the opposite of preventative maintenance, and is when the plant runs until it fails. This is a common approach to maintenance at some organizations. In fact, reactive maintenance can be quite popular for some building services systems such as lighting and the changing of lamps. The costs which would normally be expended in preventative maintenance procedures may be allocated to special funds for future work, or total plant replacement.

Generally, maintenance staff are busy reacting to problems and issues, and they do not necessarily have time to focus their efforts on preventative maintenance, thus mitigating potential problems.

The deferral of regular maintenance can, however, cost more if the plant is failing more frequently. It will also cost more if a given plant failure causes a problem or failure in another plant or equipment.

In fact, the cost to replace the plant or equipment under urgent circumstances could be more than two or three times the amount, when compared to completing the works within a more desirable period of time.

There are also further issues to contend with if plant fails when a major exhibition is underway, when visitors are in the building, or the facility manager’s maintenance staff is on leave. 

The pros for Reactive Maintenance are:

  • Additional maintenance is not completed

  • Possible short-term savings and less maintenance time needs to be scheduled

  • Staff does not have to schedule additional time on maintenance, and can instead focus on more urgent issues

The cons for Reactive Maintenance are:

  • Total Asset Management Budgets are unreliable

  • Plant life is reduced

  • Inefficient operation of plant and equipment  

  • Catastrophic failures are more likely to occur

  • Direct and indirect costs can be much higher

  • Risks are higher than preventative maintenance

  • Downtime is unscheduled

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Caption:  Electrical units in the G11 Building at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Predictive Maintenance is similar to preventative maintenance; however, it is based on assessment of the system needs and operation use, rather than a set schedule. Predictive maintenance is determined based on plant or equipment condition. For example, if the lights within a section of the building have not been in operation, or have been set on a dimmer, scheduled lamp life may be greater than originally scheduled. Another example is when a supply air fan is adjusted under a new HVAC control strategy, resulting in it being used less, thus requiring less maintenance. 


The pros for Predictive Maintenance are:

  • Less scheduled downtime for maintenance than for Preventative Maintenance

  • Prolonged plant life

  • Lower costs in materials and labor

  • Energy savings

  • Reduced likelihood of equipment failures

The cons for Predictive Maintenance are:

  • Need for a good database and diagnostic equipment

  • Maintenance staff require a higher skill level

  • Some decisions may be considered subjective

  • Cost savings are hard to accurately assess

Risk & Reliability-Centered Maintenance includes a mixture of the other maintenance types to best suit the specific system, plant and equipment in question. This is implemented in relation to that plant’s importance and relevance to the organization’s business risks. This form of maintenance was originally created by the commercial aviation industry, and has now been adopted by many organizations.

Risk & Reliability-Centered Maintenance looks at the relevant items of equipment and plant as an integrated part of the facility, rather than as individual elements to be maintained. It adopts reactive maintenance to elements of the installation that are not considered to be of critical important to the facility’s business, as based on a risk assessment.

Under this arrangement, maintenance for the facility is based on the orgainsation’s risks and core business objectives and policies.

The pros for Risk & Reliability Centered Maintenance are:

  • Less scheduled downtime for maintenance than for Preventative Maintenance

  • Prolongs plant life and identifies core reason for failure

  • Considers and acknowledges that facilities do not have unlimited budgets

  • Lower costs in materials and labor

  • Focuses maintenance on the most critical elements

  • Energy savings

  • Reduced likelihood of equipment failures

The cons for Risk & Reliability-Centered Maintenance are:

  • Need for a good database and diagnostic equipment

  • Maintenance staff require a higher skill level

  • Like Predictive maintenance, the cost savings are hard to accurately assess

Ideal Maintenance Strategy

So how does one keep the facility open, while ensuring that the plant and systems are all working in a safe and ideal manner? What can be achieved within a limited budget and busy schedule? 

One approach could involve simply reviewing the existing strategy and making some decisions on how it could be improved. To obtain the ideal solution, however, it may be necessary to review the building from scratch with a totally new perspective, rather than being influenced by existing arrangements and paradigms.

Before deciding what type of maintenance strategy to adopt for a facility, a sound understanding of the building and its systems is necessary. There are many issues to consider when determining the ideal maintenance strategy. Each facility will need to consider the various elements specific to its site. The first step is to ascertain what is installed.

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Caption:  Ultrasonic Humidifiers in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Understanding What is Installed

The solution for maintenance of an art gallery or museum will be influenced before the building is constructed; i.e., in the design phase. If the design is not correct, or does not allow for easy maintenance, then maintenance is not sustainable.

It is important to obtain a clear understanding of the original design intent of the overall installation. The original design should be challenged. Does the design really cater to the building’s functional requirements? The functional requirements of today may have changed since the original design.

The design should take maintenance issues into account, such as capacity, high-load and low-load scenarios, safety, redundancy, flexibility and ease of access for plant replacement. A clear understanding of the existing installation is critical to the success of implementing a suitable maintenance strategy.

While existing systems appear to be working, they may not necessarily match the design intent, or there may be some installation defects or shortcomings preventing the systems from operating at their optimal levels.

If systems are not accurately in tune with one another and commissioned with functional requirements in mind, the result could be a major maintenance issue, with increased energy use, and a shorter design life for certain equipment elements.

The next step in identifying what is installed is to list all the devices, systems and components, then assess their functionality, noting that each may have different requirements under various operational scenarios. In some cases, they may work individually, and in other cases they work with other systems to provide the desired result. Ideally, maintenance should always consider the overall objective, rather than just an individual device. As some individual systems rely on one another, it is essential to understand their relationships and interfaces with other elements and systems.

On an initial assessment, one would think that the risks associated with maintenance faults are higher as the plant gets older. Generally, that is true; however, it is not always the case. New equipment will not always provide a better solution or reduced maintenance costs—particularly if the plant doesn’t suit the functional requirements.

In maintaining one item of a plant, there may be opportunities to carry out complementary maintenance, which may or may not be directly related to the first item. This may offer savings in maintenance set-up or in costs which may be common to both.

Issues of design obsolescence should also be considered in determining the maintenance strategy, as some manufacturers deliberately design products and systems to fail after a set period of time. Certain plant elements will thus become obsolete if replacement parts are no longer available, or existing software systems are no longer supported.

Another important exercise is to confirm the status of any existing Master Plan for your site. This will help you assess areas of future growth and other changes which may have an impact on your maintenance expenditures in certain areas.

In ascertaining what is already installed it may become apparent that what is installed is not ideal for achieving functional requirements, and perhaps not in line with the facility’s master plan.


Once you have an understanding of each of the devices and their systems, including their functionality, it is possible to ascertain the consequences of the failure of each element. These consequences should then be recorded against each of the facility’s business policies and objectives. Naturally, safety risks would rank highest, then critical functional operations such as providing acceptable environmental conditions within a gallery.

Information beside each element should note the possible causes of failure, listing preventative actions that could be implemented to reduce the probability of a failure occurring, and/or to reduce the consequences of the failure in question by noting possible alternative solutions.

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Caption:  Building Management Systems being monitored by computerised systems, SGM, Sydney, Australia.

Reducing the Risks 

Now that you have a sound understanding of the facility and its systems, a review of existing maintenance procedures should be undertaken to see how the existing maintenance actions, costs and procedures are arranged.

Information and data on what has failed in the past can be obtained from various sources of information. Building Management software and technology are very important in logging, recording and reporting on the building’s systems. Information is intelligence, and the reliability of that data, as well as knowing what to do with it, is invaluable.

Nowadays Building Information Modeling (BIM) has the potential to assist enormously, if implemented correctly during the design and procurement phases of a new project.

A gap analysis between the existing maintenance strategy and required maintenance should be completed, with required actions listed to achieve an ideal maintenance solution.

Maintenance actions are listed with a mixture of maintenance solutions such as Statutory, Preventative, Reactive, Predictive and Risk & Reliability-Based.

As such, some systems may be left to run until failure. Other systems may require scheduled maintenance by skilled contractors, based on the impact that failure could have on the critical nature of a facility’s controlled environmental conditions.

With a skill and resource-risk analysis, it will become clear which tasks and actions should be completed internally, and what should be contracted out to third-party providers and subcontractors.

All maintenance procedures should have clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  These KPIs should be easy to record, and be quality controlled, to ensure that they are not tampered with. They should also encourage best practices and adherence to established procedures.

Some typical KPIs include:

• Mean time to repair (MTTR): This is useful to track sub-contractor performance.

• Mean time between failure (MTBF): This is useful in tracking the quality of equipment and establishing failure rates.

• Costs: Costs are very useful in creating budgets and allocating resources.

The analysis and study may also indicate other opportunities to improve the overall facility such as opportunities to replace plant with different plant such as introduction of a co-generation plant or tri-generation plant which could increase redundancy and provide a form of alternative backup power supply.

This study may also indicate that some investment should be made in redundancy models, thus increasing reliability both in ensuring a backup in the event of a failure, and  also providing a means of ensuring ongoing operation during any required maintenance procedures.

Just as a new design for an art gallery or museum requires an ideal solution, so too does maintenance. The ideal maintenance strategy needs to be intelligent, valuable and elegant.

Stakeholders, facility managers and maintenance staff need to question the way in which industry considers maintenance before and after the design phase. They must also encourage designers, procurement divisions and contractors to consider the entire spectrum of life, sustainability and master planning issues, as well as how any new design and installation—including replacement parts—can be maintained in a safe and efficient manner. Only then will art galleries and museums be able to reduce maintenance costs and reduce energy, resulting in truly sustainable solutions.

Reporting this information and assessed risks to senior management and financial departments in an easy-to-follow format is critical. Making maintenance issues and costs clear is more likely to result in a proper appreciation of possible consequences, including litigation, as well as the tangible and intangible long-term costs.

For further information on maintenance, the following resources may be helpful:

          Maintenance Engineering Handbook—R. Keith Mobley and Lindley R. Higgins

          Energy-Efficent Building Systems: Green strategies for operation and maintenance—Lal Jayamaha

          Museum Benchmarks: Survey of facility management practices—August 30, 2010 IAMFA Report

BSIRA Guides:

          BMS Maintenance Guide

          Computer-based operating and maintenance manuals

          Procurement of Building Services Operation and Maintenance—Guidance and Specification

          Maintenance programme set-up (AG 1/98)

          Maintenance Contracts for Building Engineering Services (AG 4/89.2)

Michael Harrold is Technical Director at Steensen Varming Ltd., and can be reached at 


The National Library of Scotland Installs Ultra-efficient Turbomiser Chillers and Cuts Energy and Carbon Emissions

By Roberto Mallozzi and Tim Mitchell

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) is one of Europe’s major research libraries, with a long and distinguished history of collecting, preserving and managing collections of world-wide importance.

The collections cover both historical and contemporary material from Scotland and around the world. In recent years, significant efforts have been made to ensure that NLS is also accessible, welcoming and outward-looking. Evidence of achievement in this respect includes the new Visitor Centre in Edinburgh, and a major programme to deliver enhanced remote access to digital collections.

The Library’s collections include over fifteen million printed items, including books, magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, music and maps. The key to the Library’s collecting is the legal deposit privilege, which entitles it to claim a copy of all printed items published in the UK (and Ireland). This privilege, unique in Scotland to NLS, has been responsible for the acquisition of most of the Library’s collections for almost 300 years.

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Caption:  The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In addition, through purchase, donation and deposit, the Library has built up pre-eminent manuscript and printed collections relating to Scotland and the activities and influence of Scots throughout the world. As a result, new knowledge and creativity are generated, and translated into new digital formats. This poses significant challenges, but also provides hugely exciting opportunities for the future.

The Library is very conscious that preserving the priceless collection for future generations depends on maintaining carefully controlled environmental conditions within the archive collection spaces, and that this needs to be achieved as efficiently as possible. To help in this process, the Library sought the help of the UK’s Carbon Trust to develop a Carbon Management Plan. An important element of this was a proposal to harness the exceptional efficiency of the Turbomiser chiller to deliver stable, low-cost, low-carbon cooling to its archives and reading rooms, as part of a major plant replacement programme.

Jack Plumb, estates manager at the NLS, says: “Whilst helping to develop the Carbon Management Plan, I had the opportunity to visit a Turbomiser chiller installation at a local hospital, during attendance at an IAMFA Conference in Ottawa. I was extremely impressed by its performance.

“It was not only highly efficient, but extremely reliable – due to the fact that it does not use oil and effectively has just one moving part.”

Jack Plumb subsequently paid site visits to see the Turbomiser in action at the National Archives in Kew. The facility has had proven success with Turbomiser, with documented energy savings and low servicing and maintenance costs.

The first step in the project was taken by the Estates Division of the NLS, which produced a concept design for the new plant replacement system at the George IV Bridge site. This would replace two aging Carrier chillers based on reciprocating compressors and running on R22.

The approach adopted a free-cooling installation, which had previously been successfully implemented at another NLS site, providing significant energy savings. The aim now was to build upon the experience gained, and make the new chiller-replacement installation even more efficient. The use of variable-speed drives and high-efficiency chillers were key to delivering this.

As part of the tendering process, several chiller manufacturers were invited to put forward possible solutions to meet the requirements of the installation. These included both screw and scroll compressor-based systems, in addition to the Turbomiser chiller, which is based on high-efficiency magnetic levitation bearings. Turbomiser was selected, as it offered the most economical and efficient solution to meet highly variable load conditions.

The chosen solution uses two water-cooled 300kW Turbomisers, linked to a sophisticated free-cooling system. This provides chilled water to a number of Air-Handling Units (AHUs) serving the building. The project began in January 2012 and was completed in May 2012.

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Caption:  One of two Turbomiser Chillers installed at NLS.

The most sensitive areas are the Library’s archive collection spaces. These must be maintained within an environmental envelope agreed with the Library’s preservation department and in accordance with PAS 198:2012.

The public reading rooms present the most significant variable load as a result of changes in ambient conditions and usage levels. At peak times, the rooms can account for most of the demand for chilled water.

The output from the Turbomisers and free-cooling system feed into a large chilled water low-loss header, which also acts as a buffer vessel. A Building Management System (BMS) calculates the demand for chilled water, taking into account temperature, flow rate and time of year – as well as the current status of the various chilled-water batteries in the AHUs. The free cooling circuit harnesses an air-blast cooler and the condenser circuit, routed through a heat exchanger to provide chilled water to the low loss header.

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Caption:  Free-cooling heat exchanger.

While reading rooms present the most variable load, the predominant base cooling load is provided by the archive collection spaces, as this represents a 24/7 cooling requirement. The environmental envelope in which these collection spaces are maintained has been relaxed slightly of late, in accordance with agreement from the Library’s preservation team. This has enabled even greater energy savings. When conditions allow, the energy-saving BMS programme shuts down AHUs serving these spaces, leaving just the public reading rooms as the primary demand.

Maximum demand for chilled water naturally occurs during the summer months. The aim in winter is to supply the reduced cooling demand through use of the free-cooling system only, significantly reducing energy use, cost and carbon emissions.

Due to the location of the basement plant room, the Turbomisers were delivered to the site in sections, and were assembled in situ. Installation and commissioning from that point was relatively straightforward.

During the change-over, environmental conditions in the archive collection storage space had to be maintained. This required careful co-ordination between close-down of the old systems and start-up of the new Turbomisers, to ensure the continuity of chilled water supply. One of the lessons learnt from the previous plant replacement contract was the requirement to thoroughly flush both the existing condenser and chilled water installations before they were connected to the new pipework and plant.

How much energy has the installation saved?

The previous chiller plant was not monitored for energy consumption at the individual plant level. However, as part of the chiller replacement project, sub-metering was installed throughout. An overall reduction in building energy use of 11.4 per cent was achieved – saving substantial costs and reducing carbon emissions. Given that this figure covers the warmer summer season only, it is likely that savings will accelerate during the cooler winter period as a result of the use of free-cooling and improved efficiency of the Turbomisers at part-load conditions.

The refrigerant currently used in the Turbomisers is HFC R134a. With a relatively high Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1300, tighter controls or a possible ban on this referigerant are anticipated in the near future.

Jack Plumb says: “One of the attractions of working with Klima-Therm on the project was their cutting-edge development work with an alternative refrigerant, HFO 1234ze, which enables Turbomisers to achieve an Ozone Depletion Potential of zero and a direct GWP of just 6. This means the installation is effectively future-proofed against changes in legislation, as it can be retrofitted if the need arises.”

He added: “From an engineering point of view, the technology is absolutely outstanding – particularly in removing the requirement for oil and moving parts from the electric-motor side of the compressor cycle. In addition, its built-in variable-speed drive controls compressor output and helps further improve energy performance.

“In the light of its ground-breaking design and exceptional performance, I would say the Turbomiser chiller is probably the most significant advance in chiller technology since the development of the vapour compression cycle itself.”

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Caption:   Low-loss header and variable-speed pumps.

Following the success of this project, the NLS team plans to install Turbomiser chillers at its Causewayside site in Edinburgh, once that site’s existing chillers have come to the end of their working life.

The project team:

·         Client: The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland

·         Consultant: Andrew MacOwan Associates

·         Contractor: Richard Irvin

·         FM company: ECG Facilities

·         Chiller supplier: Klima-Therm

Roberto Mallozzi is Managing Director of Klima-Therm Ltd.  Tim Mitchell is Sales Director at Klima-Therm Ltd. For more details, please contact Klima-Therm at 020 8947 1127, or visit


Preserving America’s Treasures: Designing Energy-Efficient Archival Storage Facilities

By Jeffrey Hirsch, William Jarema, and Dan Klein

The renovation of Pod 3 at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center provides an example of how integrated design can provide energy-efficient solutions, while meeting stringent requirements for long-term storage of a diverse collection.

The Museum Support Center (MSC), located in Suitland, Maryland, provides collection research and long-term storage space for many of the Smithsonian’s museums and research facilities. The building is divided into five lab spaces totaling approximately 150,000 square feet, and five archival storage pods totaling approximately 360,000 square feet (assumes two floors per pod). The storage spaces (Pods 1 through 5) are separated from the laboratory spaces (Labs 1 through 5) by a large access corridor referred to as the “Street.”

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Caption:  Key Plan of the Museum Support Center & Key Plan Legend

Pod 5 contains the Smithsonian’s vast biological collection, stored wet in alcohol.  Having moved this collection from Pod 3, the Smithsonian had an opportunity to adapt a footprint of approximately 37,500 square feet for other collections. The Institution commissioned EwingCole to design a renovation that would house the diverse collections from several of the Smithsonian’s most prominent museums, including the following: biological and mineralogical material, anthropological specimens, and various digital, film, and magnetic media from the National Museum of Natural History; furniture from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum; wooden artifacts and fabrics from the National Museum of African Art; textiles from the Freer and Sackler Galleries; and artwork from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

To safeguard these collections, EwingCole designed spaces tailored for the unique requirements of each collection: 

·         one room with over fifty ultra-cold freezers (providing nearly 1,500 cubic feet of
-40°C and -80°C cold-storage capacity)

·         four controlled environmental rooms with stringent temperature and relative humidity requirements (one of which provides over 27,000 cubic feet of cold-storage capacity for the Human Studies Film Archives)

·         a room with 30 nitrogen-bath-type DNA sample freezers (providing over 45,000 liters of -190°C cryopreservation capacity)

·         an ISO 7, Class 10,000 clean room for housing collections of the Antarctic Meteorite Program 

·         a room for mummified human and animal remains

·         a 20,000-square-foot room of compact shelving for housing a vast bone collection (providing over ten million cubic feet of storage capacity)

·         two high-bay storage rooms for over 90,000 square feet of paintings and 33,000 cubic feet of sculptures 

·         a 20-foot-tall sliding painting storage system was provided in one high-bay area

·         a system of warehouse racking was provided in the other to house very large sculptures

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Caption:  First-floor plan.

The renovation added approximately 30,000 square feet to Pod 3 in the form of a mezzanine floor. This expansion was realized within a very minimal ceiling height through a collaborative effort that considered engineering systems in the early planning process. Coordinating the location of service corridors, controlled environmental rooms, and other utility spaces with the structural systems and service distribution paths was invaluable in organizing the layout of so many programs into the available space. This integrated approach allowed the wet utilities to be kept out of collections areas, and heights in archival storage areas to be maximized.

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Caption:  Mezzanine plan.

The key to the project’s success was bringing all the major stakeholders and design professionals together on a regular basis, allowing consensus to be reached quickly on each major issue. These multidisciplinary meetings occurred at each major project milestone, including Concept and Schematic Design, as well as at the 35%, 65% and 95% completion levels. At each of these meetings, the design team would present the current state of design, different design options, and discuss open issues.

One example of this collaborative effort is the selection of the fire-protection and

-suppression system. EwingCole developed multiple options, ranging from hypoxic systems to standard-wet-pipe-only systems, and the design team addressed each option’s costs and benefits.

The Smithsonian selected comprises based on a static system of risk management. The design team organized the floor plans into multiple fire-rated compartments, based on collection hazard level and size. A wet-pipe sprinkler system was used throughout, because of its reliability. Rather than a costly active smoke-control system, a DDC control panel was installed adjacent to the main fire alarm control panel to allow the products of combustion to be quickly vented after a fire event.

Another major collaborative decision centered on the capacity of the emergency generator. Instead of providing full HVAC redundancy and emergency power, the project team decided to super-insulate the building envelope and close off the storage areas in the event of a power outage. Museum staff developed procedures to limit access to storage areas in the event of our emergency, cued by a series of responses from the building control system. Upon a loss of normal power or failure of the HVAC system, audible and visual warnings alert people within the affected storage areas, the occupants exit, and the lights are shut off. Another warning light over the outside of the doors stops people from entering.

Like a picnic cooler, the rooms will maintain design conditions for long periods of time. In the case of a very long outage, the temperature and humidity will slowly stabilize to outdoor conditions. Collection managers on this project were most concerned with the impact of a rapid cycling of temperature and humidity on the integrity of artifacts, so this approach was considered to be a reasonable compromise between the need to control costs and long-term energy use, and the Institution’s responsibility to preserve artifacts. This emergency power system is one-third the size, and significantly less expensive, than a fully redundant HVAC system.

These cost-control decisions allowed the project to pursue some of the more expensive energy-conservation measures, such as the use of water-cooled refrigeration boxes.

All of the mechanical ultra-cold freezers and controlled environmental rooms utilize a condenser water system consisting of a closed-circuit cooler, condenser water pumps and a spray water system. Under normal operating conditions, the heat from the freezers is rejected through evaporation by the closed-circuit cooler.

Due to the sensitive nature of the samples stored in the freezers and walk-ins, the closed-circuit cooler has two separate backup systems. The Pod 3 chilled-water system provides the first level of backup; if that equipment fails, the system reverts to using domestic water for freezer-heat rejection. A closed-circuit cooler was selected as the primary heat-rejection source because of the higher efficiency associated with the lower-temperature condenser water that can be provided by evaporative cooling. Although the use of the evaporative, closed-circuit cooler substantially increases the efficiency of each of the freezers and walk-ins, the more substantial energy savings came from the reduction in the air-conditioning load of the room that houses the freezers.

Another major source of energy savings came from using dedicated outside air units to precondition and dehumidify the outside air. These units are water-cooled, packaged, direct-expansion cooling units with refrigerant reheat coils. These coils use the waste heat from dehumidifying the air to reheat the supply air back to room-neutral conditions.

All of the air-handling units also use outside air to provide free-cooling when outside temperature and humidity are within an acceptable range. By using the outside air units to control space humidity, the main air handlers (serving artifact storage areas) could be designed as constant air-volume units with variable-discharge temperature. This design eliminates the need for reheat, while maintaining very stable environmental conditions and providing the appropriate air-change rates needed to remove all gaseous and particulate contamination from the storage areas.

Water-source heat pumps were connected to the freezer condenser water loop to utilize the waste heat from the freezers for vestibule heating in the winter.

Lighting systems in the building were designed to minimize energy consumption, while meeting the conservation requirements for the storage of collections. The team was tasked with minimizing light exposure to artifacts in storage, while providing adequate lighting conditions for object inspection and occupant tasks. In order to balance the lighting needs within the space, the focus was on lighting controls and understanding the scheduled occupant use of each space.

High-efficiency fluorescent luminaires with UV-mitigating sleeves/diffusers were used in storage areas to minimize cost and increase luminaire efficiency. A network lighting-control system divided the archival storage lighting into zones that were controlled (automatically) through local occupancy sensors. Lights are turned on only in the specific area being used, rather than throughout the entire space. When occupants are no longer sensed within the area, the lights are programmed to flash briefly before shutting off to alert the users. The increased levels of control added to the energy savings when compared to the ASHRAE baseline.

The HVAC and lighting system design resulted in a building that is 40% more efficient than ASHRAE 90.1 minimums, gaining 10 energy points in LEED V2.1. The building renovation project has received a LEED Silver certification.

Jeffrey Hirsch, AIA, LEED AP is Principal, Director of Cultural Practice at Ewing Cole based in Philadelphia, and can be reached at William Jarema, PE, is a senior HVAC engineer at Ewing Cole based in Philadelphia, and can be reached at Dan Klein is an architect with Ewing Cole based in Philadelphia, and can be reached


Peterborough Museum & Archives: Facility Renewal Project (2004–2014)

By Susan Neale and Jon Oldham

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Caption: Peterborough Museum & Archives, Fall 2012.

The Peterborough Museum & Archives is a multi-faceted cultural institution serving the residents of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and the surrounding regions. It is municipally owned and operated by the City of Peterborough. The Museum offers award-winning children’s programming, supports precedent-setting Aboriginal discussions, and produces national travelling exhibitions. The Museum also has the distinction of hosting Fleming College’s post-graduate Museum Management and Curatorship program.

The current Museum facility includes a modest two-level main building of 10,400 square feet (1967), two 1,000-square-foot modular buildings, a 1,500-square-foot modular building, 438 square feet of off-site storage (at the Peterborough Public Library) and a multi-purpose outdoor venue, the Heritage Pavilion (2,750 square feet).

The Museum’s collections comprise approximately 35,000 artifacts which represent Peterborough city and region’s material culture, as well as its natural and archaeological heritage. The Archives, comprising documentary materials such as public records, private documents and documentary art forms—maps, plans, rare books, photographic negatives and prints—contain over 2,000 different fonds.  The Museum has been granted “Category A” collecting status by the Federal Cultural Property Review Board of Canada.

In 2008, the Museum was poised for transformation and development. It had completed its Expansion Feasibility Study (2004), Functional Program (2005) and Design Development Report (2008), in anticipation of a full modernization and expansion of its current facility. Though these documents were formally received by Peterborough City Council, the project was removed from the City’s Capital Forecast in 2008. 

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Caption: A three-dimensional outside view of the Peterborough Museum & Archives— Design Development Report, Lundholm Associates Architects and Lett Architects Inc., 2008.

Aware that the implementation of a full Museum facility expansion might not proceed as planned, the Expansion Feasibility Study recommended alternative measures to reduce existing risks to collections, visitors, volunteers and staff. “If the building expansion project does not proceed in the immediate future, consider renting or otherwise obtaining off-site storage space to relieve the overcrowding by moving out the least vulnerable portion of the collections,” was the suggestion contained in a 2004 report by Lundholm Associates Architects, N.J. Hushion and Associates.

In January 2012, City Council approved, in concept, the lease of an off-site collection storage facility and a lower-level main building renovation as a cost-effective alternative to a building expansion program. The use of off-site storage, instead of expanding the existing footprint of a museum facility, has become an increasingly practical solution for museums. Provincial examples include Guelph Museums and the Oakville Museum.  

Increasing the Museum’s collection storage space three-fold and renovating the existing lower level will greatly aid in the long-term preservation of the Museum’s collections.  The current need to overfill shelving or use inaccessible locations for storage (i.e., tops of shelves, ceiling rafters) and aisle floors will be eliminated, and regular inspections can be implemented more easily. Eliminating the mixture of high-risk activities—collection handling, research, conservation treatments, exhibition preparation and public consultation—in the current storage spaces also supports proper pest management and collection security. 

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Caption: Block plan of proposed Collection Storage Facility, Peterborough Museum & Archives—Lett Architects Inc., 2012.

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Caption: Schematic design of lower-level renovation (DRAFT), Peterborough Museum & Archives—Lett Architects Inc., 2012.

In 2010, the Museum addressed deficiencies in its public spaces—access, presentation, comfort and security, as well as efficiency—through a main-floor renovation, designed by Lett Architects Inc. The renovation of the entryway, lobby, galleries, reference library, kitchen and stairwell has harmonized and enhanced the visitor experience, and facilitated the high standard of service delivery, access and presentation expected of the Museum. The project was funded through the then-Cultural Spaces Canada Fund, Department of Canadian Heritage, and the City of Peterborough, with a total budget of $269,377.  

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Caption:   Lobby of Peterborough Museum & Archives, pre-renovation, 2009.

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Caption:   Lobby of Peterborough Museum & Archives, post-renovation, 2010.

Since the effective cancellation of the Museum expansion project in 2008, the following municipal documents have been completed: Central Area Master Plan (2009), Little Lake and Area Master Plan (2010) and the Municipal Cultural Plan (2012), all of which advocate a review of the locations of the City’s primary cultural facilities, with a focus on downtown revitalization ( While the ultimate fate of the Museum’s facility has yet to be determined, dedicated collection storage space and a renovated lower level will greatly facilitate any future moves of the collection (whether to an expanded or new facility). Improved access to collections will help the Museum fulfill its mandate, and serve as a better model for all community museums and archives.

Susan Neale is Museum Director, City of Peterborough, in Ontario, Canada. Jon Oldham is Museum Program Assistant at the City of Peterborough.


Planning and Development of a New Distance-Learning Facility at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

By Carl D. Freedman, AIA

In today’s world of live video-conferencing and ubiquitous webinars, it is hard to recall a time—not so long ago—when high-speed Internet access meant DSL, when a T1 line was a luxury affordable only by the largest of companies, and when fiber optic cabling inside an office or institution was prohibitively costly. That was the world in 1995, when the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a joint venture with Bell Atlantic (yes, that long ago) created its distance-learning classroom. Bell Atlantic wanted to promote the capabilities of its ISDN services, and the Museum wanted to be able to move their collections into the classroom.

Just to provide some perspective on how early this effort was, in 1995 Google was still three years away; the Vatican and Canada had just launched their websites; there were only 100,000 registered websites in the world; only 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. were going online; and there were less than 17 million users worldwide. Needless to say, this effort was quite a leap, and made the Philadelphia Museum of Art an early leader in providing remote video communications.

As technology has improved, Internet speeds have increased, and more and more schools are installing high-speed connections in their classrooms; the distance-learning program has grown along with these changes. In 2006, the Museum started the development of a long-range Master Plan to upgrade and expand its historical main building and galleries.  With this planning came the opportunity to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the distance-learning classroom, and expand other A/V systems to lead the Museum well into this new century. 

The Museum determined several needs in its planning for the new distance-learning classroom. Firstly, there was a need to improve the existing space, both functionally and technically. Secondly, the Museum wanted to increase its A/V services to include a TV studio, and there was a desire to have the distance-learning classroom in close proximity to the TV studio. Thirdly, the area in which the existing classroom was located would be made available for the subsequent phases of construction, and the consolidation of other program areas. This article examines the planning and implementation of the distance-learning classroom through three primary factors: mission, environment, and technology.  Each of these played an influential role in the planning of our facility and, when fully considered, may similarly affect your planning as well. All three have an impact on space requirements, construction methods, budget requirements, schedules and program operations.


Education is part of the core mission of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The distance-learning program is an outgrowth of that mission, with a goal of extending the reach of the Museum into classrooms, bringing the Museum and its collections to students who may not be able to come to the Museum, while also encouraging others to visit. As the required technology has grown and become more accessible, the program has expanded to include K–12 and senior groups and now provides classes in 22 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. The Museum currently presents approximately 250 classes each year, has developed 27 lesson offerings, and has experimented with a visiting artist program.  

Since its inception, the distance-learning program has become an effective outreach for the Museum, enabling art and art-related discussions for students, teaching them the relationship between art and related topics, and effectively bringing the Museum into the classroom. In fact, many of the classes being taught through the distance-learning classroom are not art classes. Math and science classes explore the relationships between art and the sciences, and foreign-language classes examine artists and collections from these countries. Lesson plans can be modified to touch on specific subjects being taught in the schools, coordinating with a teacher’s lesson plans.

Materials used in the classes are drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection, although other resources are used as needed to provide comparative images. The Museum is a member of ARTstor, which has gathered high-definition images of the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection, as well as several other museum collections, making them available for all members of the ARTstor service. These images offer the quality necessary to allow images to be enlarged to review details with clarity.

Finally, the Museum has found that the same technology that can take the collections out of the Museum can also be used to help take staff out of the Museum. Staff has used this technology to attend and lecture at conferences and seminars around the world. This extension of the expertise and knowledge of the Museum is another mechanism by which the Philadelphia Museum of Art can share its collection and spread its brand across the world. The connection to the TV studio will allow Museum staff to either work in front of a green screen, or create a set to make these presentations.


A distance-learning classroom has certain requirements, including comfort, sound attenuation, operations, equipment and built surroundings. Its new location on a lower level of the Museum did present some challenges. The floor needed to be lowered in order to provide enough head clearance for all of the programs planned for the space. Piping and mechanical and electrical equipment needed to be relocated and rerouted from areas needing higher ceiling heights. Vibrations being transmitted through the building structure and the floor above needed to be isolated. And the room needed to be constructed with a Noise Isolation Class rating of 50, and a Noise Classification Rating of NC 25, to prevent any mechanical and corridor noises from being transmitted to the highly sensitive microphones. We will go into more detail on some of these issues throughout this article.

The original space had some limitations that the Museum did not want to duplicate. Firstly, there was the sound attenuation of the room. The distance-learning program was placed in an already constructed room that required adaptation in order to meet the sound requirements. Because walls and floors could not be reconstructed, we were limited to applying waffle-shaped sound-absorbing materials to the walls. Unfortunately, that alone does not stop the transmission of sound from outside the room. These typical wedge and egg-carton foam panels are good at preventing reflected sounds from inside the room, eliminating reverberations, and absorbing high-frequency sounds, but are not very effective in reducing low-frequency noises coming through the walls. The only effective way to attenuate low-frequency sound is through isolated construction and high-mass materials.

The architect, Gehry Partners, engaged an acoustical engineer to assist with the design of the wall and ceiling assemblies in order to achieve a noise classification rating of NC 25.  Noise classifications are used to identify the amount of ambient noise permitted in the room. This includes noises coming from outside the room, as well as any HVAC noises transmitted through the ductwork. To provide the maximum available sound isolation, the room was designed to be a “box within a box” with walls designed to provide an STC 65 rating. 

This means that there is an outer set of walls made from concrete masonry, filled solid.  This high-mass wall will deaden low-frequency noise, and dampen as much high-frequency sound as possible. This is the first box. 

The second box is a set of metal stud and drywall partitions and ceilings that are completely isolated from the surrounding masonry wall. This isolation of the two walls is critical to the effectiveness of the construction. None of the framing is attached directly to the masonry. To provide the required isolation, a series of sound-attenuation dampers are used to carry the ceiling and brace the walls.

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Caption:  Typical box-within-a-box wall construction. Orange highlighting shows the various sound attenuation isolators for the ceiling system and walls.

The box-within-a-box system extended to the floor construction as well. Because we had entirely removed the floor slabs in these areas to lower the floors, we were able to create a depressed floor in the distance-learning classroom, and install an isolated spring-attenuated reinforced concrete floor system. This system places a series of springs resting on the sub-slab that are poured into the isolated slab. After the isolated slab has cured, the springs are turned, lifting the isolated slab 2” above the sub-slab so that the entire weight of the slab is supported by the springs alone. The masonry walls bear on the regular concrete slab at grade. The isolated slab supports the isolated metal-framed walls, completing the full separation between the outer masonry and concrete box from the inner metal-framed and isolated-slab inside box.

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Caption:  Spring-load discs hold up the rebar for the floating floor. Plastic sheeting provides a bond break. After new concrete is poured and set, the discs are turned to raise the springs that carry the load of the floating slab.

One of the program decisions that needs to be made early in the process the appropriate NC rating for the project. In our case, we were concerned about vibrations coming from upper floors (with the café and dining directly above), and a ninety-year-old concrete and steel structure that would transmit low-frequency vibrations. However, in other types of structures, or in other locations, different decisions can be made, potentially saving money, while still achieving desired results. Having a knowledgeable architect and acoustical consultant advising you in these decisions is critical.

The weak points of any of box-within-a-box configuration are penetrations. Doors, power connections, ducts, sprinkler lines, any and all piping, and wiring must all be routed to avoid penetrating the walls. This usually means routing them through the floor or, when wall penetrations are required, incorporating special details that tightly seal these penetrations. Acoustically, any penetration through the walls needs to be completely sealed. Even the smallest gap will allow noise to enter the room as if a door were open. 

For the door, the architect specified a specialized acoustical door manufactured by Industrial Acoustics Company. With an STC rating of 50, this door is triple-gasketed along the jamb and head, has drop-down seals at the threshold, and is very heavy. The selection of this door and the associated hardware can be one of the most important decisions. These are very expensive, and modifications to fix an error are difficult. 

Finally, because of the sensitivity of the microphones, reflected sounds need to be eliminated as well. This means that there can be no exposed hard surfaces or finishes. To accomplish this, the floor is carpeted, and all walls and the ceiling are covered with acoustical panels.


The final piece in planning for the distance-learning classroom revolved around the technology used to run the sessions. Cameras, TV monitors, lighting, teleconferencing phones and the software to make all of this operate require coordination and planning. In our situation, the existing Polycom system being used for distance-learning classes was a system that served the needs of the Museum well, and was moved to the new room. The system in use has two TV monitors: one to see the classroom, and the other to see the images that are being shown to the class. The system also has a camera, a speakerphone, and a document camera—all controlled by a touchscreen and laptop computer. Added to the package were connections to the new TV studio and control room to allow a coordinated feed between the two facilities. This allows the Museum to broadcast a panel discussion from the TV studio through the distance-learning room connections.

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Caption:  The upper screen shows the teacher the images being seen in the remote classroom. The lower screen shows the students. The camera is mounted between the two screens.

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Caption:  Equipment used in the productions (left to right): remotes controlling the TV monitors and the lighting; Polycom speakerphone; laptop computer; Polycom touchscreen controller; and document camera. The server rack for the various computer and AV connections is in front.

New equipment for the distance-learning room includes a new lighting system. Lighting in these rooms is a critical component. Proper lighting levels will eliminate shadows on the presenter, and will prevent chromakey noise between the presenter’s clothing and the green background. We installed a pipe-support system from the ceiling to allow flexibility in the installation of the lighting, and to allow for the possible reconfiguration of the room in future. The presenter is lit with four 2-lamp 55W fluorescent fixtures: 3 from the front and 1 for backlighting. The chromakey green wall is lit with one 4-lamp 55W fluorescent fixture. To avoid using these lights during normal operations of the room, standard ambient lighting fixtures are provided.

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Caption:  Studio lighting consists of three front lights (2 in foreground), one backlight, and one double light facing the chromakey wall. The pipe grid offers flexibility in layout and installation.

To provide additional flexibility for future configurations, electrical and data connections for the room are provided through surface-mounted raceways, accessed through a single penetration through the floor which connects to the TV studio control room. In addition, one in-floor power/data connection is provided in the center of the floor, in a recessed box. Both of these sets of connections are run back to the TV control room, to allow programs broadcast from the distance-learning classroom to be monitored from the TV studio and control room as well.

Technology concerns are not limited to the equipment inside the distance-learning classroom. The connections at the remote classroom are equally important. Minimum standards for these connections need to be understood and communicated to the guests. In addition, connections should be tested ahead of the class session to ensure that the systems can be configured, and that any special needs are understood. 

With the growth of video communications across the Internet, there will be an equal growth of web-broadcast learning. We hope that this description of our process has answered some questions, and are also sure that it has created an equal number of unanswered questions. There are resources available to any institution desiring to set up a similar type of educational classroom. Your architect or engineering consultants are a great resource to help identify your institution’s needs and requirements, and an A/V consultant is extremely good source of information as well. There are also some independent organizations involved in this field. One organization is the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC— We would recommend that you seek an independent consultant that is not also selling you the equipment, to ensure that your needs are first and foremost in the design. 

With the right assistance and design, implementation of a distance learning program at your institution can be a rewarding endeavor. It is amazing to see the interest, involvement and interaction from the children and other participants in the programs you offer, and hopefully they will be teaching your institution as much as you are teaching them.

Carl Freedman, AIA is an Associate with Aegis Property Group, an Owner’s Rep and Development Management firm located in Philadelphia. He can be reached at:


The National Museum of Australia: Expansion Program Includes an Innovative Cafe and Administrative Extension

By Greer Gehrt

In 2010, a new Director arrived at the National Museum of Australia. Andrew Sayers had a vision to populate the seemingly empty but architecturally stunning main hall with large objects. As a result of his vision, the café had to move out of the main hall to make room for the large objects to move in. 

The Museum engaged the services of the architectural firm Ashton Raggatt MacDougall (ARM) to design the new café. ARM and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowen were the Museum’s original architects. The new café was intended to reinforce the vision of the Museum as an institution that is bold in all it does, while also connecting with the beautiful surroundings at Lake Burley Griffin. (Image page 57)

When the brief was written, a great deal of care and thought went into what the public would want in the café, what kinds of functions the Museum wanted to have, and what kind of space would be appropriate to deliver the catering services into the future. After reviewing a number of options, the Museum decided on one, allocated a realistic building budget of $3.6 million, and proceeded. 

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Caption: View out over Lake Burley Griffin from the newly poured concrete floor of the café.

A Boolean knot (an invisible or imaginary knot) was the architect’s concept for the original main hall of the Museum. The design of the knot was based upon tangling pentagonal sponge. The form of the café represents the end of an imaginary knot, stretching out from the main hall. The new physical café is located where the knot could be conceived as re-entering the building.

The café will seat 150 patrons internally and 50 patrons on the exterior deck. Large expanses of glass enclose the entire length of the café, which allow for views out on to the lake, while maximising natural light. In the original concept design, the glass ran from floor to ceiling; unfortunately, the expanse had to be reduced in order to comply with updated building codes. The view, however, is still as previously conceived.

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Caption: The new extension in blue snakes between two heritage Ponderosa Pine trees.

Sections of the new café are part of the existing building. In these areas, warm olive timbers and more intimate spaces have been created. The new extension uses a different material palette to differentiate between existing and newly built areas. (Image page 57)

The finishes are natural timbers native to Australia, such as messmate and tallow wood, stone, leather and concrete. Acoustical ply throughout the ceiling will ensure that conversations can held in comfort. (Images page 58)

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Caption: Interior perspective of café with acoustical ply ceilings and concrete floor in new area, and olive colour scheme to blend with the existing building.

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Caption: Work in progress on the café ceiling.

The furniture in the café is being sourced through local Australian furniture designers to minimise the impact on freighting furniture from overseas, while also supporting local designers.

The food offerings will be “brasserie” style. A “grab and go” counter will be available for those wanting a quick coffee and sandwich, and sit-down table service will be provided for those with a little more time.

The café features a variety of seating configurations. A long communal table will be located adjacent to the café entrance; there will be banquette seating for those choosing to have a longer lunch; and there will be lounge areas for those wanting cake, coffee and a place to perch while they access the free Wi-Fi. In addition, there will be café-style timber tables and chairs for those having a lunch meeting or catching up with friends.

The café will open in early December 2012.

The Administration Extension Project (AEP) has been in the planning since 2007. The idea behind the project was to consolidate all staff within one part of the overall site. The architects were briefed to design a relevant, cohesive and collaborative workspace. Moving to this model was no easy feat, given that this meant moving some staff out of offices and into a more team-based working environment.


Viewing the original building as something of a jigsaw puzzle, architects planned the extension as another of the puzzle pieces that together formed the Museum building. As such, the extension fits between two existing staff accommodation areas, slotting nicely into the overall puzzle.   (Images page 58)

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Caption: Preparing the extension site between two existing buildings.

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Caption: Perspective of the new building, slotted between two existing buildings.

The colours selected for the façade of the building represent a thermal image, which is significant in the world of museums. This is because temperature and relative humidity are critical to maintaining appropriate conditions for collections. The concept of the thermal image therefore links back to some of the work that the Museum does in relation to caring for our collections.

The black tiles on the façade represent a QR code. To the left of the administration entry, there is a location where an image of the code can be captured on a smart device. With the correct application, the smart device will be redirected to the Museum’s website.  This has been tested by photographing the drawings—and it works! I am reserving judgement until the building is actually up, however, to see whether it will work in real life.

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Caption: Design concept for the new Administration Extension Project at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
An environmental consultant was engaged to provide advice on how to minimise our impact on the environment. His advice, when weighing up the project constraints, was to leave as much of the existing HVAC system as possible in the areas to be refurbished, and only add in a small unit to supply the new building. Care has been taken to minimise windows where possible, in order to reduce heat loss/gain. This was particularly important, given that Canberra has hot summers upwards of 32˚C, and cold winters that go down to -10˚C.

The AEP is due for completion in mid-2013.

Greer Gehrt has been working with the National Museum of Australia since 2006 on a variety of major projects, including those in this article, as well as site master planning and a proposal to develop a new environmentally passive collection management facility for the Museum. In 2012, she received the National Women in Construction Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design. She has a particular interest in Low Energy Climates for Museums, and has represented the Museum internationally in Copenhagen and Berlin on this topic.


Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library Receives Grant for New HVAC System

By John Castle

We learned recently that the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library—one of the host venues for the 22nd IAMFA Annual Conference—has received another grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This new grant for $350,000 will enable installation of a new HVAC-control system in the Museum, Galleries and Research Buildings. The budgeted cost for the entire project is $873,000, including about $130,000 for the salaries of Winterthur personnel who will work on this project.

As you will read in the abstract below, it is estimated that the project will result in annual energy cost savings of $194,000, with an amortization period of approximately 4 years. However, when we include only Winterthur’s out-of-pocket expenditures ($873,000 – $350,000 – $130,000 = $393,000), the payback period for this project is a truly remarkable 2 years!

Incidentally, Winterthur received a request from NEH that they be allowed to post the following abstract on their website. They want to tout it as a model for other grant proposals. As you can imagine, Winterthur said “yes.”

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Caption:  Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, located in Winterthur, Delaware.


Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is committed to lifelong learning in the humanities and to the sustainable preservation of the collections that support this mission. To this end, Winterthur requests a $350,000 NEH SCHC implementation grant as part of an $873,338 project to enhance the preservation of the collections and reduce collection-related energy costs. Installation of a new HVAC-control system will effectively manage energy and the preservation environment in Winterthur’s three major collection buildings: the Museum, Galleries, and Research Buildings. These buildings house one of America’s outstanding collections of decorative arts and research material related to material culture, as well as extensive programming, exhibitions, conservation and scientific research facilities, and two graduate programs critical to training cultural heritage professionals.

The new HVAC controls and associated upgrades will replace Winterthur’s antiquated, inflexible system with sophisticated controls and the advanced monitoring and analytical capacity necessary to take advantage of recent research—proving that daily and seasonal temperature and humidity can safely vary over a broad range without damaging collections. Implementing this energy-saving variability safely in a complex physical plant requires a flexible system that allows the significant operational control provided by this system. The project will be managed by a collaborative team of engineers, consultants, conservators, facilities, and collections staff.

The project will have two significant outcomes. The first is a major improvement in the energy efficiency and quality of the preservation environment in Winterthur’s collection areas, with savings from mechanical upgrades estimated at $194,350 per year—12.7% of its current utilities costs—along with significant additional savings from operational changes made possible by the new control system. These savings will allow Winterthur to improve the sustainability of its collection preservation and humanities-related research and program activities by redirecting resources to initiatives that enhance public and scholarly access to the collections.

The second significant outcome is the information derived from installation of an innovative control/monitoring interface developed by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), and systematic implementation of operational protocols that will benefit other cultural heritage institutions facing similar sustainability issues. IPI will make the control/eClimate Notebook interface available to all users, and Winterthur’s careful documentation of the process used to develop and document operational protocols and energy savings will be disseminated to the field through lectures, websites and publications.

This project addresses key components of the mission statement and strategic plan. As an extension of Winterthur’s historical environmental consciousness, it will improve sustainability of the extensive physical plant and enhance the preservation of collections: issues important to key donors and our core audience. A reduction in operating costs will improve financial performance and make more funds available to educational, exhibition, and collection-based activities that help build audiences, build on excellence, and increase revenue. The innovative components of this project in environmental control and energy-saving operational protocols reflect Winterthur’s culture and commitment to research, leadership, and excellence.


Regional Updates and Member News

Northern California and Nevada Member Region

By  Joe Brennan, Chair

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Caption: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Building

The fourth-quarter meeting of IAMFA’s Northern California and Nevada Member Region was held on November 6, 2012. Our host, Mark Lawn, was Chief Engineer of the new home of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. This exciting structure was completed in July 2012, at 525 Golden Gate Avenue and the corner of Polk Street. Members met here for our fourth quarterly meeting and tour. 

The architectural and mechanical innovations are many and varied in this awardwinning building. It is a 13-storey Class A office building housing over 900 employees. Some of its laudable achievements are a 32% reduction in energy use, a 60% reduction in water use, and a carbon footprint that is 50% smaller than that of a similarly-sized office building!

We had a memorable back-of-house tour—to say nothing of the digital arts wall, the Living Machine and the Rain Portal art installation.

In attendance were:
Terry Zukoski—Glide Memorial Foundation

Michael Kifer—Glide Memorial Foundation
Nancy Wolf—Disney Family Museum
Andrew Dubowski—San Francisco Symphony
Keith Goldstein—Everest Waterproofing & Restoration
Mark Hurtado—Contemporary Jewish Museum/Guardsmark
Joe Brennan—San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Ottawa Member Region

Federal Government to Create the Canadian Museum of History

By Guy Larocque

On October 16, Canada’s Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages announced the federal government’s intention to introduce legislation creating the Canadian Museum of History: the first in a series of measures on the road to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.

This will be done through amendments to Canada’s Museums Act, which will change the name and mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The announcement was made at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the presence of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, Museum staff, eminent Canadian historians, and members of historical associations from across Canada.

This year is seen as the start of the five-year countdown to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. According to the Minister, “It offers us an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate our history and those achievements that define who we are as Canadians. Canadians deserve a national museum of history that tells our stories and presents our country’s treasures to the world.”

Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, said the institution is taking a bold step into the future by refocusing its attention on our shared national history. “The Canadian Museum of History will inspire curiosity and a greater understanding of the forces that have shaped the Canadian identity. Canadians, as well as visitors from around the world, will leave the Museum with a deeper appreciation of Canada’s unique and fascinating national journey.”

To support this transition, the Canadian government is providing $25 million in funding to modify half of the Museum’s 100,000 square feet of permanent exhibition space. The renovated spaces will focus on significant events that have shaped the history of Canada. The Museum’s Facility Management group will be directly involved in the transformation of these spaces over the next three years.

Sad News from the Ottawa Member Region

By Ed Richard

It is with great sadness that I convey to fellow IAMFA members the passing of one of our own. Pierrette Lagrois of the National Gallery of Canada passed away on October 21, at the age of 52, from a rare form of neuroendocrine cancer. Pierrette was instrumental in organizing the guest programs for two of our annual conferences in Ottawa (1999 and 2007). She later became a member of IAMFA, and very much enjoyed being a part of the organization and the people involved. She will be dearly missed by her colleagues, friends and family.

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United Kingdom Member Region

U.K. Update

By Jack Plumb

The big news from the U.K. section of IAMFA is that we have arranged another meeting of the IAMFA Environmental group at the National Records Office in Kew, London. The IAMFA Environmental group is a collection of U.K. IAMFA members and Preservation colleagues from our organisations, most of whom are members of ICOM (Preservation). The purpose of these meetings is to share knowledge and understanding of one another’s challenges. After all, we are all looking after the same collections.

At the Kew meeting, we will hear from some of the team who put together the latest guidance documentation PAS 198:2012, a specification for managing environmental conditions for cultural collections. We will also be hearing from Kostas Ntanos, Head of Conservation Research and Development at the National Archives, U.K., on the subject of seasonal drift. Seasonal drift is an acceptance that heritage collections can be successfully stored in collection spaces maintained within an agreed environmental envelope and that, with further agreed rates of change, the temperature and humidity can drift around within this environmental envelope. Don’t miss the next issue of Papyrus, where we will give a full report on this meeting.

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Caption for Photo with young guys: “Guess which IAMFA conference our grand-dad (JP) went to?”

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Caption for both:

John and Livi De Lucy recently went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, spending a week in Jerusalem and a week beside the Sea of Galilee, visiting many sites mentioned in the Bible. As you know, the area has a fascinating history, covering the past 3,000 years.  The pipe was called a “Hubbly Bubbly” on the menu, but they call it a “hookah”. 

List of Contributors

Kevin Anderson

Nancy Bechtol

Darragh Brady

Joe Brennan

John Castle

John and Livi De Lucy

Carl Freedman

Greer Gehrt

Michael Harrold

Jeffrey Hirsch

William Jarema

Dan Klein

Guy Larocque

Roberto Mallozzi

Joe May

Adam Meltzer

Tim Mitchell

Susan Neale

Jon Oldham

Donald Overfelt

Angela Person

Jack Plumb

Ed Richard

Stacey Wittig