Issues of Papyrus that are less than a year old are available to IAMFA members only

If you wish to read Papyrus articles in a different language, please select language below. To view images in articles, you will have to refer to the PDF above, and scroll down to the referenced page number.

Papyrus—Summer Fall 2015


Caption for cover image:

IAMFA celebrates its 25th year with its Annual Conference back in Chicago, where the organization was founded in 1990.


Letter from the Editor

For my second letter from the editor, I would like to start by providing a brief résumé of the Board’s mid-year visit to Chicago in April. For a number of years now, the Board has visited the Conference hosts to go over the fine details of the forthcoming conference, while also taking the opportunity to advance various strategy initiatives that the Board is currently dealing with. The programme for the Board’s visit is packed, kicking off with meetings all day Sunday. We spent the day going over the 2016 Conference in New England with the conference host, Jim Moisson, as well as going through details of the 2015 Conference in Chicago with Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones.

On Monday, we travelled to the Museum of Science and Industry in the morning and on to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the afternoon. I know Conference delegates  will particularly enjoy their trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (on the Tuesday of the Conference), where we will get to see U 505, a fully refurbished Second World War submarine made famous by its association with the Enigma cipher machine.

On Tuesday, it was off to Milwaukee to visit our former IAMFA Treasurer, Larry Bannister, at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Whilst in Milwaukee, we were guests at the headquarters of Johnson Controls, now proud sponsors of the 2015 Conference. In the afternoon, it was a visit to the Harley Davidson Museum. These trips to the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Harley Davidson Museum are included on the optional Thursday trip during the Conference, which can be booked separately via the website.

Wednesday saw us visiting Ernst Pierre-Toussaint at the Field Museum, Bob Wengel at the Shedd Aquarium, Thomas James at the Adler Planetarium, and finally Dr Steve Thompson at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Field Museum has recently been awarded its LEED Gold certificate, and delegates will get to see how that was achieved when they visit on the Monday of the Conference. Also on the Monday, guests will have an opportunity to visit all of these venues, whilst delegates will get to visit the Shedd Aquarium and take in the significant sustainability measures implemented by Bob Wengel. These measures, among other things, mean that the Shedd now uses less water than the Art Institute of Chicago—surely a challenge to Bill and Patrick.

Thursday and Friday were taken up with further meetings discussing routine issues related to managing IAMFA as an association. Take a look at the collage of pictures from the mid-year board meeting on page 32. I think what our visit amply demonstrated was that Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones have arranged a terrific Conference for us in September with a superb range of facilities to visit. It is a truly memorable location for our 25th anniversary Conference.

Some of the venues, including the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, to say nothing of the Art Institute itself are enormous—far bigger than anything you would have seen in Scotland last year. For me, however, my abiding memory of this trip to Chicago was the sheer size of the place; I have never seen so many tall buildings. Have a drink on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building, and see for yourself!

By the time you are reading this article, you will have noticed just how many articles there are in this issue of Papyrus. We on the editorial team really appreciate your response in providing these articles; please remember that Papyrus is for IAMFA members, written by IAMFA members.

First of all, I would recommend the article by Julian Bickersteth who has provided a very timely update on Museum Environmental Standards. Whilst all the articles are of a really high standard, there are a number of other articles that discuss issues that are particularly topical these days.

The article by Nathan Saxton from the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA), for example, begins an exploration of colour rendering from LED luminaires. The University is both a museum that is willing to tackle some of these issues, and a renowned optics college excited about using the UAMA as a venue for lighting research. We look forward to his findings in future editions of Papyrus.

My last mention, although all articles deserve further mention, is of the article by Dr Fang Wang and Shashwat Ganguly of Heriot-Watt University. They detail their study into the effects of renovation solutions in a historical building of cultural significance. The building being studied is the National Gallery of Scotland, which hosted the Wednesday presentations for delegates fortunate enough to have attended last year’s Conference in Scotland.  

I hope you enjoy this issue of Papyrus—one of our biggest ever—and I look forward to seeing you all in September.


Jack Plumb, Editor


Message from the President

By Nancy Bechtol


In just a few short weeks, we will all be in Chicago celebrating IAMFA’s 25th Anniversary. You do not want to miss this Conference. I hope your registration is complete, hotel and flight reservations made, and that we will see you in Chicago on September 20, 2015. If not, get moving and register!

I will be completing my third year as President of this wonderful organization in September, and am looking forward another year. We currently have three Board members ending their terms in September and, as you may remember, Randy Murphy sent out a membership email in June requesting that folks consider serving on the Board.   We have not received any emails from the membership so far, but luckily we have current Board members who are willing to commit to another term. We will settle all of this out at IAMFA’s General Meeting in Chicago, and provide you with the results of our election at that time. I am still hoping that someone new will come forward from the membership who is willing to assist us in running our outstanding Association. 

Speaking of Board members and turnover, at the spring Board meeting in Chicago, Brian Coleman decided to step down as Vice-President of Regional Affairs, to allow him to devote more time to organizing our 2017 Conference in Australia. It was becoming impossible to handle both of these demanding Board positions, and I think he made the right decision to step back from membership to work on IAMFA’s annual conference. The Board assigned his Vice-President duties to Tiffany Myers, and she officially joined the Board in June, shortly after our spring meeting. Tiffany has agreed to run for the same position in our elections in September, and is currently filling in beautifully. Brian will remain on the Board as 2017 Conference Chair.

Both Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones hosted the Board during our spring meeting in April, and boy did we have a fantastic time. Morning, noon and night were programmed to perfection, as we visited the fabulous museums and historic sites that we will all enjoy in a few weeks. Please remember to bring your walking shoes and your umbrellas, as we will not be sitting for long in any one location! The museums in Chicago and Milwaukee are amazing facilities, with truly professional staff whom we will get to meet when we walk through the sites. Bill and Patrick have planned many special activities and celebrations along the way, reminding us at every turn how amazing IAMFA is, even after all these years! 

We have also been very successful in launching our founding year for corporate sponsors.  Randy Murphy is leading this program, and he has secured five corporate sponsors that have each made a three-year commitment. In addition, Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones have done an outstanding job securing conference sponsors for our Chicago Conference, and this funding will enable them to plan a very exciting program for us in September.  They have raised more sponsorship than any previous IAMFA USA conference, and might even break our 2008 London conference record for the best all-time sponsorship program. The effort that goes into these programs is very time-consuming, but the rewards are worth the effort. Our sponsorship programs allow us to keep the cost of conference registration, and our annual membership, much lower than they otherwise would have been.  

One of the unique aspects of IAMFA is our Regional Chapters, and many have been busy offering exceptional programming. The UK, Washington, D.C.–Baltimore, Philadelphia and two California regions have all had meetings this year, and we encourage our other Chapters to become equally active. Our Chapter in Ottawa, Canada, and a new Chapter in Northwestern Canada have been talking, and are trying to set something up within their regions. I am very much hoping they are successful in getting their regional members together a couple times a year, with the idea of increasing our overall membership in Canada.

In October 2016, we will head to New England for our annual Conference, and I know that Jim Moisson is already busy securing our hotel (same as it was last time in 2004!), and all of our museum venues. Organizing an annual meeting is a tremendous amount of work for our hosts, and somehow Jim is making it look easy! I am already looking forward to seeing many of the best museums in that part of the world, come 2016. 

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, though, as we have an outstanding conference right in front of us in Chicago. I can’t wait to see everyone, and to enjoy the sights of Chicago. The hospitality and food are amazing in that city, and you are in for a real treat when you see behind-the-scenes at all of the cultural institutions. This is what we do at every annual conference, and we do so with excellence!

I often wonder if our founder, George Preston, ever dreamed that the organization he founded some 25 years ago would be this successful—if he ever dreamed that such talented professionals as Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones would follow him, continuing to take care of his beloved Art Institute of Chicago. These are questions for which we will never have concrete answers, but I think George knew he had a winner when he started our organization—thereby also starting an invaluable conversation between similar professionals throughout the world. I look forward to seeing you all in September to continue our legacy in the city that started it all, as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary! 


Nancy Bechtol




Message from the Vice-President of Regional Affairs

By Brian Coleman and Tiffany Myers


The Board has asked me (Brian) to provide members with an idea of what my experience as an IAMFA Board member has been like. I hadn’t worked on a Board before, or with people from different countries. For me, being asked eighteen months ago to take over as Vice-President of Regional Affairs for IAMFA Board was both exciting and daunting. I was venturing into uncertain waters, and was unsure of what l was getting into and whether l could meet the Board’s expectations.

As Facility Managers, however, we take up opportunities, seek out knowledge, and deal with the unknown. This is part of what makes for a challenging work environment, and is the unwritten part of our job description.

So, what have l learned since joining the Board? First and foremost: good leadership. How is this demonstrated? Well, our President Nancy Bechtol runs a tight ship when it comes to accountability, deliverables and meeting timeframes. Board members are given support and guidance within their respective roles, to deliver their plans within a strategic framework. How many of us in our careers have had to operate within a work environment where leadership is replaced with management?

Another important aspect of a good team environment is the values at work within the group. I always felt that my views, opinions and role contributed to the Board’s discussion and decisions. This provided a platform for interesting and informative Board meetings and conferences.   

As Vice-President of Regional Affairs, I have been working with the Board and membership committee to establish a framework to increase and retain members. This has given me an opportunity to work with people and organisations from around the world, while also broadening my perspective. This has proven invaluable within my own organization, as l am able to demonstrate that FM issues in Australia are similar to those in other cultural institutions across the world, and that IAMFA is collectively working towards solutions.

The membership committee and Board have made membership growth one of their key goals in the strategic plan. Understanding the barriers and drivers related to increasing membership numbers is key to helping guide the initiatives that are part of the membership plan. This work has shown me that the difficulties of distance, as well as sufficient funding to allow institutions to come together on a frequent basis is one of the major issues for Chapter Chairs, and the Board in developing a retention and growth strategy for IAMFA.

Initiatives such as free trial memberships to nominated new members, and asking Chapter Chairs to assist at the regional level were two of the activities designed to specifically focus on membership growth. The next step for the membership committee, which is currently underway, involves providing a plan and strategy with information and support for Chapter Chairs, through the membership committee, to support their work with existing and potential new members.

My role as Vice-President, Regional Affairs will not continue through the full two-year tenure. For a number of personal and business reasons, along with my decision to assist in developing the Australia/New Zealand region, I resigned from the Board, effective May 8, 2015. 

Membership growth for the Australian/New Zealand region has been challenging to date. I intend to assist Shaun Woodhouse and Steve Devereaux in developing and implementing a membership plan that will build on the Melbourne/Hobart conference in 2017. I will continue as a Board member in the role of conference chair for the Melbourne/Hobart conference. The great news is that Tiffany Myers has agreed to fill the vacant position of Vice-President of Regional Affairs until the Chicago conference.

I (Tiffany) was shocked, to say the least, when IAMFA’s President, Nancy Bechtol, asked me to take over as Vice-President of Regional Affairs. Presented with this exciting challenge, I willingly accepted! Brian has laid a great foundation, which the membership committee will implement over the coming year.

My focus is on retention and increasing communication. I want to keep the members we have, retain trial members, and look at ways in which we can improve communication within the Chapters and the organization as a whole. So far, we are off to a great start.

We heard from many members that they needed something to hand to potential IAMFA members, describing the organization and membership structure. We took that suggestion to heart, and an IAMFA membership brochure was created and finalized the end of May. You can obtain the brochure online, from your Chapter Chair, or email me directly at The lines of communication are open and, as the Vice-President for Regional Affairs, you will receive a payment letter from me when you pay your yearly dues. I will also be sending emails out leading up to the conference, with all the conference basics: weather, what to pack—the usual!

Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your Vice-President of Regional Affairs. I will miss seeing you at the 25th Annual IAMFA Conference—as many of you know, I am expecting a little girl to join the family in late July, which will prevent me from traveling to Chicago in September. I’ll be with you in spirit, however, and will share a toast (from afar) on the night of the Gala as we celebrate 25 years!

Cin Cin,


Hope College at Kruizenga Art Museum: A 15,000 ft2 Classroom

By Helen Nie and Euan Cameron

The Kruizenga Art Museum exists, quite literally, out of the box. It operates as something more than a traditional museum and conventional lecture hall. It is a dynamic, educational forum, where thinkers of all ages come together to connect and share ideas. It is a paragon of architecture informed by purpose, designed with intent, and experienced with meaning. It is a 15,000-square-foot classroom.


Above all, the Kruizenga Art Museum, or KAM, is a “teaching museum” seeking to engage new and more diverse groups of people in the art world. As such, the building caters to exhibition creation, docent, (volunteer guides), training and interdisciplinary learning for students, faculty and the community. Project planning began in 2005; the building is just one component of A Greater Hope, a campus-wide initiative to increase the college’s endowment and sustainably enrich the community. Located in the heart of the Hope College campus in Holland, Michigan, it is programmed to open September 2015.

Fittingly, KAM’s mission as a teaching museum is to educate, engage, and inspire the students, faculty and alumni of Hope College and the broader region. Constructed between Hope’s cultural center, performing arts theater, music building and art department, the Kruizenga Art Museum finds itself at home on the campus’s “cultural boulevard”.

The Museum’s founding director, Charles Mason, foresees the space being used for interaction with the community in meaningful ways. A specialist in Chinese and Japanese art—formerly of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, and the Pacific Asia Museum, in Pasadena, California—Mason has been described as “a teacher at heart,” and the KAM his new classroom.

Hope College is one of few liberal arts schools nationally accredited in theater, music, dance, and fine arts. A true platform for interdisciplinary learning, the KAM will showcase the all-encompassing spirit of “liberal arts”. Although teaching museums have been around for more than a century, Hope College will follow the recent trend of teaching museums emerging on liberal arts campuses, as seen at Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, Bowdoin College, and Skidmore College. Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum director Ian Berry wanted his museum to be a “place on campus that everyone uses daily, like the library.” 

In a similar vein, the KAM will serve as a classroom for hands-on learning across several disciplines. An article published on in 2012—appropriately titled, "What's Better Than College Art History 101? A Campus Museum“—notes that, “teaching museums make art more relevant and not so exclusive." Additionally, Mason claims that the KAM’s proximity to other dedicated buildings, such as the Holland Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, will “complement, not compete” with them. Opening of the KAM will string together several well-known institutions, from the Detroit Institute of Arts to the Art Institute of Chicago, creating a regional synergy.

The late Margaret Feldemann Kruizenga, along with her husband Richard Kruizenga, provided the lead alumni donation to finance the project. The couple also contributed initial design inspiration for the building. “I don’t want a box . . .” instructed Margaret Kruizenga, “I want something unusual.” A far cry from the ubiquitous “box”, the KAM specifically reflects its mission of object- and idea-based learning, in addition to providing the campus with a modernist silhouette. Passers-by have called the museum a “breath of fresh air” against the grain of Hope’s predominantly red-brick college architecture.

The museum’s entrance is embraced by the building’s wings: slabs of Cambrian Black granite each 22 feet high, serrated around the building’s double curve. Via a climate-controlled vestibule, visitors pass through a large floor-to-ceiling window and into the lobby. There, a receptionist—an intern and postgraduate student at Hope College—greets guests. Directly ahead lies the Art Study Room; to the right, a gallery that houses the Museum’s permanent collection; and, to the left, a gallery featuring special exhibitions.

In these spaces, visitors may also find tours of K–12 students, or student performances and public-speaking events. It is this multi-disciplinary and educational role that the Kruizenga Art Museum plays in enriching the wider Hope College community.

With a budget of $5 million (including endowment), raised predominantly from alumni donations—and a projected square footage of approximately 15,000 square feet—a “double lung”, leaf-shaped concept was selected for architectural development. The architects for the KAM included two Hope College alumni: Matthew VanderBorgh, the director of C Concept Design, a Netherlands-based architectural design firm; and Donald Battjes, who provided museum design and operations expertise as former Chief of Operations at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Local expertise included the architecture firm, Progressive AE, along with the Museum’s program consultant, Timothy J. Chester & Associates, LLC.

VanderBorgh described the Museum as a “unique design opportunity within the architectural context of the campus.” Informed by the design prompt of a “teaching museum", the Kruizenga Art Museum features educational spaces, public archives, storage, and a loading and preparation area, in addition to its two main galleries. The lower level accommodates collections storage and technical services for the Museum.

Battjes believes that the allocation of gallery space for special exhibitions adds balance to the college’s permanent collection, as “it allows students the opportunity for greater exposure to established artists in a context adjacent to the permanent collection.” He also states that, “by creating the lower-level storage area, the Museum is finally able to store all of its significant art in one climate-controlled space.”

The Museum’s spatial breakdown is as follows:


Educational support:

Art Study/Conference Room

300 ft2

Permanent Collection Gallery

1,540 ft2

Special Collection Gallery

2,100 ft2

Storage (1st floor)    

340 ft2

Receiving and Prep (1st floor)

340 ft2

Subtotal Educational Support:

4,620 ft2 (approx 37%)


Back-of-house facilities:

Director’s Office

140 ft2

Circulation/Public Entry

860 ft2

Lower-Level Art Storage

4,200 ft2

Restrooms/Support Closets

310 ft2

Mechanical and Electrical

2,160 ft2

Subtotal Educational Support:

7,670 ft2 (approx 63%)

TOTAL Museum Floor Space:

12,290 ft2(100%)



What is unique and refreshing is the KAM’s transparent—both literally and figuratively—presentation of its behind-the-scenes areas. When the Museum opens in September of this year, only about 10% of the collection will be on view. This is partly because of the size of the galleries, but also because there are many works on paper that must be viewed on a rotational basis to limit light exposure and damage. In addition, if a Van Gogh exhibition, for example, were to be on display in the Special Collection Gallery, curators might wish to draw upon the KAM’s diverse permanent collection, complementing the show with the KAM’s own Dutch drawings and prints.

­Faculty and students who wish to view works not on view in the galleries may do so in the Art Study Room by appointment. This room will also serve as a classroom for faculty and staff teaching courses that rely heavily upon the Museum’s collection. Mason’s first curatorial job was at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. Operating since 1916, the AMAM is the model that Mason will most closely try to emulate. Its collection forms the basis for sustained engagement with Oberlin’s academic curriculum. He claims that, "It's a different access than looking [at the work] on the computer. Getting close to something made 500 years ago, and getting to handle works of art—I've seen that have a transformative effect on people. Students who were marginally interested in art can come alive with that kind of experience."

The Museum’s 1,000-piece collection comprises works that were donated to, or purchased by, Hope College between 1965 and 2015. Approximately half of the works in the founding collection come from Europe and the Americas, while the other half come from Asia and Africa. The “teaching collection”, as Mason calls it, emphasizes works of art that offer potential for learning in a variety of academic disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences. Some works in the collection are by well-known artists, but the collection is not, and is not intended to be, a collection of art historical masterpieces.

Financial stipulations initially precluded the design team from actualizing, (realising?) their loftier ideas. However, the tight monetary restrictions did compel them to find creative solutions for maximizing and allocating space. Program consultant Timothy Chester admits that, “a museum sized at 15,000 ft2 is automatically faced with constraints and a loss of scale.” Construction costs totaled approximately $330 per square foot. The challenge for the design team was thus to construct a “museum building that exemplifies the very best practices for the care, handling and presentation of art” on a limited budget.”

Despite its modest size, the KAM possesses “all of the core attributes that any museum needs to fully function.” These include collections storage, educational and administrative spaces, and preparation areas. In an effort to optimize museum operations without compromising museum practices and community engagement, equipment and storage have been moved to the basement.

The benefits of the lower level are twofold: the gallery level is solely committed to displaying art; and the cost of building this program below grade is significantly lower than above grade. Senior project architect Lisa Warren of Progressive AE commented on the importance of optimizing space when deciding to merge the Conference Room with the Art Study Room and adjacent rack storage: “By reconfiguring certain amenities, the KAM leveraged circulation and support space to increase gallery space.”

The KAM also adheres to Hope College’s commitment to sustainability. The Museum is easily accessible by public transportation, and has a limited number of parking places. Water management includes the use of native drought-resistant plants, Grasscrete pavers at the loading dock, and increased permeable surface areas in the surrounding landscaping.

The Museum is equipped with a building automation system (BAS) that monitors and controls the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). The current mechanical and electrical rooms are capable of servicing larger galleries, which opens the door to future expansion. All lighting fixtures for the Museum are highly efficient LEDs, including those between the overlapping granite exterior panels. In order to limit the exposure of displayed art to UV rays, the full-height entrance window has a low-E (low emissivity) coating. Furthering the KAM’s green credentials, only low-VOC volatile organic compounds), paint was used for interior spaces.

Although the galleries have been limited by two main factors—a smaller capacity and budget constraints—they are fully equipped to accommodate the demands of contemporary artists and their works. Both galleries are fitted with recessed electrical and data outlets to accompany multimedia works. Steel beams in the ceiling can support hanging installations, while the concrete floors allow for the easy maintenance and mobility of platforms and podiums. The omission of skylights and green roofs decreases security concerns and maintenance costs, while keeping more fragile works away from direct sunlight. Finally, the arrayed granite panels which skirt the entire building are reflected in the interior galleries in a faceted system of display walls. Each white segment is 9.5 feet in width, and is capable of accommodating much of the Museum’s 2D collection, which primarily consists of smaller prints and paintings.

As benefits a museum at a liberal arts college, many of the works of art in the Museum’s teaching collection reflect diverse ways of thinking about the world. They illustrate how “people in different times and places have grappled with issues involving identity, economic and technological change, and the influence of political and religious ideologies.”

Student Nicole Buccella has worked with the permanent collection for the past few years. She says that, “Overall, working with the collection has made me much more knowledgeable and comfortable with the workings of the art industry. I can learn how to research art, and how to make art in class; but at work I can apply it, learn to coordinate with other people, and see the big picture.” The open, multifunctional space at the Kruizenga Art Museum will allow visitors to enjoy the same experiences within the same domain as art curators themselves.

Academia traditionally tends heavily toward the written word and verbal dialogue. Yet, communication in the 21st century is becoming increasingly visual. The various works of art exhibited in the KAM will become an invaluable resource—or even play a leading role—in the effort to spur today’s ever-evolving visual dialogue. Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra describes the idea of “place-making” in communities as a way of distinguishing themselves in “unique and attractive” ways. It’s the sort of hands-on and focused opportunity that the Kruizenga Art Museum encourages, in order to think critically within a broader social and historical context. Upon visiting the Kruizenga Art Museum, visitors will leave with their intellectual appetites satiated, yet hungry for more.




Columbia Ave View_CROP.jpg

Caption: The Kruizenga Art Museum from Columbia Avenue.


Spacial Diagram.jpg

Caption: Diagrammatic layout of the KAM.


Permanent Gallery.jpg

Caption: The Permanent Collection Gallery.


Special Collection Gallery_CROP.jpg

Caption: The Special Collection Gallery.


Granite Panel Lighting.jpg

Caption: LED lighting between the Cambrian Black façade panels.


DePree Art Centre View_CROP.jpg

Caption:View of the KAM from the DePree Art Center.


Helen Nie is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Euan Cameron BSc (Hons), PGDip is a graduate of Advanced Architectural Design at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.


Just what is “Best Lighting”, Anyway?

By Nathan Saxton


If the timeline of the Universe were to be used as an analogy for the development of LED lighting, we surely must be in the first millisecond of the Big Bang—when all the potential exists, but improvements are still coming at a rapid pace. Because the technology is so new, this certainly isn’t the first, last, or even best article you’ll read about LED lighting. Instead, it is a look at how an examination of new lighting technologies really turned into a discussion of the role of lighting designers, the magic of light, and the ways that humans interact with art.

At the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA), we share a campus with the College of Optical Sciences—one of the top schools of light science in the world. It occurred to me that this proximity to a top optics school, with a strong research department and fabrication capabilities, was an incredible opportunity for any museum that wanted to be on the forefront of exhibit lighting. I reached out to Dr. John Koshel, Associate Dean of Students, and he was very enthusiastic about the research opportunities.


We decided to start with one very specific challenge: designing and fabricating a “perfect” light source for our Mark Rothko painting, Green on Blue (Earth-Green and White). As the exhibits designer, I’ve always found this work incredibly difficult to light properly. Its large size (91 ¼” x 64 3/8”) and lack of focal point create some unique challenges. Depending on where it’s hung in the Museum, I always find the dark green to be too muddy, or the translucent whites to be over-saturated. Ali Khan, a college senior who has since graduated with degrees in mathematics and optical sciences, met with me, and was willing to take on the task.

After recording everything from the angle of our existing lighting to the reflectivity of our waxed cork floors, Ali noted that we had missed a key component: at what color temperature does the public prefer to view this work? The ability to survey the public’s preference when it comes to color temperature seemed to be logistically difficult, until I found LIFX, a manufacturer of bulbs whose color temperature can be controlled via a Wi-Fi chip and an app for a smartphone or tablet. Now that we had the ability to remotely control the color temperature, we were ready to start gathering data.

For about a week, we asked UAMA visitors to rate their preference in color temperature, with 2750K, 3000K, 3200K, 3500K, 4000K, and 4500K as the options. The survey consisted of two tests, and for each test, respondents were asked to select the color temperature that they found to be most pleasing. In Test 1, we scrolled through each of the six settings, from warmest to coolest.

In Test 2, we cycled through the six settings in a completely random order, to help offset any bias. Interestingly, individual respondents were only consistent in their preferences 20% of the time. In other words, 4 out of 5 people chose a different preference when the options were presented in a different order. When all responses were tallied, preferences in both tests peaked at 3000K. However, this preference was by no means a clear majority. In Test 1, only 27% preferred that setting, and in Test 2, that number climbed moderately to 38%.

Although our casual study didn’t provide earth-shattering results, the process had a profound effect on me. Within the first day of running the survey, I discovered something amazing that even 20 years as an exhibit designer and art installer hadn’t prepared me for: small shifts in color temperature fundamentally changed the nature of this painting.

At 3000K, the painting was warm, soothing, even inviting. At 3200k, it went flat; neither the blues, greens, nor whites really had much life to them. At 4000k, I would almost characterize the painting as aggressive: the blues were vibrant, and the contrast with the white section reminded me of our skies during an Arizona summer, during which one can’t even look upward for fear of being blinded by an oppressively bright sky.

This discovery was at first fascinating, and then was followed by a startling realization: maybe I’ve been lighting this—and all of our other paintings—wrong all this time. Now that we have an ever-expanding range of lighting options, we museum professionals also have a constantly growing chance of getting it wrong.

Now my existential crisis really began to set in. As a museum lighting designer in the year 2015, what exactly is my responsibility? Am I to try to replicate the lighting conditions in the artist’s studio, so our visitors can see exactly what the artist saw? Is it better to strive for consistent lighting conditions throughout the museum? Or, is it my job to find the best lighting for each work, regardless of artist intent or unity with the rest of the gallery space?


And just what is “best lighting”, anyway? As discussed above, we could not reach a strong consensus on what the “best” light was for this painting. A strong majority seemed to enjoy a variety of color temperatures outside of the established museum standard of 3000–3500K. Can I really be satisfied that two-thirds of my visitors felt that our Mark Rothko painting was lit improperly? Eventually, the cloud of confusion in my mind began to clear, and I decided to focus on the positives: we live in a time of unprecedented technological advances, and I have both a museum that is willing to tackle some of these questions, and a very able optics college excited about using the UAMA as a venue for lighting research.

We set out to design and fabricate a so-called perfect lighting source for a particular painting. Instead, we realized that it might be time to take a broader look at the role of lighting in our museum. Perhaps, in the foreseeable future, technology may advance to the point that it is economically feasible to custom-design light sources specifically for individual objects and works of art. This informal study on one painting in our collection, rather than being an end in itself, has started us down a long road of research. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.


Nathan Saxton is the Exhibitions Specialist at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. He is also pursuing a B.S. in Optical Sciences and Engineering, in part to discover new ways that art is affected by emerging light science. Nathan can be reached at


Image:  Museum today color:  Caption:  University of Arizona Museum of Art.

Image:  Rothko for IAMFA 3: Caption: Mark Rothko's Green on Blue (Earth-Green and White) ​lit with LIFX Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs at approximately 3000K.

Image:  Rothko for IAMFA 4: Caption: The same painting lit at about 4000K.


Scott’s “How to Change a Lightbulb” Checklist

By Scott Rosenfeld


Metal Halide and florescent sources may still have a role in lighting museums, but LEDs are likely the best energy-efficient source for most museum applications. Below is a list of lighting qualities to help museums maintain the quality they enjoyed with their existing  track systems.


  1. Intensity

¨  Are the new energy-efficient lights bright enough for each application in your museum? 

¨  Are the lights still bright enough after you add lenses and screens to control the light and reduce the illuminance on light-sensitive materials?

¨  Will the electronics from the new lights overheat?

¨  Is dimming necessary? Are the new lights dimmable with your existing system, or do you need to match a new dimming system to your new lights?


  1. Distribution

¨  Spotlights: Do the new lights provide the same beam angles as your existing system? I typically use every beam spread available when I light exhibits, including: 4, 8, 15 and 25 lamps.  

¨  Wall wash: Can the energy-efficient lights produce an asymmetric (rectangular or cigar-shaped) light so that the illumination on the wall is flat (without scallops)?


  1. Color

¨  Do the new energy-efficient lights produce the desired color? For most installations, the choice of a specific color temperature is less important than matching the color of the adjacent lighting sources.

¨  Are there appropriate opportunities to use colored light?

¨  How important is color rendering to your application? Assessing color rendition is complicated, and mock-ups on colored surfaces are useful, in addition to checking metrics like color-rendering index (CRI). Some LEDs with CRIs in the low 80s produce light with excellent color characteristics, although they may not render reds quite brightly as LEDs with a high CRI (>90). CRI values less than 10 points may not be noticeable; and don’t forget that the intensity of light will have a significant impact on color rendition.

¨  Ultraviolet light needs to be eliminated or reduced to minimal levels (75 microwatts per lumen, or compliant with other requirements,typically 10 microwatts per lumen in the UK). Most LEDs don’t create UV, but for the most light-sensitive materials (equivalent to ISO blue wool 1-4) it is best to avoid high CCT lamps (above 4000K) or unfiltered violet pump LEDs.

  1. Movement

¨  Do the new energy-efficient lights flicker? This is especially a problem with LEDs with poorly constructed electronics. Check DOE and IEEE websites for information on how to specify LED products so flicker won’t negatively affect special populations such as people who suffer from migraines, people on the autism spectrum, and people with photo-sensitive epilepsy.


Scott Rosenfeld is Lighting Designer at the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Scott can be reached at


Effects of Renovation Solutions in a Historical Building of Cultural Significance

By Dr Fan Wang and Shashwat Ganguly


The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS)—designed by one of the era’s leading architects, Henry Playfair—first opened to the public in 1859. The NGS—which, along with the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), are regarded as one of Edinburgh’s two “Classical Temples to the Arts”—achieving a picturesque harmony against the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The NGS, now a listed building, houses over 96,000 permanent collections, and hosts several important exhibitions each year. Its collections include a wide range of art, including paintings, works on paper, sculptures and photographs.

Maintaining the health of these delicate historical collections demands tight environmental controls. Such control, however, requires the buildings HVAC systems to use  a significant amount of energy.  Adding to the dilemma of balancing energy conservation and preservation of valuable art collections, the NGS also suffered from problems related to high heat loss throughout the building, drastic variations in indoor environmental conditions, and sudden air movements in certain gallery spaces. Driven by the need to reduce the building’s energy consumption, while at the same time improving the indoor environment for gallery spaces, the NGS undertook a series of renovation activities in mid-2012.

After these kinds of refurbishment activities, the question arises as to the effects of such activities. This calls for an assessment that will take into account the renovations themselves, as well as their impact on the building’s energy consumption, indoor environmental conditions, as well as variations in time and from space to space. Furthermore, such assessments should also provide a good understanding of where indoor conditions stand with respect to an institution’s defined standards for the collections care. This article presents a set of systematic assessment methods that were used to determine the effects of refurbishment works carried out at the NGS.

Refurbishment Activity

Refurbishment at the NGS consisted primarily of changing the skylights. The skylights were formerly single-glazed, but have now been changed to double- and triple-glazed in order to minimize heat loss. A review of the Environmental Plant and Control of the NGS carried out by Harley Haddow consulting engineers, before the refurbishment period, suggested a re-balancing of the building’s existing ductwork. This would help improve the airflow in certain gallery spaces, while also obtaining a better balance of air-exchange rates by the different Air Handling Units (AHUs). This rebalancing was implemented by the NGS later in its refurbishment plans. Additional refurbishment activities involved improved seals around gallery skylights, draft-proofing and some minor changes in the various AHU components.

The Assessment Process

In order to perform a comparative assessment of the building’s energy consumption and indoor environmental conditions, both before and after the refurbishment period, an structured  data-acquisition system was necessary. Data collection was carried out within three categories: building energy, indoor environment, and outdoor environment. Building energy data took gas consumption and electrical consumption into account, while indoor and outdoor environmental data included indoor and outdoor temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH). Two sets of annual data—before and after the refurbishment period—were also obtained.

Energy Assessment

To carry out the building energy assessment and compare the results with existing benchmarks, standardisation was required. Two parameters for normalisation were used: the total treated floor area of the building, and the local Heating Degree Days (HDDs). The HDDs help eliminate the effects of local climatic conditions on the building’s energy consumption. In this case, however, the use of HDDs was limited to the building’s gas consumption. Since all of the building’s heating requirements are met by gas, it becomes the only weather-dependent parameter, and requires the inclusion of HDDs for standardisation against local climatic conditions.

Indoor Environmental Assessment

Gallery 10 was chosen to approximate the indoor environmental assessment (Figure 1). This particular gallery was chosen in part because of its key location near the centre of the building while also facing the building’s entrance. Furthermore, the gallery’s shape resembled the majority of the galleries in the building, while also sharing a considerable stretch of its perimeter with the building’s exterior wall. This allowed a better scope for studying the various indoor and outdoor environmental effects within the confined gallery space.


Caption:Figure 1: Schematic of NGS building and location of Gallery 10.


Data pertaining to the indoor environment consisted of room temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH). This was obtained from a combination of BMS sensors already in the galleries, along with some additional sensors installed for selective, location-specific readings. Annual recordings of these T and RH values were then checked against the established standards for collection care using various graphical analyses.

Standards for Collection Care

While the NGS strictly follows guidelines defined by the BS 5454:2000 and the Canadian Conservation Institute, it also streamlined these guidelines so that the outcome is more appropriate for its collections, while also ensuring energy savings. Collection sensitivity levels in relation to temperature and RH fall into four different categories: very sensitive, sensitive, moderate, and low/none.

Although the primary consideration when it comes to the preservation of art is RH, the NGS pays individual attention to the effects of both temperature and RH on its collections. Importance is also placed on human comfort, of course, to ensure the best visitor experience. When it comes to objects kept in non-display areas, however, their preservation is given priority over human comfort.

While “very sensitive: objects are maintained within the microclimate designed to ensure appropriate environmental stability, “sensitive” objects are maintained at a RH of 50% with a tight fluctuation range of ±5%, a summer temperature of 20°C (±2°C), and a winter temperature of 18°C (±2°C) (NGS Documents). The “moderately sensitive” objects comprise the majority of all the collections, and are kept at a more relaxed RH of 40–65% with the maximum rates of fluctuations of 3% per hour, and 15% per 24 hours (NGS Collection Care). Temperature follows a similar relaxed range of 18–23°C for gallery display objects, and 18–20°C for art transit or hybrid-area objects.

Energy Assessment Results

Electrical-consumption figures in the NGS, before and after the refurbishment period, were normalised by the total treated floor area, and the results were compared with “typical” and ”best practice” figures, (CIBSE best practice figures).


Caption:Figure 2: Comparison of annual electrical consumption before and after refurbishment.

The result shows a decline of 13% in electrical consumption after the refurbishment period (Figure 2).

Gas-consumption figures in the NGS, before and after the refurbishment, were normalised using the total treated floor area to obtain a set of  “actual consumption” figures. These figures were then weather-adjusted using local HDDs during the two respective years, in order to obtain the “adjusted consumption” figures. Finally the results were compared with the “typical” and ”best practice” figures.

The result shows that, although there was a drop of 23% in actual gas consumption after the refurbishment, if weather correction is included, the drop in adjusted gas consumption after refurbishment is only 7%. This relates directly to the fact that the winter of 2013–2014 was not as cold as 2012–2013, hence requiring less heating (Figure 3).


Caption:Figure 3: Comparison of annual gas consumption before and after refurbishment.


On comparing the response of the weather-adjusted gas consumption with HDDs, it can be observed that, after refurbishment, the building’s energy consumption for heat under specific outdoor conditions is reduced by 48% (Figure 4).


Caption:Figure 4: Relation of gas consumption to Heating Degree Days.


Indoor Environmental Assessment Results

After observing and comparing indoor air conditions involving T and RH for a year before and a year after the refurbishment, the following points became evident (Figure 5):
After the refurbishment, both T and RH were increasingly maintained between the mean safe points of 20°C and 50%RH, respectively, throughout the year, especially during the cold months of December through February.

a)    There has been a significant improvement in indoor RH levels. Before the refurbishment, there were several instances involving a significant drop in RH below the minimum safe limit of 40%. This level was consistently maintained within the safe and after the refurbishment.The indoor T before the refurbishment hovered around the extreme upper and lower limits of 18°C and 23°C, with constant changes throughout the year—as well as a few extreme cases when temperature was outside the safe zone. Although there has not been a significant improvement in maintenance of T throughout the year following the refurbishment, it can be seen that the values remain increasingly consistent around the mean safety level of 20°C.

b)      For the sake of energy efficiency, T control has apparently also become more relaxed since the refurbishment, with fewer incidents of temperatures outside the safety zone, as compared to before the refurbishment.


Caption:Figure 5: Comparison of annual indoor T and RH before and after refurbishment.


In order to make more detailed and specific observations, three typical months pertaining to each of the three yearly seasonal conditions have been selected for comparison: February for a typical cold month, June for a typical hot month, and October for a typical mild month. These months showcased the most ideal characteristics of their corresponding seasonal conditions.

After observing and comparing the monthly indoor air conditions for a typical cold month, (February), and comparing the results before and after the refurbishment, the following points became evident (Figure 6):

a)      Indoor RH before and after the refurbishment is similar, and well maintained within the safe zone.

b)      There has been a significant improvement in indoor T. It exceeded the upper safety limit several times before the refurbishment. Following the refurbishment, however, indoor T has been well maintained within the safe band, with very few incidents of exceeding the safe band.


Caption:Figure 6: Comparison of annual indoor T and RH before and after the refurbishment (cold month).


After observing and comparing the same parameters for a typical hot month, (June), the following points became evident (Figure 7):

a)        There has been an improvement in indoor RH conditions. Before the refurbishment, RH values dropped well below the lower safe limit on several occasions. After the refurbishment, however, RH was well maintained within the safe zone throughout the month.

b)        There was a slight deterioration in indoor T conditions after the refurbishment, as the values exceeded, very slightly, the upper safe limit on a few occasions. This is the result of using increasingly relaxed T and RH controls to improve energy efficiency.


Caption:Figure 7: Comparison of annual indoor T and RH before and after refurbishment (hot month).


Similarly, for a typical mild month (October), the following points are evident (Figure 8):

a)        Indoor RH conditions have improved considerably, with the values previously far below the lower safety limit now well maintained within the safe zone.

b)        Indoor T has undergone no further improvement after the refurbishment, with only one case when  T went below the lower safe limit.


Caption:Figure 8: Comparison of annual indoor T and RH before and after refurbishment (mild month).


In addition, the pattern for change in T in relation to RH was studied and compared before and after the refurbishment. These graphs show a significant improvement in environmental stability, with the T and RH values lying increasingly within the safe zone, and an approximate improvement of 27% when compared with the period before the refurbishment (Figures 9 and 10). This improvement is defined as the percentage increase in the number of T-RH instances lying within the safe zone, as defined by the NGS standards for collection care.


Caption:Figure 9: Indoor T vs. RH before refurbishment, within the safe zone as defined by the NGS standards for collection care.


Caption:Figure 10: Indoor T vs. RH after refurbishment, within the safe zone as defined by the NGS standards for collection care.


Through a more detailed study involving the variation of T to RH in the three different seasonal conditions (Figures 11 and 12), it can be seen that there has been significant improvement in environmental stabilty when it comes to the percentage increase for hot months (22.5%) and mild months (33.5%), and a major increase for cold months (63.7%).


Caption:Figure 11: Indoor T vs. RH before refurbishment, within the safe zone as defined by the NGS standards for collection care (using variable seasonal bands).


Caption:Figure 12: Indoor T vs RH after refurbishment, within the safe zone as defined by the NGS standards for collection care (using variable seasonal bands).


Fluctuations in indoor air T and RH have been calculated and compared for the periods before and after the refurbishment. After observing the graphs the following points become evident (Figures 13 to 16):


Caption:Figure 13: Comparison of hourly temperature fluctuations, before and after the refurbishment.


Caption:Figure 14: Comparison of hourly RH fluctuations, before and after the refurbishment.


Caption:Figure 15: Comparison of daily temperature fluctuations, before and after the refurbishment.


Caption:Figure 16: Comparison of daily RH fluctuations, before and after the refurbishment.


a)        Based on the established standards, the control band for hourly fluctuation parameters, ΔT1H and ΔRH1H, should be ±3%. For the daily fluctuation parameters, ΔT24H and ΔRH24H, they should be ±15%. It was noted that there was an overall improvement in the degree of fluctuation after the refurbishment.

b)        The degree of fluctuation decreased considerably after the refurbishment, and remains almost entirely within a ±1% fluctuation.

c)        There were a few instances when fluctuations were outside the safe zone, due to the use of increasingly relaxed controls to improve the building’s energy efficiency.

d)       Decreased fluctuation can be considered the result of the refurbishment work, making indoor conditions less sensitive to sudden outdoor changes.

e)        Fluctuations in RH are greater than temperature fluctuations, owing to the fact that the control zone allocated for RH is much more relaxed (40–63%) and is larger than the tighter T control band (18–23°C).

f)         Hourly fluctuations seem to vary more, and extend more frequently outside the control band, as compared to daily fluctuations. This indicates that, although sudden hourly fluctuations are slightly more pronounced, they stabilise over a period of 24 hours, with the building envelope serving as a buffer.


This assessment serves as an indicator of the Gallery’s progress towards energy optimisation and improvement of the indoor environment for collections and visitors. It directly caters to the need to explore the effects postrenovations in order to answer questions such as: “To what extent has the refurbishment been effective in tackling existing issues?” or “Is the building on its way towards true energy savings?” and “Would the energy-saving measures jeopardise delicate historical collections?“

The extent of improvements brought about by renovation work can be quantified using data analysis, and can be studied using various graphic representations. While there was considerable improvement in indoor environmental conditions and indoor air stability at the NGS, the same cannot quite be said when it comes to the building’s energy consumption.

This assessment activity was a part of a funded research program in association with the NGS, Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. The program strives to optimise energy use at the NGS while ensuring an appropriate indoor environment for collection care.


Dr Fan Wang is a lecturer in the School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University, and can be reached at


Shashwat Ganguly is a PhD researcher in the School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University, and can be reached at


Museum Environmental Standards: An Update

By Julian Bickersteth


In the Winter 2011–2012 issue of Papyrus, a summary was provided on the debate amongst museum facility managers, conservators and curators regarding appropriate environmental standards for collecting organisations, in light of pressures related to sustainability and reduction of carbon footprint. Three years on, it is useful to revisit where the debate is at.

First of all, it is good to report that there has been significant progress. The two leading professional groups for conservators—the IIC  (International Institute for Conservation) and ICOM CC (International Council for Museums—Committee for Conservation)— established a joint working group to examine the issue. The working group then reported back to international conferences conveniently being held back-to-back by both organisations in September 2014: IIC in Hong Kong, and ICOM CC in Melbourne.  Plenary sessions at both conferences debated the issue, resulting in a joint declaration, which is detailed below.

Secondly, the process of coming to a revised position on environmental standards has shown that a different methodology is required for assessing the appropriate conditions for collections. In the past, the “one size fits all” optimal standard of 50/70 (50%RH/70˚F [20˚C]) was used partly because it was easy to remember and required no detailed examination of the specific needs of the collection. In its place, there is now not only a revised set of numbers, but also a new evidence-based approach. Essentially, what this means is that organisations need to assess the potential environmental vulnerabilities of their collections; the ability of their display and storage areas to provide appropriate conditions; and the capacity of their HVAC systems to support those conditions, when a passive environmental approach will not suffice. Moving to variable guidelines requires more thinking, and evidence-based decision-making is time-consuming, so there is inevitable resistance to it, given the pressure under which many museum departments must perform. 

Thirdly, the debate has not been entirely unified. A portion of the conservation profession has not been convinced by the argument that sufficiently substantial energy savings can be achieved by moving to the revised standards—as compared, say, to changing to LED lighting systems—therefore, why change when broadening parameters potentially risks endangering fragile works of art. The argument is that lots of experimental work has been undertaken on the likely effects of broader parameters, but too little experiential evidence has been gathered on this issue. On the other hand, we already know that fragile works of art such as medieval panel paintings (paintings on wood) are extremely sensitive to even minor shifts in RH, which can result in flaking paint.

The Declaration is being widely endorsed, but the issues it raises continue to be both researched and debated. One example of this is, as the Declaration highlights, the difference in approach between conditions for loan items and permanent collections. Loaning institutions tend inevitably to require tight environmental conditions for their works, as they are out of their direct care whilst on loan. For borrowing institutions, this means that they may need to continue to provide exhibition areas which can be environmentally controlled to tight parameters in order to meet loan requirements, despite the fact that they have broadened the parameters for their own collections. 



Environmental Guidelines—IIC and ICOM-CC Declaration

At the IIC congress in Hong Kong and the ICOM-CC conference in Melbourne in September 2014, the delegates discussed and agreed upon the following declaration:

The conservation profession has come together and agreed upon a position on environmental guidelines as follows:

Sustainability and Management

  • The issue of museum sustainability is much broader than the discussion on environmental standards, and needs to be a key underlying criterion of future principles.
  • Museums and collecting institutions should seek to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact to mitigate climate change, by reducing their energy use and examining alternative renewable energy sources.
  • Care of collections should be achieved in a way that does not assume air conditioning (HVAC). Passive methods, simple technology that is easy to maintain, air circulation and lower energy solutions should be considered.
  • Risk management should be embedded in museum management processes.

Museum Environment

  • It is acknowledged that the issue of collection and material environmental requirements is complex, and conservators/conservation scientists should actively seek to explain and unpack these complexities.
  • Guidelines for environmental conditions for permanent display and storage should be achievable for the local climate.


  • There needs to be transparency about actual environmental conditions achieved in museums to ensure that realistic requirements are made for loan conditions.
  • Noting that most museums in the world have no climate-control systems in their exhibition and storage spaces, we acknowledge the need for a document that will influence decision-makers that the environmental conditions for international loans may not be appropriate for the permanent display and storage of collections in all museums.
  • There needs to be flexibility in the provision of environmental conditions for loans from museums which have climatic conditions different from the set points in the guidelines. This may be achieved with alternative strategies such as microclimates.

Existing Guidelines

  • The existing interim guidelines agreed by AIC, AICCM, the Bizot group, etc. (see Appendix) should be guidelines, not interim guidelines. It is noted that these guidelines are intended for international loan exhibitions.


APPENDIX [Maybe a sidebar instead?]


Bizot Interim Guidelines for Hygroscopic Materials

For many classes of object[s] containing hygroscopic material (such as canvas paintings, textiles, ethnographic objects or animal glue) a stable relative humidity (RH) is required in the range of 40–60% and a stable temperature in the range 16–25°C with fluctuations of no more than ±10% RH per 24 hours within this range.


More sensitive objects will require specific and tighter RH control, depending on the materials, condition, and history of the work of art. A conservator’s evaluation is essential in establishing the appropriate environmental conditions for works of art requested for loan.

The AICCM’s recommended Interim Temperature and Relative Humidity Guidelines for acceptable storage and display conditions of general collection material are:

Temperature: Between 15 and 25°C with allowable fluctuations of +/-4°C per 24-hour period.
Relative Humidity: Between 45 and 55% with an allowable fluctuation of +/- 5% per 24-hour period.

Where storage and display environments experience seasonal drift, RH change should be managed gradually across a wider range limited to 40–60% Temperature and RH parameters for preservation of cultural materials will differ, based on their material, construction and condition, but stable conditions maintained within the parameters above are generally acceptable for most objects.

AIC Interim Guidelines endorsed by the Association of Art Museum Directors:

  • For the majority of cultural materials, a set point in the range of 45–55% relative humidity with an allowable drift of +/-5%, yielding a total annual range of 40% minimum to 60% maximum, and a temperature range of 59–77ºF (15–25ºC), is acceptable.
  • Fluctuations must be minimized.
  • Some cultural materials require different environmental conditions for their preservation.
  • Loan requirements for all objects should be determined in consultation with conservation professionals.


Julian Bickersteth is Managing Director of Sydney based International Conservation Services and Vice President of IIC, the International Institute for Conservation. He coauthored the Winter 2011–2012 Papyrus article on environmental conditions in museums, and has coordinated the joint IIC / ICOM-CC working group on environmental guidelines.


Chicago Conference to Focus on Delegate Education

By Patrick Jones


Chicago is the acknowledged home of modern architecture, and the laboratory of revolutionary building practices. Building techniques such as balloon-frame construction and the skyscraper were first developed here. While visiting Chicago, our delegates will have an opportunity to survey some of the world’s most magnificent modern buildings, ranging in age from Burnham and Root’s Monadnock Building of 1893, to Jeanne Gang’s “Aqua” of 2010. Our delegates will also participate in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s river architectural tour during a reception sponsored by Camfil Ltd.

Against this magnificent backdrop, the Chicago IAMFA conference committee is focused on providing delegates with an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in building technology and museum facilities management. The purpose of this article is to provide information about our scheduled speakers and their subjects.

The Saga of the U-505

In a daring raid on June 4, 1944, the United States Navy captured the German submarine U-505 on the open seas, before she could be scuttled by her crew. In 1954, the U-505 was presented to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) by the United States government. For decades, the submarine was displayed on the grounds outside the Museum, where inclement weather took its toll. In 2004, MSI completed an extraordinary project, relocating the U-505 into an indoor purpose-built exhibition space.
Ed McDonald, Director of Facilities and Operations at MSI, has been with the Museum for over 30 years, and was closely involved with this amazing project. He will give not only an account of the history of this extraordinary vessel, but will also talk in detail about the work MSI has undertaken to preserve the submarine for future generations.

Moving Monuments

Roger Machin is the owner of Methods & Materials, a Chicago-based company founded in 1990. For the past 25 years, Roger’s team has traveled the country, relocating some of the largest and most challenging art objects and artifacts imaginable. In April of this year, Roger was a presenter at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting. His subject was “Big Deal: Large Objects, Expert Advice”.

During the IAMFA conference, Roger intends to focus on the strong relationships he has developed with museum facilities professionals over the years. “Whether placing a sculpture in a museum garden,” he says, “or removing a brick section of wall to get around a corner, the knowledge and support of museum facility administrators has been integral to almost every museum project.”

Maintenance of Renewable Energy Systems

Because of their public profile, museums have become prime installation sites for photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines. During the past 20 years, these renewable energy technologies have been installed at cultural and scientific institutions around the world. In many cases, these projects have been funded by public and private grants. After the fanfare of early adoption is over, however, these projects remain, requiring ongoing maintenance throughout their useful lives. While funding is made available for installation, recipients of these systems generally must provide for their long-term care.

Tom Debates is the owner of Habi-tek, a sustainable building practices company founded in 1983. Since 2001, Tom’s company has focused on the design, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems in both commercial and residential environments. Many museums have turned to Tom to help keep their photovoltaic systems functioning optimally. During his talk at the 2015 IAMFA Conference, Tom will share lessons learned in maintaining renewable energy systems in the museum environment, and will offer pointers to facility managers who are responsible for those systems. Tom is an active member of Engineers Without Borders, and has been involved in humanitarian renewable energy projects in Haiti and Honduras.

Virtual Gallery Modeling

Building scale models of galleries has traditionally been a high-cost component of exhibition design. This correspondent is aware of one such model whose cost was in the high six figures. These models often take a great deal of time to produce, and continue to occupy useful space in museums after they have served their initial purpose: “Who knows if we’ll need it again? It sure cost a lot. Better not throw it away.” Probably every facility manager reading this article can claim two or three of these dusty relics, tucked away in a far corner of their facility.

Michael Stensland, Senior Vice-President of Pepper Construction, and Kevin Bredeson, Director of Virtual Construction, will speak at the Chicago Conference on exciting advances in the technology of virtual gallery modeling. According to Mike, “computer-generated virtual gallery models provide much greater flexibility and accuracy than their static predecessors. These models allow for rapid modification. In addition, collections objects can be modeled to a great degree of accuracy, and can be manipulated within the modeled environment.” As part of their talk, Mike and Kevin will demonstrate a virtual gallery model.

Best Practices in Understanding Mechanical Systems

Having the right mechanical systems installed, to preserve and protect artifacts, has always been a challenge. During the design process, facilities management, museum management and conservators are included when choosing the right mechanical systems to provide creature (human) comfort, while also maintaining conditions for artifacts and works of art. But when all is said and done, the two collide and become mixed. We adjust our systems for preservation, which makes temperatures uncomfortable for the human element. An age-old problem we all face as facility managers.

John Bixler, Deputy Director Office of Facilities Management and Reliability for the Smithsonian Institution, will take us on video walkthrough of various equipment rooms at the National Museum of the American Indian. John will also showcase core building systems, types of air-handling units, terminal devices, building automation, and energy-saving tactics used at the Smithsonian in partnership with various collection managers.

Security Benchmarking

The Smithsonian Institution has completed a national benchmarking survey of the security organizations for cultural properties. The survey involved approximately 60 different museums, interviews with security professionals and consultants, and an extensive literature review. The survey’s intent was to gather data on trends and commonalities of security organizational structures, pay, training, weapons requirements, customer service requirements, uniform requirements, resource strategies (proprietary, contract, or hybrid staffing models), and other criteria against which cultural property security organizations can benchmark.

Doug Hall, Deputy Director for the Office of Protection Services at the Smithsonian, will discuss some of the pertinent findings from the survey, and how they may be helpful to other organizations that are evaluating the security organization.

Vibration Control During Museum Construction

Any museum considering expansion or renovation must contend with the effects of construction-related vibrations on existing buildings and collections. As part of the Chicago Conference, Frank Zuccari, Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Senior Painting Conservator of The Art Institute of Chicago, and Arne P. Johnson, structural engineer and Principal of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) will present their 2013 paper “Vibration Control During Museum Construction Projects” which appeared in the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (Vol. 52, No. 1, 30-47). The paper highlights vibration-control measures for construction of the Modern Wing, which included extensive preconstruction testing, development of vibration limits, preconstruction planning and collection movement considerations, development of a vibration-control specification for the contractor, extensive field trials at the start of construction, and monitoring using an interconnected system of more than 20 vibration monitors for approximately three years.

Together with Bill Caddick, Associate Vice-President for Facilities at the Art Institute, Arne and Frank will then participate in a panel discussion to address audience questions regarding vibration management during construction of the Modern Wing. Vibration simulation and monitoring equipment will be available for demonstration and discussion after the session.

From moving and re-housing massive artifacts, to assessing security at museum facilities, there’s something for everyone in the educational program at this falls IAMFA Conference.


Patrick B. Jones is Manager, Off-Site Facilities and Energy, Department of Physical Plant at The Art Institute of Chicago, and is a host of IAMFA’s 25th Annual Conference in Chicago.  He can be reached at


[Conference Schedule — Centrefold]



Chicago Speak

Another year, and another new and exciting place to visit for our IAMFA Annual Conference. Most of the cities or countries we visit have their own way of saying things, and Chicago is no exception—except that Chicagoans do have something to boast about, given that a number of words that we all use every day first appeared in print in Chicago. Here are a few of them:


Pullman: A train’s sleeping car, named after the Chicago railroad baron, George Pullman.

Skyscraper: Chicago’s “sky-scrapers” rival anything of their kind in the world. The first use of the word “skyscraper” in print referred to buildings at a time when Chicago’s tallest edifices included the 130-foot Montauk.

Clout: Political influence—extending from its earlier used to describe a heavy blow. In this context, the term was first used in print in 1958, although a 1937 citation from a book called Machine Politics referred to needing “clout from behind” in Chicago.

Simonize: To polish, especially with wax. The word comes from the brand name Simoniz, a car polish developed by George Simon for the Simons Manufacturing Company, founded in Chicago in 1910.

Pipe Dream: Originally a reference to the visions of opium smokers, “pipe dream” first appeared in print in the Chicago Tribune in December 1890, describing the impossibility of aerial navigation.

Racketeer: A participant in an illegal business, or “racket”. Coined by the Employers’ Association of Chicago in 1927, the word had gone mainstream by the time of the Anti-Racketeering Act of 1934.


American Dream: Although the notion of the American Dream dates from the late nineteenth century, one of its earliest uses was in the Chicago Daily Tribune on February 6, 1916, which stated: “If the American idea, the American hope, the American dream, and the structures which Americans have erected are not worth fighting for to maintain and protect, they were not worth fighting for to establish.”

Go By/Come With: Popular throughout the Midwest, as in: “I'm gonna go by my aunt's. You wanna come with?”

Clincher: A unique 16-inch softball used almost exclusively in Chicago.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog: The Chicago hot dog was developed during the Great Depression, and is described as a "meal on a bun". Order one with everything, and you get a poppy seed bun, mustard, a pickle slice, sliced tomatoes, neon green relish, sport peppers, and celery salt. Ketchup on a hot dog is considered the height of bad taste in Chicago. Wherever you go in Chicago, you will find a bright yellow hotdog stand.

Polish: A type of sausage, larger than a hot dog that is very popular in Chicago, often served with grilled onions. To order one, you would say, "I'll have a Polish.”

The Loop: Downtown Chicago, as defined by the elevated train loop.

The El: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) elevated train lines. Chicagoans also refer to the subway as "the El" as in: "I'm taking the El to O'Hare.”

Pop: Sweet, carbonated beverages are universally called “pop” in Chicago, as in: "What kind of pop do you want?"

Old Style: A ubiquitous local beer, which is "fully kreuzened"—whatever that means.

Jewel Bag: Any plastic shopping bag. Named for a local grocery chain, as in: "I had a six pack of Old Style in a Jewel Bag, but it broke.”

Home in on: To move toward a goal.

Jinx: The word “jinx” first appeared in the Chicago Daily News in 1911, in relation to baseball. It is thought to come from either the Latin word iynx and the 17th-century jyng, meaning “spell” or the hapless Jinks of the 1868 song, “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines”.

Pooch: The origin of the word “pooch” is uncertain, although it may be related to the German term of endearment Putzi. Its first appearance in print was in 1906, in a Chicago Tribune story about Pooch, a missing dog belonging to White Sox first baseman Jiggs Donohue.

Yuppie: A somewhat derogatory term formed from the initial letters in “young urban professional.” It was first used in print in a May 1980 article in Chicago magazine on changing urban demographics.

Egghead: A derogatory term for an intellectual. A 1918 letter from Carl Sandburg indicates that Chicago newspapermen used “egghead” to refer to highbrow editorial writers out of touch with the common man. In the 1950s, the word surged in popularity when the Chicagoan Adlai Stevenson was branded with the term in his unsuccessful presidential campaigns.

House: Refers to a style of music in which DJs combine musical fragments on turntables. The term arose around 1984 as a shortening of The Warehouse, a club at 206 South Jefferson Street, where the format was born.

Mickey Finn: A drink with a sedative secretly mixed in. The term comes from the name of the owner of a Chicago bar on State Street near 11th called the Lone Star Saloon. In 1903, Finn was accused of using drugged drinks to rob his customers.


Southpaw: Coined by Chicago sports journalist Finley Peter Dunne, a “southpaw” is a left-handed person, especially a pitcher in baseball. The term has been used more recently to describe a left-handed boxer.

Smoke-Filled Room: Used in an article by Kirke L. Simpson in 1920 to describe a private political meeting at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel, the phrase has come to mean a place where a decision is made in secret, perhaps corruptly.

Cafeteria: When John Kruger opened a self-service restaurant at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, he named it after the Spanish word for a coffee shop.

Ferris Wheel: Named for George W.G. Ferris, who created the first of its kind for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Grabowski: A hard-working, blue-collar, lunch-bucket type. The term was invented by Mike Ditka to describe the 1985 Chicago Bears. You can visit his restaurant on the Magnificent Mile at 100E Chestnut Street.

Mudpack: A beauty treatment involving the application of mud to the face. It first appeared in print as “mud-pack” in Ben Hecht’s 1934 book, A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago.

Razzmatazz: The Chicago writer George Ade first used this word in 1899, in a un-doubled-z version, as a personification of the flu. The next year, he used it again in what is probably the first instance of its current meaning: showy, stylish, or dazzling.

Cloud Nine: A state of bliss. Aside from the name of a boat, the first known print citation referred to a radio show called Cloud Nine, produced in 1950 by Chicago’s WBBM and sponsored by Wrigley. The variants “cloud seven” and “cloud eight” coexisted in the early days of the phrase, “eight” being the first recorded usage, in 1935.

Flea-Flicker: A play in football in which the ball changes hands before a forward pass. New York Times “On Language” columnist Ben Zimmer cites the Chicago Daily Tribune of 1911, which credits the play’s invention to Bob Zuppke, then football coach at Oak Park High School (and later at the University of Illinois).

Jazz: The American Dialect Society’s “word of the 20th century.” The first use of “jazz” in print referring to America’s native music first appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1915. The most recent lexicographic research says “jazz” meant “energy” or “pep” before that, and it probably traveled from California minor-league baseball to a banjo player named Bert Kelly, who started up a band in 1914 in Chicago, where the word caught on.

Hootchy-Kootchy: A seductive dance. Although it’s associated with the dancer Little Egypt at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the first appearance of the term in print was in 1898.


Using Benchmarking to Justify your Operating Costs

By Keith McClanahan, Facility Issues


Facility managers and executives go through an annual budget cycle, in which they are often called upon to justify their operating budgets. We are often contacted by IAMFA members asking if benchmarking can be used to help in this process. Many facility managers set up their cost systems so that they can benchmark their performance on an annual basis, and be prepared for this question. But what about facility managers who are new to the budget-justification process and aren’t yet set up to benchmark?

Benchmarking your performance involves:

  • Input of your data in the IAMFA benchmarking survey
  • Establishing a peer group if you want to narrow the comparison
  • Utilizing key output reports
  • Showing your results

This process will require a few hours of your time, since you'll need to decide what data to input. But it is time well spent because, once the data is input, you'll easily be able to see your building’s performance. For example:

  • If costs are high, relative to your comparison group, then you can develop action strategies to bring costs down.
  • If costs are low, you can use the benchmarking information to justify additional budget requests.
  • If you are in the middle range, you can demonstrate that your budget is about right.

No matter what the performance, you're now in a position to defend the operating budget you are requesting.

What FM professionals are really doing is using the data from the IAMFA Benchmarking Survey, which other organizations have input, to help justify their operating budgets. In a typical building, operating costs comprise more than 90% of lifecycle costs. Using benchmarking is an easy way to show the importance of the FM position in the organization, and the impact of construction decisions on operating costs over the lifecycle of the building. With good benchmarking comparisons, you can justify the operating costs needed to manage the building in the most effective way possible. If the operating budget is too low, building components will wear out early in the lifecycle, forcing premature capital expenditures. If the operating budget is too high, then funds are being wasted that could be used more productively by the organization.

Here is an example from the IAMFA Benchmarking Survey to illustrate how easy the process should be. This approach allows you obtain the key output report of total operating costs within the minimum amount of time. Total operating costs include:

  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Janitorial
  • Security
  • Grounds, parking, and paving
  • Waste and recycling

Our graph shows combined operating-cost performance from the current draft IAMFA Benchmarking survey. This allows you to see at a glance how your facility compares with other cultural institutions. Overall performance ranges from about $5.00 to $37.00 per gross square foot.


It is easy to see that some components are more significant than others on the graph. Higher variations in utilities, security, and maintenance are quite apparent. The next step in the process would be to filter the results by type of institution, size of institution, or similar ranges in visitor count.

Once youunderstand which components are the significant contributors to your institution’s performance, youcan develop an action plan to deal with components that are low or high. In any event, youare in a much better position to proactively manage the budget questions that inevitably surface during the budget cycle, than we were prior to the benchmarking initiative.


Keith McClanahan is Principle with Facility Issues Inc., and is the coordinator of IAMFA’s Annual Benchmarking Exercise.


A Gallon of Water Weighs 8.34 Pounds

By Jay Yelen


“A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds . . .” That was the fact that sounded in my head as I peered down from the roof hatch of our storage facility. The roof itself resembled an infinity pool (only with skylights and chimneys) as I climbed over the top lip and dipped my feet into the water. I now would be adding another 194 lbs. to the weight load. “If a gallon takes up 231 cubic inches, which is 3 x 7 x 11 inches, how many gallons—at 8.34 lbs. each—are actually up here?”

That thought made me cringe as I walked toward where the roof drains were supposed to be, in the now-calm summer evening after the thunderstorm that had just come pounding through. I should have cleared the roof drains earlier this year. It was cottonwood season again, combined with old leaves and other debris—forming a sludge that seems to work perfectly at holding back thousands of gallons of water.

Beneath me was over a twenty-foot fall onto various artifacts, in different types of storage. Inside, there were only puddles around the areas where the skylights could not retain the water. My Chief of Security had called me over because something didn’t feel right when he first walked into our storage facility. He could hear the roof creaking, and couldn’t hear the water drains swirling as they normally did after a storm like we’d just had. It is in his nature, after every significant storm, to immediately check on the storage warehouse we bought in 2008. He has learned to do so from experience.

The storage site is a 100,000-square-foot warehouse that has a main area of 80,000 square feet, and an attached area of 20,000 square feet that was probably added in the 1960s, shortly after the original owner felt the need to expand. The bulk of our artifact storage is in the smaller 20,000-square-foot area, as we’d had plans to build large shelving units in the larger part before running out of money, steam and time. This would be considered par for the course with any small museum. As with most small museums, we have an abundance of artifacts. We actually have so many items, that we have two offsite storage places that had previous lives as other types of buildings. This one, in particular, used to be a print shop.

The building once had massive presses that took monster electrical loads. The building is constructed from concrete cinder block and faced with exterior brick. It has a concrete floor with inset steel risers attached to the steel-braced gypsum roof system. There are separate ceiling furnaces, and scattered air-conditioning units. For the most part, it is one single level. Some might find the odor of ink and roller-wash off-putting. Having been the son of a printer, I always felt like I was back in the basement of my childhood home.

As I looked over the now-still water, I could see the reflection of the setting sun. The sky had an orangey haze, with purple billowing clouds that were now moving off to the east. It was quite a beautiful sight, and one that I would not commonly imagine while being on a roof in the evening hours of a weeknight, only minutes from my own home. The water was cool, but not cold—as my shoes filled and wicked up my socks. In spite of the conditions, and an overwhelming feeling of the insurmountable challenge of calculating the weight of the water, the scene was calming. It was sort of like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t yin-yang thing. That, coupled with the sunset gave it the most tranquil feeling.

I soon got on my hands and knees to distribute my weight, while cursing the extra pieces of pizza I had shoveled into my pie-hole before I’d gotten there. This would prove quite painful, due to the aggregate stone against my knees and palms. The roof is constructed of thick pieces of drywall-type material, with a tarpaper placed on top of it before tar is poured and aggregate stone scattered. I believe it is called “Coal-Tar-Pitch”.

I had picked a bad day to wear shorts. Even with gloves on, I felt the stones in the water scrape my palms. I continued for what seemed like hours to find the first roof drain. I figured that, if the water was getting deeper, I was on the right path since the drains were commonly at the lowest point. I actually kicked the first drain when I almost walked past it. I pulled the slime from around it, and began to hear the familiar siphon of water return. I cradled an armful of the crud until enough water had drained for me to stand up with it, so that I could walk back to the roof’s edge. As I did, one of my gloves got sucked into the grate, but I was able to reclaim that as well.

I repeated this process about seven more times, until my infinity pool was nothing more than a bunch of little puddles on a flat stone roof. I came back down, not able to decide if I was a hero, or just a negligent facility director, cleaning up after his own mess. Having an engineer working here full-time would be a good move. We have always been spread pretty thin, and I try not to use that as an excuse. As it stands, my chief of security works here once a week, but our other storage facility has a part-time engineer working Monday through Friday: a topic for discussion that I would raise at our next department head meeting.

When I returned inside the building, I found my chief working diligently at the business end of a clogged wet-vac. Fortunately—or unfortunately (whatever you decide)—we have had plenty of experience in cleaning and preventing artifacts from being damaged by roof leaks at this storage site. You could say we are old hats at this sort of thing. Since I have been at the Chicago History Museum (CHM), I have found myself doing largely reactionary maintenance, rather than being proactive. There just isn’t money in the budget to upgrade and improve.

Someone working part-time at this storage site would have had the duty to perform preventative maintenance on the roof, since it would be inspected once a week—according to my custom-designed program. We normally find ourselves behind the eight-ball when it comes to things like this. Some of our city’s museums are still suffering from the recession. But what happens when the nation recovers? Do we hire the people back? Do we resume our expanded budgets? I can tell you the simple answer would be “no”. But how close do we cut before we hit bone?


People visiting a museum these days expect to have more than a single viewing experience. The visitor experience must now include scan codes allowing smartphones to link to websites providing even more information and history than what is directly in front of them. It is not enough to be directly in front of it. Just like society in general, we are now looking for an advanced experience with the artifact. We have become sensory junkies that need to multitask every waking hour, or we do not feel productive.

Want proof? Stick a ten year old in front of a favorite movie from your childhood. There is a good chance he will reach for his electronic toy or tablet, while claiming that he is still watching. Technology is always advancing. It develops so quickly that we find ourselves falling behind as soon as we sign the contract to install it, since something new came out that week that is better and faster. Children come armed with tablets and smartphones, looking for ways to utilize them while also communicating with their friends as they do this. It is not enough to be here. They have to tell others while they are here. I guess this is great advertising, but who is actually listening?

When I was up on that roof, looking over the manmade lake in front of me, noticing the beautiful bruised evening sky as it bounced off the reflection of the water, my iPhone sat dormant in my pocket. I wanted to take in the natural experience, in spite of the danger around me. I do not blog or have time for social media anymore, which could be a sign that I am getting old.

It simply boggles my mind that we feel so obligated to attract youth here at the museum that we are willing to tempt them with the latest technology, rather than stabilize the environment that preserves the objects directly beneath my feet. Okay, I get it. You can’t have a museum if you don’t have people coming to see it. So how do we get them to come? Sad to say, but flashing buttons to press and different interactive ways to see the museum are the most successful for the younger generations. I concede . . .

There are grants out there for improvements, but a large portion of them are dollar-for-dollar matching grants. In other words, we have to have half the money up front. There would be a return on investment as well. With the new HVAC technology, the efficiency change alone could pay for itself in five years or less. It still takes that money up front, however, which again is what smaller museums don’t have—because we are trying to get little Timmy to come here and focus on a diorama that has no moving parts or flashing buttons. More than that, we are trying to get him to remember his visit enough to tell his parents at the end of the day. They would in turn bring the entire family, and possibly become members.

My mother was solely responsible for our cultural upbringing. She would drag us across town, from the south side of Chicago to the museums, during our winter and spring breaks—during what would be her own work vacation as well. At that time, we would visit the museums, all of which I have vivid memories of, except the Chicago History Museum or Chicago Historical Society (as it was called then).

A series of buses and an occasional train would get us onto a museum campus, or near enough to walk to some of these landmarks. It was something we did, rather than grow roots in front of the television during those weeks off. My mother was an avid bookworm. Going to a library for her was like us going to a toy store. The books and periodicals would make her eyes grow wide. Instantly upon entering, she would find a place to park us so she could sneak a peak at the card drawers to find that missing novel.


When she brought me to what is now the CHM, I must have been like the kids are today: probably looking for that button to press, like I’d done at the Museum of Science and Industry the day before. I had totally forgotten I was even here. That is, until the day I applied for this job, when I wandered into the diorama hall and happened to see the Chicago Fire diorama.

There it was: just like I remembered when Mom brought us here, now a few decades ago. In the reflection of the glass, I could see a man in his mid-forties, as well as my nine-year-old self, reluctantly holding hands with his five-year-old sister. Behind us stood Mom, telling us a story passed down from her grandmother about the fire. Some things should never change. Some never do . . . fortunately.

So this is what plays in my mind when I deal with a possible catastrophe at the museum, because I know I wasn’t the only nine-year-old learning (whether I wanted to or not) in that museum years ago. I try to block it out with geometric equations, but it manages to force itself in.

There are no real answers. It’s also a part of my job that people in larger museums don’t have. I am in the thick of it. One minute I may be buried in paperwork; the next I’ll find myself crawling across a flooded roof. This is life in a small museum. I’m also not afraid to hand a bucket to my vice-president, and tell them to start bailing. It’s this kind of diversity that makes things interesting. Even if this is the first of many museums I work for, I plan on taking this with me. I’ll take time to respect the heat as I begin to put out the fires. And the bucket I hand my vice-president will be a two-gallon size, opposed to a fiver. After all, a deuce is only 16.68 lbs of water to sling.


Jay Yelen is Director of Facilities at the Chicago History Museum, one of the hosts of IAMFA’s 25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago.

The Show Must Go On: Preserving Film While Preventing Wastewater Pollution at the Library of Congress

By Tim Minner


For rare collection and museum facilities, preserving irreplaceable materials can mean balancing meticulous archival processes with the objectives necessary to keep regular building operations running. Ensuring that these activities are done sustainably adds another challenge to the mix. At the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (Packard Campus) in Culpeper, Virginia, sustainable operations have become a key part of preserving the world’s largest collection of AV material, with more than 6.3 million films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings.

Caption:The Library of Congress’ Packard Campus is key to preserving the world’s largest collection of film, television, radio and sound recordings.


Once a high-security office and storage facility operated by the Federal Reserve, the 45-acre Packard Campus is uniquely equipped to reformat and protect audiovisual media—from early film reels to choppy and unclear obsolete media formats such as wax cylinders. The Library of Congress (the Library) is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States, with the mission of furthering the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people, while also supporting Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties.

At the Packard Campus, the Library’s restoration initiatives ensure that, even with the constant evolution of media technologies, America’s film heritage remains alive in the present. “Our basic goal is to preserve film so that the images and sounds that were captured on those original films are not just available to my great-grandchildren, but my great-grandchildren’s grandchildren as well,” said Ken Weissman, supervisor at the Film Preservation Laboratory. “We want these films available to generations in the future, so they can look back and see what was happening in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.”


Caption:Film developing/processing machines at the Packard Campus help the Library ensure that America’s film heritage remains alive in the present.

Making Film History
From hands-on copying of rare and fragile materials to a streamlined robotic digitization process, the Packard Campus assists the Library in its transition from analog to digital preservation methods for audiovisual collections. However, preserving a large, diverse and often fragile film collection means taking special measures to keep film in the best shape possible. At the Packard Campus, the Library combines a digital acquisition and preservation system with traditional photochemical film-to-film preservation, which includes film developing—a practice that restores vintage film and helps old and overlooked films find an audience today.

To make film copies, the Library begins with original—often old and deteriorating—archival film elements, which are prepped, then copied using specialized printers that reproduce images and soundtracks from the original film. The images and sound on the copies, when prepared correctly, are so close to the original film that they are almost indistinguishable. This film-developing process is central to the Library’s mission, but is industry-specific and not without environmental challenges.

Acting on New Permit Limits

In February 2009, the Town of Culpeper issued an industrial wastewater-discharge permit to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC). AOC is responsible for maintaining the Packard Campus and supporting facilities, including buildings occupied by the Library. The industrial wastewater discharge permit established threshold criteria and daily limits for a number of elements, including three major by-products of the film development operation: boron, copper and silver. AOC and the Library were now met with the challenge of continuing their important film restoration while complying with the Town of Culpeper’s rigorous industrial wastewater-discharge permit levels.

Collaborating on Compliance

From the outset, AOC established a clear goal: maintain compliance with permit limits, while minimizing the impact on film preservation efforts. To ensure that the Library could continue its mission and comply with permit limits, AOC embarked upon a campus-wide study to identify all causes of contaminant levels—within film operations and beyond. The study showed that the reverse-osmosis water-treatment system, which filters contaminants to ensure quality film development; boilers; the film-development process; and well water, all contributed to various levels of copper, boron and silver contamination in the Packard Campus’ wastewater. 

To ensure that Packard Campus wastewater was within permit limits, AOC implemented a series of wastewater-treatment strategies and process improvements for both the film laboratory and boiler system. The film-laboratory improvements focused on process-stream segregation, silver-removal technologies and additional filtration to segregate and remove contaminants from specific process streams. For the Packard Campus’ steam-boiler system, a new reverse-osmosis system (separate from the one utilized by the film laboratory) was installed to remove contaminants in the well water used by the boilers. Thanks to the high quality of water provided by the reverse-osmosis system, and this water’s associated positive effects on the boiler system, boiler wastewater generation was reduced from approximately 1,000 gallons per day to 150 gallons per day, equating to more than $146,000 in fueloil cost savings as of 2013.

In addition to these adjustments, AOC also worked closely with the pre-treatment coordinator and wastewater plant manager at the Town of Culpeper. Through collaboration and transparency, threshold levels were established that would meet the Town’s environmental compliance goals, while allowing the Library to continue its operations. The work paid off.


Caption:Tim Minner, AOC, (left) accepts the Gold Environmental Excellence Award for Industrial Waste and Pretreatment award from the VWEA.


Turning Silver Into Gold

AOC’s collaboration with both the Town of Culpeper and the Library reduced discharge rates, staying within permit limits for boron, copper and silver. In recognition of these efforts, AOC received the Gold Environmental Excellence Award for Industrial Waste and Pretreatment from the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA). The staff at the Town of Culpeper Wastewater Pollution Control Facility nominated the Packard Campus for this award, which honors demonstrated dedication to pollution prevention, waste elimination or reduction, and one year of permit compliance with pretreatment permit conditions.

The award is a testament to collaborative efforts between AOC, the Library, and the Town of Culpeper, but sustainable film development at the Packard Campus is far from a wrap. The Library intends to continue its sustainability efforts, including silver recovery, as long as its film-preservation efforts continue—which Weissman said will be “as long as new motion-picture film stock is being made.” For other facilities housing film laboratories or other rare collections, the Library’s work to reduce wastewater pollution serves as an example of how facility-specific sustainability strategies can ensure environmental compliance. When it comes to preserving film history, the show must go on.


Tim Minner is the Facility Manager for the Architect of the Capitol at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation.


Sustainable Energy Reduction from Relaxed Environmental Criteria

in Five Canadian Cities

By William P. Lull


This American Institute for Conservation 2015 Poster Paper was originally presented on June 8 at the Canadian Association for Conservation Annual Meeting in Quebec City.


Recent economics have led to challenges in meeting operating costs for collecting institutions. This has spurred interest reducing annual operating costs by reducing energy use. This paper presents the potential energy savings from relaxed criteria for five Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary. The savings are based on a block-load analysis in a hypothetical building meeting ASHRAE Standard 90.1 for the building envelope, and ASHRAE Standard 62.1 for outside air. The variation between the five cities is due to climate, which is evaluated using a bin analysis of published weather data.

The relaxed internal building criteria considered are:

  1. 15–26˚C at 40–60% RH against 20–22˚C at 45–55% RH for museum collections; and
  2. 15–26˚C at 30–60% RH against 15˚C at 30–35% RH for archival paper collections.

Three types of collections space are analyzed for savings: a) museum gallery/collections use spaces; b) museum collections storage; and c) archival paper storage. For the archival paper storage, estimates are also made for the preservation impact from relaxed criteria, using the Image Permanence Institute's Preservation Index (PI).

Climate is the primary variable for the comparison, with a heating/cooling-humidification/dehumidification loads rationale presented to support this comparison.  Hypothetical building occupancy/use is the same between the five locations. Energy rates are the same, and are presented in a form to allow the reader to easily convert to actual rates at the institution, with an example provided. In making the comparison, in addition to energy use, each location is evaluated for its global carbon-dioxide emissions for the energy used.


The recent economic downturn has compounded a long-term rise in utility rates and drawdown of global energy resources, leading to challenges in meeting operating costs for collecting institutions. This has spurred interest in finding ways of reducing annual operating costs by reducing energy use. Many different sets of alternative criteria have been proposed, including the January 2013 American Institute for Conservation-Association of Art Museum Directors (AIC-AAMD) guidelines for loans, and discussions of similar issues on the American Institute for Conservation website.

Proposed Relaxed Criteria. These proposed guidelines for relaxed criteria can be approximated and summarized as outlined below.

For museum collections:

15–26˚C at 40–60% RH, against 20–22˚C at 45–55% RH

(60–78˚F at 40–60% RH, against 68–72˚F at 45–55% RH)

 For archival paper collections:

 15–26˚C at 30–60% RH, against 15˚C at 30–35% RH

 (60–78˚F at 30–60% RH, against 60˚F at 30–35% RH)

Standard Criteria.  The standard museum environmental criteria for comparison are those typical for display and storage— either for typical museum collections, or required for typical loan agreements. 

The standard archival storage criteria for comparison are those readily identified for practical long-term paper storage by Don Sebera’s Isoperms (, as also documented by the Image Permanence Institute (, and as used in most of the new state archives facilities built in the US over the past 15 years (Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina), as well as the Bermuda Archives. Isoperms and the IPI publications are collections-environment management tools that make it possible to predict the effect of various temperature and humidity conditions on the life of collections. In the case of the US state archives, these tools were used to value the benefit of storage in cooler and drier conditions.

Estimating Energy Savings from Relaxed Criteria 

It is possible to estimate energy savings for use of the relaxed criteria with a block load analysis. This uses the typical large loads that drive energy use, and are affected by a change in environmental set points. The two main loads affected are the building envelope (walls, windows, roof), and the outside air drawn into the building by the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.

Building Envelope. For the building envelope, the overall conductivity, or U-value, is usually set by ASHRAE Standard 90.1 (, which is commonly used in energy codes as a minimum requirement. When the interior set point for temperature is changed, it will affect the amount of heat lost and gained through the building envelope over a year, depending on the annual range of ambient temperature for a given location.

Outside Air.  For the outside air, the amount required in a building is usually set by ASHRAE Standard 60.1, which is similarly used as a code-required minimum amount for occupied spaces. When the interior set point for temperature is changed, it will affect the amount of heating and cooling required to condition that air over a year, depending on the annual range of ambient temperature for a given location. In addition, the interior humidity set point will affect the amount of humidification and dehumidification required to condition that air over a year, depending on the annual range of ambient humidity for a given location. 

Climate Data.  The annual temperature and humidity conditions for a given location can be determined using various references and climate-analysis tools. 

 These are used to derive sets of climate data “bins”: sets of conditions that occur, and the number of hours each occurs. These bins can then be simplified to time-weighted conditions for any selected interior set point. These time-weighted conditions (Degree-Hours for temperature, Humidity-Ratio-Hours for humidification, and Ethalpy-Hours for cooling and dehumidification of air) can be analyzed for their block load, using the difference between the conditions at standard and relaxed criteria.

Envelope Load

Winter Heating: BTU/Year = (Degree Hours at 68˚F – Degree Hours at 60˚F) x U-value 

Summer Cooling: BTU/Year = (Degree Hours at 72˚F – Degree Hours at 78˚F) x U-value

Outside Air Load

Winter Heating: BTU/Year = (Degree Hours at 68˚F – Degree Hours at 60˚F) x CFM x 1.08

Winter Humidification: BTU/Year = (HR Hours at 68˚/50% RH – HR Hours at 60˚F/40% RH) x CFM x 0.643

Summer Cooling & Dehumidification: BTU/Year = (Enthalpy Hrs at 72˚F/50% RH – Enthalpy Hrs at 78˚F/60% RH) x CFM x 31.342

Dehumidification Reheat: BTU/Year = Latent Enthalpy Hrs Difference – Occupied Hours Internal Gain

These loads can be converted to an estimated energy utility use by these equations and typical system efficiencies:

For heating:

  • BTU/Year (Load)
  • BTU/Year (Source)  =    -------------------------
    • Boiler Efficiency (%)


  • For cooling:
    • Load (BTU)
  • KWH  =             ----------------------------   x  kW/Ton for cooling
    • 12,000 BTU/Ton-Hour
  • Utility energy rates can then be applied to arrive at savings in annual energy use from the difference in the annual block loads in dollars. 
    • BTU/Year(Source)
  • Annual $ Heating   =     --------------------------   x  $/Therm
    • 100,000 BTU/Therm
  • Annual $ Cooling   =    KWH   x   $/KWH



  • For this analysis, the following hypothetical energy rates are used for all locations to allow cross-comparisons:
  • $0.10/kWH
  • $1.00/Therm
  • Using these equations and the local climate data for Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Calgary, the effect of relaxed interior conditions — changed interior set points — can be estimated. Climate is the operative variable for the comparison, with other factors (building construction, systems, utility rates) held constant.
  • Hypothetical Building.To consider the effects of relaxed criteria, a hypothetical building must be considered to have the area and air-volume factors to use in the equations. For this analysis, a building 100 feet by 100 feet and 10 feet tall, 10,000 gross square feet in area (30.5m x 30.5m x 3m, 929 gross square meters) is considered. Further, this building might be any one of three types: a) museum gallery/collections use space; b) museum collections storage; and c) archival paper storage. Hypothetical building occupancy/use is the same between the five cities for this analysis.
  • Such a building then has these conditions and requirements:
  • 10,000 CFM of Supply Air Fan @ 3 inches total pressure
  • Building Envelope to ASHRAE Standard 90.1
  • 100' x 100' x 10' space = 4,000 ft2 walls, 10,000 ft2 roof,
  • ASHRAE 90.1-2007 U-values: 0.09 walls, 0.048 roof
  • Combined U-value for Envelope = 0.060
  • Outside Air to ASHRAE Standard 62.1
  • Gallery/Collections Use spaces:

o   0.060 CFM/ft2, 7.5 CFM/person, 40 ft2/person = 2,475 CFM

  • Storage spaces:

o   0.060 CFM/ft2, 7.5 CFM/person, 2 people = 1,215 CFM

  • Occupied Internal Gain (Lights + Equipment)
  • Gallery/Collections Use spaces: 3 watts/ft2
  • Storage spaces: 1 watt/ft2
  • No System Effects/Loads Only (i.e., maximum savings for changes)
  • Occupied 10 hours/day (2 hours in storage), 7 days/week, 51 weeks/year
  • (3,570 hours/year), but 24 hour-365 day control


Energy Cost Savings from Relaxed Criteria

The following three tables—one for each building type—summarize the annual energy cost savings estimates for the five cities cited in the hypothetical building:

Table 1.1.: Energy Cost Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Gallery/Collections Use Space

Table 1.2.: Energy Cost Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Museum Storage Space

Table 1.3.: Energy Cost Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Archival Paper Storage Space

Permanence Impact of Relaxed Criteria.For archival paper storage, the preservation impact from relaxed criteria can be made using the Image Permanence Institute's Preservation Index (PI):

    60˚F/35% RH = 110 PI

    60–78˚F/35–60% RH = (16 to 110 PI range) 63 PI

    Changed permanence ratio (63/110) is 57%

If collections were going to last 500 years, changed conditions reduce life to 286 years, or n additional loss of 0.15% per year.

Consider the value at risk in typical archival storage of books on compact shelving:

    Compact Stacks @ 30 volumes/square foot

        Presume cost to reformat is $130/volume

        = $3,900 per square foot at risk

This leads to an additional loss of:

       0.15%  x  $3,900 per year =  $5.82/ft2/year

Compare this to total energy savings per square foot/year. The institution should decide if the energy savings are a good idea.

Converting Costs To Local Energy Rates.Energy-use rates vary not only by location, but also by utility schedules for customer types. To allow a direct comparison, the previous cost comparisons all use the same rates: $0.10/kWh, and $1/Therm. The actual rates an institution will pay will vary from these, and the savings can be adjusted for actual rates.

For example, if the actual rate an institution in Montreal pays is $0.09/kWh and $0.60/Therm, their hypothetical gallery building energy savings from Table 1.1 would be calculated as follows:


Heating/ft2by natural is $0.60/Therm:

    46,000 BTU divided by 100,000 BTU/Therm =  .46 Therm


    0.46 Therm x $0.60/Therm = $0.28/SF

Cooling/ft2 by electric power is $0.90/KWH:

    0.52 kWH  x  $0.09/KWH  =  $0.05/ft2

Cost Savings/ft2 is then:   $0.28  +  $0.05  =  $0.33/ft2

Global Climate Sustainability for Carbon Dioxide Emissions 

The following three tables, one for each building type, show the carbon-dioxide emission savings associated with the energy cost savings from the same relaxed criteria.

Table 2.1.: Carbon Dioxide Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Gallery/Collections Use Space

Table 2.2.: Carbon Dioxide Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Museum Storage Space

Table 2.3.: Carbon Dioxide Savings From Relaxed Criteria in Archival Paper Storage Space


Relaxed criteria clearly provide energy and operating-cost savings, as well as reduced carbon-dioxide emissions. The institution must decide if collections are put at risk from the relaxed criteria. For archival paper storage, this may not be a good economic choice, depending on the collections stored and the cost to reformat to recover from environmental deterioration over time.


William P. Lull is President of Garrison/Lull Inc.  and is a senior conservation environmental consultant, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Building Technology at New York University.  William can be reached at


The Field Museum Achieves LEED-EB O+M Gold Certification


Caption for first photo:South Entrance of the Field Museum.


In Spring 2015, the Field Museum announced that the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Museum Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EB O+M). The Chicago-based nonprofit, Delta Institute, assisted The Field in earning this certification. 

The Field Museum has been practicing sustainable building operations for over 20 years, pursuing energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, green cleaning and purchasing initiatives as a part of its normal operations.

After achieving LEED Interior Design and Construction Certification for the 3D Theatre and the Abbot Hall of Conservation, Museum leadership reviewed the possibility of LEED certification for the building as a whole. The Museum hired Delta Institute, which has had years of experience certifying difficult buildings, to look at the Museum's operations and feasibility for LEED.


Delta worked with Cook County to secure $25,000 in funding to undertake a gap analysis and a full lighting audit at the Museum, and engaged the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center at the University of Illinois to perform an ASHRAE Level III energy audit at no cost to the Museum. Through the gap analysis, we discovered that certification was likely possible, and provided a Credit Interpretation Request to suggest an alternative approach for the energy-benchmarking prerequisite, which was approved.

The Delta and Field team conducted a number of additional operations audits, and immediately began implementing projects to improve operations and reduce costs. In April 2014, the Museum began its performance period, which finished at the end of June. In August, the Museum submitted for first review, and provided clarifications for the second review in December. The team provided final clarifications in February and March 2015, and received Gold certification shortly after.

The Field Museum is one of the world’s largest natural history museums, and one of only five American museums to have earned LEED-EB O+M Gold certification. It is believed that The Field is also the oldest museum building to achieve LEED, demonstrating The Field’s ongoing commitment to improving sustainability locally and internationally.

The achievement advances the Museum’s long-term goals of increasing onsite generation of renewable energy, while driving down overall energy use. Much of the work over the past two years centered on assessing indoor air quality for both exhibition spaces and sensitive artifact storage, improving energy and water tracking, upgrading lighting and controls, and reviewing landscaping and onsite renewable energy.

“The Field Museum has long held sustainability as core to our mission and culture, so achieving LEED certification was a priority for us,” says Richard Lariviere, Field President and CEO. “We made huge strides over the past two years, and are proud to share the results with our visitors.” 

Delta Institute assisted The Field Museum in gaining its LEED certification. “We are proud to have helped The Field Museum reach this milestone,” said Jean Pogge, CEO of Delta Institute. “While the age, unique infrastructure, and sheer size of the building presented a number of challenges, it’s exciting to see The Field establish itself as a sustainability leader among museums worldwide.”

Originally established in 1893 as part of the World’s Columbian Exposition, The Field Museum reopened in its current location in 1921. Since that time, many additions and changes have been made to the Museum’s footprint, and it now occupies over 1.3 million square feet of space on its ground, main, and upper levels.

Delta Institute began working with The Field Museum in 2013 on comprehensive sustainability improvements, beginning with assessments of the building’s energy and waste infrastructure and operations protocol. Certification of The Field Museum was based on a range of effective activities implemented over the last two years:


  • Energy-efficient lighting: Given that the Museum has more than 450,000 square feet of exhibit space, lighting presented a unique challenge. A comprehensive lighting audit identified almost 20,000 fixtures in the Museum. Approximately 30% of the 6,700 fixtures that have inefficient incandescent bulbs have been replaced with LED lights that are five times more efficient and last for several years. The Museum has a goal of replacing 100% of its exhibit and spot lighting with LED fixtures.


Caption: Stanley Field Hall.


  • Green landscaping: The Museum has begun to implement a complete landscaping redesign on its three-acre property that prioritizes biodiversity and native species, including green infrastructure strategies to mitigate stormwater, and provide educational opportunities for visitors.


  • Renewable energy: The Museum currently offsets 100% of its electricity and natural gas use with Green-E certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and carbon offsets, and is pursuing expansion of a rooftop solar array that currently doubles electrical capacity to over 318 kilowatts. The added renewable energy, coupled with continued efficiency projects, will help the Museum pursue a goal of reducing its carbon footprint as much as possible as technology develops.


  • Sustainability education: The Museum will be unveiling a new educational exhibition for museum-goers to communicate its green building and conservation efforts. The exhibit will be available online in 2015.


  • Waste reduction: The Museum has made strides in expanding its waste-reduction efforts, offering composting in both museum restaurants: the Field Bistro and the Explorer Café. This includes composting of food waste and compostable containers and flatware, increasing the diversion of consumable waste within the Museum by 15% within the first 6 months. This diversion rate increases monthly, and is currently at 34%. The Museum has a goal of a 50% consumable diversion rate, and continues to look for ways to improve.


  • Water efficiency: The Museum uses a great deal of water, equivalent to approximately 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year. One-third of this water is evaporated from the cooling towers to keep the building interior comfortable in the summer; the Museum uses the remaining water for lavatory fixtures, cleaning, and landscaping. The Museum has increased the efficiency of its fixtures, reducing water use to 33% below what is required under the Universal Plumbing Code. Additionally, the Museum waters its turf only during drought periods, and is looking to eliminate this need with natural landscaping in the near future. The Museum’s goal is to reduce water use by 1/3 over the next 10 years through efficiency and landscaping projects.


The Field’s recent LEED-EB O+M certification builds upon past sustainability efforts, and the team continues to look for ways to improve in the future.



Anacostia Community Museum LEED-EB Certified

By Kathleen Fleming


The Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) is the second Smithsonian Institution (SI) museum to receive LEED-EB certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. 

The Anacostia Community Museum, located at 1905 Fort Street in Washington, D.C. received its official approval for certification on February 23, 2015. The Museum was awarded “Silver” certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), for its achievements in energy savings, water efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainable sites.

The Museum was founded on September 15, 1967, and moved to its current site in 1987. ACM has been a leader in providing myriad formal programs, including exhibitions, research, tours, lectures, performances, and demonstrations. It has afforded unique learning opportunities through its Museum Academy Program, which offers after-school and summer cultural enrichment activities, career-awareness days, and internship components for children in the District of Columbia.

The Museum’s mission is to challenge perceptions, broaden perspectives, generate new knowledge, and deepen understanding about the ever-changing concepts and realities of “community”, while maintaining its strong ties to Anacostia and the D.C. Metropolitan region. 

Unique to this institution is the inclusion of community perspectives in the exhibition process. The program is directed by staff historians and curators and includes, by invitation, selected guest curators who provide innovative approaches and unique interpretations. The Smithsonian Institution’s resolution to obtain LEED-EB Certification reflects its unique mission for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and aligns with the grand challenge in its current strategic plan: “sustaining a bio-diverse planet.” 

In 2012, while seeking to continue improving the Museum’s sustainability, ACM Director Camille Akeju made a commitment to pursue LEED certification. Major motivators included reducing the impact of environmental hazards on the Museum, and providing a healthier environment for staff and visitors. By Spring 2012, the Smithsonian Institution had formed a core team; engaged Indigo Engineering Group, LLC to provide supporting technical guidance; and commenced working on the necessary improvements. 

Akeju implemented multiple policies and plans designed to improve and maintain continued sustainability performance in the Museum. Certification was an all-hands-on-deck activity, which meant changing learned behavior to which staff had grown accustomed.    

Museum staff did not hesitate to embrace the changes in their daily routines. Jointly with the Office of Facilities Management and Reliability, staff began—and continue to this day—“living LEED”.  The Museum has put environmental stewardship first in all purchasing of office supplies, electronics, office furniture, cleaning and paper products, light bulbs, etc.

The Museum reduced energy use by 28%. It uses certified environmentally friendly cleaning products. LEED-EB certification includes both prerequisites and credits. Achieving all prerequisites in any given LEED certification is mandatory and, to ACM’s credit, the Museum was awarded all nine prerequisites. 

Credit categories measure the overall performance of a building by awarding points for achievements in each area. The Museum was evaluated on the following seven LEED categories: Sustainable Sites (SS),Water Efficiency (WE), Energy and Atmosphere (EA), Materials and Resources (MR), Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), Innovation in Design (ID) and Regional Priority (RP). The Museum received points in each category, including exemplary performance in the following areas: reducing water usage 44.49% below the LEED-EBOM baseline; sustainable ongoing consumable purchases; training of maintenance personnel; use of environmentally preferred chemical concentrates; use of sustainable cleaning materials; use of sustainable hard floor and carpet care products; and use of sustainable cleaning equipment.

The Museum is committed to community development and growth through historical knowledge—and what better way to reach out to its neighbors than through environmental stewardship? The Museum’s LEED-EB certification indicates its dedication to improving the overall community environment.

The Museum was awarded 12 points in Sustainable Sites (SS),based on its location and use of the entire property, and minimizing the Museum’s impact on the site. It was awarded 7 points in Water Efficiency (WE) for itswater-efficient practices, both indoors and outdoors. It was awarded 12 points in Energy and Atmosphere (EA) energy efficiency, particularly in relation to the building envelope and heating and cooling design, with a 28% reduction in energy consumption. It was awarded 7 points in Materials and Resources (MR) for efficient utilization of materials, selection of environmentally preferable materials, and minimization of waste during construction.

It was also given 10 points in Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) for improvement of indoor air quality by reducing the creation of, and exposure to pollutants. It received all 6 points in Innovation in Design (ID), 3 of which were for exemplary performance. And, finally, in the Regional Priority (RP) category— which measures achievement in relation to geographically specific environmental priorities identified by the USGBC Regional Councils and Chapters as having additional regional environmental importance—it received 2 points.

With a total of 56 points, including exemplary performance in a number of areas, the Anacostia Community Museum is proud of the ongoing staff efforts that led to its “Silver” LEED-EB certification.


Caption:  The Anacostia Community Museum.


Caption:  The Museum’s state-of-the-art office area.


Kathleen Fleming is the Suitland Zone Facilities Manager at the Smithsonian Institution and is responsible for Maintenance and Operations functions at the Anacostia Community Museum, the Museum Support Center, Paul E. Garber Facility, the Smithsonian Green House and the NMAI-Cultural Resources Center.


Peterborough Museum & Archives: Facility Renewal Project

By Susan Neale


The Peterborough Museum & Archives is a multi-faceted cultural institution serving the residents of Peterborough, Ontario and the surrounding regions (Figure 1). 


[Insert Image #1]

Caption: Figure 1: Peterborough Museum & Archives, Ashburnham Memorial Park, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

As an integral part of the community’s collective memory, the Peterborough Museum & Archives (the Museum) preserves, presents and promotes the heritage and culture of Peterborough, and provides other significant heritage programs for the education and enjoyment of visitors and residents alike. It houses one of the oldest community museum collections in Ontario, and has been acquiring objects since June 22, 1897. The current facility was built as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967.

The Museum’s collections currently comprise over 46,500 artifacts, representing Peterborough’s material culture, as well as its natural and archaeological heritage. The Archives comprise more than 2,000 different fondsof documentary materials, such as public records, private documents and works on various supports (maps, plans, rare books, photographic negatives and prints). 

In 2010, the Museum undertook a major facelift of its public spaces (lobby, entrance and galleries). The positive impact was instantly recognized by the public, and visitation has steadily increased. Despite these transformative improvements, however, museological advancement required healthier collection storage (Figures 2 and 3).

[Insert Image #2]

Caption: Figure 2: Pre-Renovation artifact storage in the lower level of the Peterborough Museum & Archives, 2013.


[Insert Image #3]

Caption: Figure 3: Pre-Renovation archival storage in the lower level of the Peterborough Museum & Archives, 2013.


Museum Renewal Project

January 2012, Peterborough’s City Council approved, in concept, the lease of an offsite collection storage facility and a main building renovation as a cost-effective alternative to a building expansion program. The use of offsite storage—rather than expanding a facility’s existing footprint—has become an increasingly practical solution for museums.  To read more about the original plans for the Peterborough Museum & Archives Facility Renewal Project (2004–2014), please see the Winter 2012–2013 issue of Papyrus (pages 50–52). 

In December 2012, City Council reconsidered the model of rental versus ownership, and approved the construction of a stand-alone onsite collection storage facility (Figure 4), as well as the renovation of the existing building (Figure 5).


[Insert Image #4]

Caption: Figure 4: Floor plan of the new Curatorial Centre, Peterborough Museum & Archives—– Lett Architects Inc., 2013.


[Insert Image #4]

Caption: Figure 5: Floor Plan of the Lower Level renovations, Peterborough Museum & Archives—Lett Architects Inc., 2013.


The Museum Renewal Project total budget of $3,343,200 CDN included:

• construction of a 9,000-square-foot dedicated storage building;

• renovation of 3,000 square feet of the main building’s lower level;

• purchase and installation of custom collection storage systems; and

• relocation of the Museum's artifact and archival collections.

The Museum Renewal Project delivered exemplary storage facilities with new mechanical systems, “smart” lighting, fire-suppression systems, storage solutions, security, programming and work spaces—all of which contribute to the long-term preservation of Peterborough’s artifact and archival collections (Figures 6 to 11). Full and safe access to collections offers fresh research and exhibition opportunities, and demonstrates best practices for Fleming College’s heritage professionals-in- training.


[Insert Image #6]

Caption: Figure 6: New Multi-Purpose Room on the lower level of the Peterborough Museum & Archives, 2014.


[Insert Image #7]

Caption: Figure 7: New interpretive collection exhibitions on the lower level of the Peterborough Museum & Archives.


[Insert Image #8]

Caption: Figure 8: New archives storage in the lower level of the Peterborough Museum & Archives.


[Insert Image #9]

Caption: Figure 9: New Curatorial Centre (exterior), Peterborough Museum & Archives.


[Image #10 DELETED]


[Insert Image #11]

Caption: Figure 10: New Curatorial Centre (interior view west), Peterborough Museum & Archives, 2015.


As the Peterborough Museum & Archives approaches its 120th anniversary, its facilities now match the scope and significance of its collections, as well as the key role it plays within the community. For more information, please visit


Susan Neale (HBSc, MA, BEd, OCT) is Director of the Peterborough Museum & Archives, and has worked across Canada in the heritage field for over 25 years. She is a Research Associate with Trent University, regularly contributing to the Graduate Studies program in Anthropology. Susan has taught courses in Fleming College’s Arts & Heritage programs and is an active member of the museum community.


Putting Theory into Practice: Sustaining Collections and Saving Energy at the Winterthur Museum

By Lois Olcott Price and John Castle


The Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is located in the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley, just north of Wilmington, Delaware. It was originally the family home of Henry Francis DuPont, a renowned collector of American art and the decorative arts, a horticulturist known for extraordinary naturalistic gardens, and a dairyman who built bloodlines that still influence American milk production.
Winterthur opened as a public institution in 1951. Its 1,000-acre campus includes 118 structures, ten miles of paved roads, dedicated water and sewer systems, and extensive collections that require a specialized preservation environment. This means complex control and sustainability challenges for Winterthur’s Facilities Director John Castle and his staff. 


Insert image Winterthur 1

Caption:  Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.


The core museum complex consists of three interconnected buildings, constructed primarily during the 20th century. The two public exhibition buildings are the Galleries, with 35,000 square feet of display space, and the Museum, containing 175 rooms with approximately 85,000 objects, and valuable architectural features. The third facility in the core complex is the Research Building, which houses the Winterthur Library, as well as extensive conservation, research, and education facilities.

The Winterthur collection spans more than two centuries of American decorative arts, and contains some of the most important pieces of American furniture and fine art in existence. These include a set of six matching tankards made by Paul Revere, the standing portrait of George Washington at Verplank Point by John Trumbull, and the finest high-style American Chippendale furniture. The independent research library contains more than 90,000 volumes and over a million manuscripts and images related to American history, technology, decorative arts, and architecture.

Collections like these require a stable environment that controls temperature and relative humidity within fairly narrow parameters. Unfortunately, the complex physical plant, and inadequate monitoring and control systems, challenged the system’s ability to provide adequate environmental control. It also required massive amounts of energy, straining the institutional budget and giving Winterthur a significant carbon footprint.

The mechanical infrastructure includes a central steam plant, two central chilled-water plants, multiple high- and low-pressure AHUs, hundreds of induction units, multiple fan coils and multiple pumps. These systems are all tied together through a network of false walls, pipe chases, tunnels and hidden mechanical alcoves—previously controlled by three obsolete pneumatic control systems that could not communicate with one another. It is a complex system to which many undocumented and often counterproductive changes and adjustments have been made over the decades.


In early 2012, John Castle initiated a comprehensive audit of the HVAC system, contracting with Limbach Engineering & Design Services, which already provided back-end maintenance services for the systems, and were familiar with the issues. In May, he shared the detailed report with Lois Olcottt Price, Director of Conservation, who is also an advocate for a more stable and sustainable collection environment.

The recommended mechanical upgrades were fairly straightforward, ranging from boiler-burner and air-handler control upgrades to variable-frequency-drive installation. The monitoring and system control issues, however, required radically new thinking.

Winterthur had undertaken several efforts over the past decade to develop energy-saving protocols, but was consistently frustrated by the inability of monitoring systems to provide reliable real-time environmental information that would ensure collection safety while conserving energy. The heart of the recommendations, therefore, was installation of a unified web-based system that monitored and controlled every fan, valve, motor, damper, air handler, boiler, and chiller in the system. This would allow monitoring and adjustment of the entire mechanical system, from anywhere, and using any device with Internet access.

Although reasonably confident in Limbach’s findings and recommendations, Winterthur enlisted James Reilly of the Rochester, N.Y.-based Image Permanence Institute (IPI), and Peter Herzog of Herzog/Wheeler & Associates from St. Paul, Minnesota to review the proposal and meet with Limbach and Facilities and Conservation staff.  Reilly, often partnering with Herzog, has become the leading consultant for cultural heritage institutions working on energy/sustainability projects.

Research at IPI has led to a much better understanding of the environmental needs and tolerances of collection materials. They have also explored the ability of structures, under favorable weather conditions, to buffer the environment without the intervention of HVAC systems, and have developed tools, such as e-Climate Notebook, that help quantify the response of objects to different conditions—balancing that response with reduced energy consumption that does not compromise collection preservation.

Reilly and Herzog raised some useful questions and made a game-changing suggestion: the creation of an interface that would automatically populate e-Climate with data gathered by the web-based control system. Incorporating ease-of-use, powerful data analysis, and extensive data management features, the web-based e-Climate Notebook was developed specifically for cultural heritage institutions, and allows collection and facility managers to assess the response of objects to different environmental conditions.

The program assesses the risk of natural aging (oxidation), corrosion, mold, and mechanical damage (caused by large fluctuations in relative humidity). An analytical tool incorporated in the program predicts the risk associated with various combinations of temperature, relative humidity and dew point, to inform cost-benefit decisions. Data has traditionally been entered into e-Climate from data-loggers downloaded at regular intervals, but an interface would allow collection managers to see real-time conditions in collection areas, and immediately assess risks and benefits from changes in control settings.

Thus began several months of intensive preparation to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) program for Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections. The grant would fund a significant part of the control upgrades, along with the ongoing monitoring and system refinement that ultimately would develop protocols and procedures useful to other cultural institutions. In September 2012, Winterthur received a grant of $350,000 from NEH. The success of the grant application was the result of open and intensive collaboration between Winterthur’s Facilities and Conservation Departments, and Limbach, coupled with input from credible and respected consultants.

Under the leadership of John Castle and Lois Olcott Price, and working with Limbach’s talented and innovative staff, Winterthur has implemented 33 facilities improvement measures (FIM) over the past two years. These have helped Winterthur reduce energy consumption by 20%, while stabilizing and often improving the environment in collection spaces. 

With volatile weather and energy costs, a payback period is difficult to predict, but the project has exceeded initial estimates. These FIMs changed the internal environment, upgraded infrastructure, reduced energy consumption, instituted effective real-time system monitoring, and gave both facilities staff and conservators the tools to track and understand what is happening in their unique museum.

In addition to the web-based control system, the most significant FIMs include:

  • Mapping the entire mechanical system to identify problem areas and anomalies.
  • Increasing the number of sensors in the 175 Museum rooms from 29 to 78.
  • Repairing return dampers on two major air handlers, to reduce outside air and restore balance.
  • Replacing boiler burner controls to allow a 1:10 turn-down ratio, replacing the 1:3 controls, and installing a VFD.
  • Installing VFDs on all air handlers, and soft starts to accommodate energy cycling.

While these upgrades are critical, the most significant change has been in the assumptions that govern control of the HVAC system. For many decades, cultural institutions demanded flat-line energy control at 70˚F (21˚C), and 50% RH, with very tight tolerances. Winterthur’s system was designed and run to meet those standards, meaning that all components—chillers, air handlers, and boilers—functioned at near 100% capacity much of the time, and controls were set to the worst-case scenario and then left.   For example, reheats were set at 82˚F (28˚C) winter and summer, requiring induction units that adjusted the air temperature in each room, in order to overcome a large temperature differential and cool the spaces in the summer. Reheats are now programmed to coordinate with both the supply air and outside temperature, providing more nuanced control and significant energy savings.

Proof of the conservation program’s results can be seen in the numbers. From 2012 to 2014, the number of degree days (temperatures above and below 60˚F (16˚C) that called for heating and cooling) rose from about 5,050 to about 5,750. However, Winterthur’s average gas consumption fell from 750,000 to 600,000 cubic feet, and its average monthly electrical usage fell from about 750,000 kWh to about 600,000. Ultimately, the average monthly utility bill dropped from $105,000 to under $80,000.

With mechanical upgrades nearly complete, and a vastly improved monitoring and control system, Winterthur is now positioned to continue lowering its energy consumption. Energy cycling began in January 2014 to test the Museum’s buffering capacity—its ability to maintain adequate temperature and relative humidity—if the chiller and air handlers are turned off at night. The team discovered that, during winter months, buffering for this building was adequate to 25˚F (-4˚C) and, during summer months, up to 80˚F (27˚C). Similar testing continues for all seasons and buildings, taking outside temperature, RH and dew point into consideration. More nuanced control will further enhance savings: on cool, dry summer mornings, the system my come on later and the chilled water temperature may be allowed to rise a degree (10% energy savings) if the forecast is moderate.

Limbach continues to work closely with Winterthur, under a continuous commissioning agreement, to ensure that mechanical systems function at maximum efficiency, while also addressing the shrinking list of anomalies and problem areas, and tuning the control system to maximize energy savings. This program promises to keep the Facilities and Conservation teams in front of operational and control strategies, while maintaining a preservation environment for the collections, making Winterthur a leader in the Museum Energy Conservation arena.


Information about Winterthur can be found at Information about IPI is available at


Lois Olcott Price is Charles F. Hummel Director of Conservation, and John Castle is Facilities Director, at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library located in Winterthur, Delaware.

Regional Chapter Updates


Los Angeles Regional Chapter


On April 16, the Getty Center hosted a meeting of the Los Angeles Chapter of IAMFA.  IAMFA member Mike Rogers kicked off the meeting, followed with a presentation by Bob Combs, Director of Security at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Bob’s presentation included a very interesting summary of security breaches experienced at museums around the globe during the past year, followed by a discussion of security procedures in place at institutions represented by the members in attendance.

Michael Nauyok, Assistant Director of Facilities at the Getty, made a presentation on International Visitorship, including actions the Getty has taken to accommodate international visitors. These actions include translating visitor brochures into multiple languages, audioguides in different languages, and indicating languages spoken on staff badges.

Mike Rogers led a discussion on Energy Conservation and Rising Utility Costs. The Getty has reduced energy consumption by 25% over the past few years, due in part to recent changes to reduce air CFM at night, and adjusting environmental settings to 70˚F +/- 3 and RH 50 +/- 5. Members in attendance contributed details of efforts at their respective facilities to cope with higher utility costs, and their successes in reducing energy and water consumption. The meeting was well attended, with about 40 members and guests from the Southern California region.



Picture Caption:

The Getty Center in Los Angeles California on April 16, 2015. The Getty Center was host of the 2006 IAMFA Closing Gala Dinner, during the 16th Annual IAMFA Conference in Los Angeles.


IAMFA Member Joe Brennan does it again!

As laughter echoed through the halls of XianXiNan Hospital, 110 brave children smiled, played, and received love from their adoring parents. Meanwhile, our team of international volunteers was determining which life-changing surgery these kids would receive: cleft lip, palate, or both.


Caption:Joe Brennan (right), our Mission Director for Alliance for Smiles, is supportive, compassionate, calm, soft-spoken, efficient and highly effective. Every day, Joe coordinates a factory’s worth of moving parts with grace and aplomb. We salute you, Joe!

In total, more than 80 children were declared fit for surgery, the majority being male and under seven years of age.



Total Surgeries: 75

Cleft lips repaired: 51

Cleft palates repaired: 24

Total Dental Patients: 73

Extractions: 52

Composite fillings: 42

Cavity-control procedures: 48


IAMFA is so proud of you, Joe!


IAMFA UK Spring Meeting at the British Library

By Jack Plumb


Thursday morning loomed as grey as a city dawn. Rain was promised—and duly arrived. Despite the damp weather, 43 of us piled into the third-floor Writers and Scholars meeting room at the British Library. We had arrived to enjoy the spring meeting of the IAMFA UK Group. This is our annual get-together, not only to catch up with our Estates colleagues, but also to meet again with our Conservation friends.

Both groups realise that, to meet the increasingly challenging environmental and sustainability targets being set for us, neither group can succeed without the full cooperation and understanding of the other. In Europe, we have recognised this for some time now and, over the past couple of UK spring meetings, we have made these meetings a joint affair. This has benefited both parties, as hopefully we no longer see each other as names on different sides of the fence, but as recognisable friends and colleagues who are facing the same challenges. The UK meeting is therefore deliberately set up over two days, in order to include an evening of social events to give us all time to get to know one another a bit better.


The meeting kicked off with lunch, which allowed colleagues from farther afield—like those of us from Edinburgh and Liverpool—time to travel in the morning and save on overnight accommodation.

Patrick Dixon, Head of Estates and Facilities at the British Library, and our host for the two days, opened the meeting’s sessions with an introduction and welcome to the Library. Patrick began by explaining that the British Library was a Library of legal deposit under legislation dating back to 1662, which allowed it to receive everything that is published in the British Isles. One quirk of this legislation is that, when it was enacted, Ireland was part of the British Isles; nevertheless, the Library still receives a copy of everything that is published in Ireland. It should also be said that, as a legal deposit Library, Trinity College Dublin can still claim a copy of everything that is published in the UK.

Patrick went on to describe a new strategy at the Library, called Living Knowledge, which has six key components:

  • Custodianship: The Library builds, curates and preserves the UK’s national collection of published, written and digital content.
  • Research: The Library supports and stimulates research of all kinds.
  • Business: The Library helps businesses to innovate and grow.
  • Culture: The Library engages everyone with memorable cultural experiences.
  • Learning: The Library inspires young people and learners of all ages.
  • International: The Library works with partners around the world to advance knowledge and mutual understanding.

Patrick also described the British Library’s agreements with a number of major public libraries around England, allowing the collection to be accessed beyond the curtilageof the British Library (BL) estate. This is particularly useful for access to e-legal deposit material which, under current legislation, can only be accessed within the BL estate.

Patrick then focussed on the last strand of the strategy, as that involved the forthcoming development of unused land at the rear of the St Pancras site. This development was particularly exciting, as the UK Government had recently announced that the Alan Turing Institute would be located at the British Library, and that its accommodation would be included in the this development.

The next session was introduced by David Considine of Grundfos Pumps, to whom we were very grateful for sponsoring the lunch. David managed to weave a delicate path through the Eco Design Directive, which provides a timetable of compliance for the efficiency of electric motors, especially those that drive pumps—the main business of Grundfos. I say “weave a delicate path” because David was presenting to Conservators as well as Estates folk, so the explanation of VSDs (variable speed drives) and the cubed law needed to be subtly handled—a feat David managed well.

A cup of tea in the afternoon allowed us to get our breath back, and we were now ready for Richard Sharman, Group Practice Manager of International Consultants group Mott MacDonald. Richard took us through a very interesting development at the Museum sites on Kensington Road in London. The project is called the 1851 Group, and is a joint venture between all the Museums, Universities and Albert Hall.


Richard explained that the title “1851 Group” derives from the purchase of a large piece of land using profits from the Great Exhibition of 1851, to accommodate facilities that now include the Natural History Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial College, and Albert Hall. Mott MacDonald was appointed to create a master plan for the sustainable supply of energy to all of the sites in the group.

The master plan came up with a number of options, starting from the least expensive, to the most costly:

  • No cost/low cost—behavioural change for all users of the sites
  • Demand reduction—difficult to deliver
  • AETS (Aqua Thermal Energy Storage)— costly and technically challenging
  • Holistic—includes all of the above, on the basis that this might be the only real option, as success usually depends on many small wins making a significant big win.

AETS is actually quite a well-known technology, especially in Europe, where it has been used for the past 20 years. Some of us will remember the AETRS installation we saw being very successfully operated at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. AETS is where the heat energy from heat rejection in the summer, instead of being blown into the atmosphere via air/adiabatic condenser units, is circulated to underground aquifers.

That heat is captured in underground aquifers, raising their temperature by as much as 10ºC. In winter, the reverse process is used to harvest that heat energy from the aquifers. Although AERS is highly efficient and very sustainable, it is not a renewable energy technology, being used for energy conservation, not energy production. AETS is not for everyone: as Richard explained, you require at least 70 metres between the hot and cold aquifers, and 50 metres between the flow and returns. Not every site will have that luxury.

The final presentation for the first day was our friend Chris Donoghue of Cofely GFD Suez. For those fortunate enough to have attended the previous IAMFA mid-year meeting in Edinburgh, you will recall Chris’s excellent presentation on the technology that is currently available, but used in a very innovative way. Chris explained that he is still very much involved with innovation, and he explained that innovation—especially derived from an IT solution—can come from very different sources. He also pointed out that very experienced, (he means old guys like your author) Estate Managers were not always a good source of cutting-edge IT innovation.

In recognition of this fact, Cofely has set up Innovation Group, which invites anyone with a good idea to pitch that idea to a panel, similar to the television programme, Dragon’s Den. There would be regional panels spread around the UK. The “winners” could receive typical corporate help in the form of legal/copyright/marketing advice, to help develop their proposal. One of the first winners has invented a DC-powered storage system, connected to DC PV panels supplying directly into a lighting installation that could in turn be supplied from either AC or DC.

Chris then gave an update on the continuing development of iBeacons, and how they could be used in conjunction with iPhones for guided tours around galleys and museums. These devices can also be used to provide all the technical and installation required for item of equipment or groups of equipment. The iBeacon will recognise when an iPhone is in the vicinity and download any information that has been loaded onto the iPhone, be that related to an exhibit or painting, or technical information regarding plant-related item. As Chris mention in closing his presentation, this technology is only limited by our imaginations.

To round out the day, Patrick introduced us to Brian Blakesley, Amir Younan and our local hero Kamil Sayed, of the Cofely GDF Suez group, who had very kindly arranged the post IAMFA UK meeting debrief, where all members were invited to discuss in depth the presentations we had just received. First of all, we enjoyed a trip to the Shard building, where we enjoyed the view and a couple of drinks on the 68th, 69th and 72nd floors. The Shard is the tallest building in Europe, designed by the architect Renzo Piano. If that weren’t enough, we then went from the thoroughly modern to the thoroughly old-fashioned, with a trip down Borough Market to the Vinopolis public house, where we enjoyed some further refreshments.

The sun was out as we made our way back to the British Library for the second day of the IAMFA UK spring meeting, this time at the BL conference centre. First up: Patrick welcomed us to the Brontë Room. Patrick then went on to explain that the BL site at Collingwood, the site of the former newspaper repository, had since been sold and the newspaper collection moved to a new facility at their site in Boston Spa.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend IAMFA’s London conference in 2008 will recall the Thursday trip to York, where we visited the Boston Spa site and saw the new fully automated storage facility which is unique for its hypoxic fire-suppression installation. I have often talked about the extremely poor quality of buildings we seem to inherit as museums and galleries, which suffer from a lack of air-tightness. For me, this means that I spend a lot of money trying to humidify our Edinburgh facilities—and failing badly.

The Boston Spa automated storage facility and the new newspaper storage facility are certainly exceptions to this rule, however, and must rank as some of the most airtight buildings in the country. The new newspaper facility has also been developed to try and improve the visitor experience at Boston Spa by providing reading rooms and research facilities, as well as significant digitisation services.

Patrick went on to explain that, as the site at Boston Spa was owned by the British Library, they had undertaken a master plan to try and maximise land use. They had accordingly developed a further storage facility as a shared service with the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport), and had created a business case to test whether there was any interest in sharing this storage facility with the British Library. It will be interesting to see how this development proceeds.

Our next speaker was Sarah Drysdale, formally of the Victoria and Alberta Museum (V&A), but now with the Royal Household. Sarah took us through the principles and philosophy behind building conservation and explained that there were different types of Conservation Management Plans: Buildings, Gardens and Villages/Areas.

Sarah then went on to explain the Building Conversation Management Plan that she put together for the main V&A building on Cromwell Road, which included managing the 10-year revision of the Building Conservation Management Plan for the V&A. As part of the Estates team under Steve Hyde, Sarah realised that a sound record of the history and development of the building was required to help them plan and manage the various changes, refurbishments and maintenance works that occur during the life of a living museum.


This plan had the added benefit of recording historical information about the building, while also establishing a policy framework within which the V&A can develop strategic plans and understand the most appropriate means of development and repairs works for the various parts of its buildings. With the plan established, it has meant that both designers and planners have a clear understanding of the building components with which they are dealing, and their different areas of significance. Sarah confirmed that the planning authorities look very favourably on this process, and as a consequence Listed Building applications at the V&A have been easier to develop and negotiate with the Local Authority and English Heritage. 

Next up were Paul Garside and Karen Bradford of the British Library, who took us through the Library’s interpretation of PAS 198:2012. PAS (Publically Available Standard) can be described as a working version of BS (EN) 5454:2012. Karen explained that, whereas the old BS 5454:2000 was really a document that defined very close environmental conditions for archives, the standards set were actually derived from what was thought to be achievable at the time. 

These conditions could be achieved, but not in a sustainable way. As a result, PAS 198 was put together based on ten years of research. At the Library, Karen explained that she and Paul had worked with curators to try and assess the best environmental standards for all the different types of archives held within the Library.

A problem they faced was that curators were reluctant to separate the collections for which they were responsible when different environmental conditions were required within a collection. The example Karen gave was that of ancient scrolls from the Afghanistan desert: the scrolls required one set of conditions, and the pots the scrolls were found in required another. The solution they came up with was to store the pots on a cabinet within their own environment, with the scrolls housed in the general space. 

Our penultimate speaker was Edward Spall, Head of Energy, and Sustainability at Cofely GDF Suez. The title of Edward’s presentation was “The Future of M&E Maintenance Over the Next Twenty Years”. This certainly made everyone sit up and wonder what this young man might have to say to us veteran FM managers, with hundreds of years of cumulative experience between us.

Edward introduced us to Intelligent Energy Management—a subject we thought we knew a little bit about. Edward soon demonstrated that in reality we knew very little. He showed us examples of work he had done at the V&A to link up numerous sub-meters to the BMS installation, which was in turn linked to weather data from the Meteorological Office, then all fed into a programme to create dynamic building analytics.

In its very basic form, building analytics can be described as detailed building analysis that uses algorithms, similar to those used to calculate and analyse stock market trends—only this time used to predict energy use and general operational efficiencies. The systems self-learn and report profile trends, which can be linked to a range of operational KPIs. This, then, starts to introduce real condition-based maintenance, as though the conditions do not reflect what the analytics profiles are predicting, meaning that something is wrong, and an onsite investigation and remedial action are required.

Edward then explained that, until quite recently, there had been no standardised evaluation approach to energy-saving initiatives, making it difficult for facility managers to quantify the energy savings that had been achieved. To address this, the Efficiency Valuation Organisation (EVO) has created the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).

The IPMVP is designed to promote transparency, objectivity, and assurance in evaluating such projects, so there are clear benefits to working with Certified Measurement and Verification Professionals. Energy management needs to be seen as a cyclical process that continually revisits energy consumption and operations, continuously looking for ways to improve upon what has already been achieved.

Our final presentation of the morning was by Robert Poole and Carl Lever, who took us through the latest developments on BIM. Carl explained that the industry was still not fully developed insofar as the different protocols were still vying for supremacy; but the eventual benefits of BIM were plain to see.

Finally, it was left to your author to provide a short trot through the various venues for the 2015 International Conference in Chicago, and to explain that this was the 25th anniversary of IAMFA, going back to where it all started.

Then it was a vote of thanks to Patrick Brown and his colleagues at the British Library for being excellent hosts and putting together a great set of presentations, to all the speakers who provided those presentations, and finally to our sponsors, Messrs Cofely GDF Suez and Grundfos Pumps, without whom these events would be so much poorer.


Jack Plumb is Head of Estates at the National Library of Scotland, and serves on the IAMFA Board of Directors as Editor of Papyrus


  List of Contributors

Nancy Bechtol

Julian Bickersteth

Euan Cameron

John Castle

Brian Coleman

Kathleen Fleming

Shashwat Ganguly

Patrick Jones
William P. Lull

Joe May

Keith McClanahan

Tim Minner

Tiffany Myers

Susan Neale

Helen Nie

Jack Plumb
Lois Olcott Price

Scott Rosenfeld

Nathan Saxton

Fan Wang

Jay Yelen