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Papyrus—Summer/Fall 2014


Cover Caption:  Floating Heads by Sophy Cave—signature image of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Photo: Joe May


Letter from the Editor

 Greetings from Los Angeles!

 I don’t know about you, but it’s that time of the year when I start getting excited about making the trip to IAMFA’s annual conference. This September will be my twelfth consecutive conference, and I know many of you have been to more than I have. Spending a week with all of you each year makes me feel like I’m with friends—and, from my perspective, I am. 


This is the final issue of Papyrus before the conference, so we’ve tried to include all of the latest conference information. There is a current schedule of events in the centerfold, and details about the educational program in an article written by Jack Plumb titled “IAMFA Scotland 2014 Conference Update—The Educational Programme.”  There is also an article about the history of fire protection at the National Library of Scotland, which is one of the venues for the conference. Come prepared to learn while we visit many of the highlights this region offers. Also, please have a look at the article “Understanding the Patter during your Visit to Scotland”—you’ll want to be prepared, laddies and lassies! 


On Monday of conference week, we will visit the spectacular Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. That is where the cover picture was taken. I thought it was so neat; it’s called, as you might imagine, Floating Heads. Please visit our website at www.NewIAMFA.Org anytime for the latest information about the conference. I look forward to seeing you there in September.


This issue of Papyrus is packed with excellent articles from IAMFA members. There are too many to mention individually, but I’ll introduce a few later. Thanks goes to this issue’s writers for all the time and effort they’ve spent to share their experiences for our benefit.


This is a very exciting time for IAMFA. Last year, Nancy Bechtol presented our new strategic plan at our Annual General Meeting. We’ve made progress towards the plan during the past year—although sometimes, with everyone being so busy, progress has been slower than we’d like. There are a couple of developments that I would like to mention now, though—you’ll hear more about these and others at this year’s AGM.


One of IAMFA’s members, The Image Permanence Institute, will be hosting five workshops beginning in September titled “Sustainable Preservation Practices for Managing Storage Environments.” Each attendee who has not been a member of IAMFA in the past will receive a free 2015 IAMFA membership. Another IAMFA member, LSI Lighting, is coordinating “The Midwest Museum Sustainable Lighting Symposium” in Chicago in September. We will be offering the same promotion to attendees at this Symposium. We are offering these free memberships to help promote these excellent workshops, but also to introduce new museum facility managers and conservators to IAMFA. You can learn more about this on our website’s Education Page. Both workshops are a great educational opportunity; and they are free!


IAMFA’s membership will obviously be growing significantly over the next six months. We are, of course, hoping that many of these new members will find the same value in IAMFA that you do, and will decide to renew their membership in 2016.


As I noted above, there are too many articles in this issue to introduce separately, but I’ll mention a few, since they will give you a sneak peek at future conference venues. Planning for the 25th IAMFA Conference has started in Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago— where IAMFA was founded 25 years ago—will be our host. There are two articles in this issue about projects at the Art Institute, and both involved participation by IAMFA corporate member McGuire Engineers. 


Patrick Jones of the Art Institute wrote about the installation of a HeatSponge on top of two boilers for waste heat recovery, resulting in significant energy savings and a one-year payback. The other article “Preserving the Art and its House,” by David Brooks and Michael Murphy at McGuire Engineers, tells about two applications for using electromagnetic air filters to improve indoor air quality in Art Institute galleries.


You’ll also find two articles about projects in Melbourne, Australia and Tasmania, which will co-host IAMFA’s 27th Conference in 2017. One article is titled “Reviving a Rare Tasmanian Heritage and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Redevelopment Project” by Steensen Varming. The second article describes the teamwork between Facilities and Exhibition teams while “Installing Melman at the Australian Center for the Moving Image,” which was curated by ACMI in close collaboration with DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles. I smiled when I saw the images in that article. I’d love to see this exhibit in person.


There are a many other articles in this issue thanks to our members, and I hope you will find them interesting. Thanks again to all our authors!


As editor of Papyrus, I see lots of signs of how IAMFA is prospering in its 25th year. This year will be our best so far, and I hope I see you in Scotland in September to join in all the festivities, learning, sharing, and fun.


Joe May



Message from the President


In a few short weeks, we will all be together in Scotland enjoying our 24th annual meeting, and I can’t wait to see each of you again! I am hoping a good crowd can attend, and right now reservations are pouring in every day to beat the deadline of August 1, when the registration rate increases. The conference planning committee, led by Jack Plumb, has produced an amazing program of tours and lectures. I wish every member could attend, but I am thankful that an amazing 50% of our membership attends the annual meeting! 


Our conferences are organized by our membership, and this is no easy job. I have had the pleasure of being involved in helping to plan two of our three Washington, D.C. conferences, so I do understand the volume of work necessary to pull this off. It takes a village of helpers to get all of the work done, and Jack has amassed quite the conference planning team in Scotland. When you see these folks during the conference, please thank them for all of their hard work. 


Your IAMFA Board of Directors of IAMFA is also made up of volunteers. Like Jack, they also have been working very hard to run this organization. Each takes his or her role and job very seriously, and does an amazing job for our Association. I wanted to highlight Joe May first, as he is the reason you are reading this letter at all. Without Joe, we would not have this quality magazine to communicate with our members and our profession. And it just keeps getting better and better. Joe never stops thinking of ways to improve an already outstanding product. Each and every edition is packed with substantial articles and fabulous photography.  If you think for a second that Papyrus just drops into his lap without any effort on his part, please think again! He is out there with our profession and our members, constantly beating the drum for IAMFA, while making sure that each issue of Papyrus is full of interesting information.


We have two Vice-Presidents, one of whom is Randy Murphy. When I think of IAMFA, I picture Randy first. He has been around since the very beginning of this Association, and he has volunteered in just about every capacity possible, with an eye always to securing and improving our Association. He is really one of the patriarchs of our Association. If we had a father of IAMFA, he would be it—or at least in the running. He has tracked our membership for years, and now leads our Sponsorship program. He does whatever is needed, and always does it with that smile. “Anything for IAMFA,” he always says! 


The next hardworking Board member I want to mention is Alan Dirican, your Treasurer.  Please pay attention to our budget during the AGM in September. You will see steady growth, always tracked, with every penny accounted for and captured. I have never worked with a money manager with Alan’s skillset and dedication. 


I wish every day that I could work with these folks in my day job, and not just on the IAMFA board. How fortunate we are to have such talented and dedicated volunteer labor running our Association! Alan handles our banking, audits and insurance, as well as our legal reviews and requirements. He also helps with all of the member dues and conference registration. The list goes on and on, and he, too, always does this work with a smile! 


We hold a conference call for our monthly meetings, organized by our Secretary, David Sanders, who also produces our agendas and minutes. Now, if you think for a second that this sounds easy, you need to meet this group of Directors. We are a bunch of cats that he is very good at herding! If we mess up and miss sending in a report, we’d best beware! If we go around and around in circles when discussing items, he needs to figure out when a decision finally gets made, and what that decision was in order to even capture it in the minutes. I don’t think we try to drive him crazy—at least, not on purpose.


Our newest Board member is Brian Coleman from Down Under. He is learning very fast how to take care of hundreds of members who do not read their emails, nor our Papyrus magazine cover to cover (yes, there are some of you who do!), and who want to register for the annual conference the day before showtime! We are breaking Brian into our wicked ways of doing what is necessary to keep our Association afloat and flourishing. From time to time, I’m sure he feels he could use some input and support from our Chapter Chairs.


I started this message by highlighting Jack Plumb and the great work he is doing for our upcoming annual conference.  He is being closely followed by Patrick Jones and Bill Caddick, who are already well on their way to planning our 25th annual conference in Chicago. These three guys are amazing, and it has been such a pleasure getting to know each of them. I can’t wait for Chicago, but first we will enjoy an outstanding meeting in the beautiful cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.


When you see one of our Board Members this fall, please take a moment to thank them for their efforts. Their dedicated service to this Association is truly a best practice in not-for-profit board service! 

Nancy Bechtol




Preserving the Art and its House: The Art Institute of Chicago Improves its IAQ to Benefit Visitors and Staff

By David Brooks and Michael Murphy


With more than 300,000 works of art and nearly 1.5 million visitors annually, the Art Institute of Chicago can’t afford to have poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Working hard to maintain optimal ventilation, America’s second-largest museum features eight buildings and spans nearly one million square feet, with a variety of HVAC equipment, all working continuously to maintain the comfort of its occupants.


The following are the tales of two Art Institute exhibition spaces and how the museum, working together with local MEP consultants, McGuire Engineers, solved the IAQ challenges of each.


Thorne Miniature Rooms

In 2010, the Art Institute began receiving reports of an ongoing odor from their lower level 1,000-square-foot Thorne Miniature Rooms gallery, which features miniature models of American and European interiors, constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot. Together, management, maintenance personnel and McGuire looked into a number of different options to determine the immediate cause. Was it due to the carpet’s adhesive or a cleaning product being used in the space? Regardless of the specific item, it was determined that the cause was Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) found in the room’s air particles. Adjustments would need to be made to maintain the appropriate IAQ, not only for the visitors and staff who frequent the space, but also in an effort to preserve the 68 miniature rooms on display.


The project team considered multiple options, including bringing in additional outside air, replacing existing air-handling unit (AHU) coils, and adding an additional air-purification system. Because the gallery needs to be kept at specific temperature and humidity levels to preserve the miniatures—and because the Chicago climate can be both hot and humid and cold and dry, depending on the season—bringing more fresh air into the space wasn’t a foolproof solution. This led the engineering team to consider a system that would help clean and purify small VOC air particles in the space. But how would a new system be integrated with the existing one, and what type of system would eliminate odors effectively?


Two types of air-filtration systems were considered: gas and electromagnetic. The gas-based filtration system uses pellets that require a change in filters on a regular basis and can handle very serious IAQ challenges; the electromagnetic filter, on the other hand, needs an energy supply to function, but requires less maintenance. Working together with building engineers at the Art Institute of Chicago, McGuire specified the electromagnetic filter for its enhanced performance and minimal ongoing operating costs.


VOCs, emitted by a wide variety of products, including paints, cleaning supplies, building materials, office supplies and more, are characterized by their small particle count, and are therefore difficult, if not impossible, to collect using a typical AHU. The electromagnetic filter accordingly works by cleaning the air, then transferring a strong magnetic charge to large air particles as they pass through the AHU, before recycling them back into the space. Once in the space with a stronger positive or negative charge, they can now attract the smaller VOC particles of the same charge. These newly-formed, larger air particles are then bundled together and returned to the filter, where they can be cleaned and rid of VOCs before being returned once again to the space.


In order to confirm its hypothesis that an electromagnetic filter could indeed improve the IAQ of the space, McGuire’s team took air samples measuring the initial particle count, creating a benchmark for improvement, then brought in a smaller-sized filter for testing.

After the system had been running for one hour, the air particles in the room were tested once again. The result was a dramatic improvement in particle-count reduction, as well as a noticeable difference in the room’s odor.


A permanent electromagnetic air filter was installed directly into the AHUs for the Thorne Miniature Rooms gallery. The integrated filter was chosen, as opposed to a stand-alone system, to minimize maintenance for facilities personnel.


Following the filter installation, an air-quality monitor was also employed to further document and verify the system’s performance on an ongoing basis.





Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from both solids and liquids, with concentrations known to be as high as 10 times more indoors than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by thousands of products, including paints and stains; cleaning supplies; pesticides; building materials and furnishings; office equipment, including copies and printers; copy paper; permanent markers; and glues—either while in use or, to a lesser degree, when they are stored. Short-term exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; headaches; nausea or vomiting and dizziness. Long-term exposure to high levels of VOCs can increase the risk of more permanent organ damage.

[End sidebar]


Traveling Exhibition Gallery

Two years later, during preparations for a large traveling exhibition in 2012, Art Institute staff became concerned that visitors would experience IAQ problems in a separate 16,000-square-foot exhibition gallery. For one thing, they knew from past events in the space that when it gets crowded, visitors complain of stuffiness and feeling faint. For another, this time the museum was anticipating even more visitors than the gallery had previously accommodated. 


The Art Institute reached out to McGuire again to help brainstorm a solution. Did they just need to bring in more outside air? Was a completely new, dedicated AHU system needed for the gallery? An independent, supplemental system? The biggest challenge would be scheduling, however. There were only three months left for design, implementation and installation until the traveling exhibition was scheduled to open. 


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Picture Caption:The Art Institute of Chicago.


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Caption:  The Thorne Miniature Rooms gallery.


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Caption:  A display in the Thorne Miniature Rooms gallery.


The project team did some field research first. McGuire reviewed the performance of the AHU units dedicated to this exhibition space while increasing their ventilation, and found that more outside air couldn’t be brought in without changing the coils and making serious modifications to the existing AHUs. This would be both costly and time intensive. Bringing in new HVAC equipment wouldn’t work either, because that would push the construction schedule beyond its time allotment as well. Instead, it was determined that the best option—and the one with which the Institute was most comfortable—was cleaning and recirculating the air with a similar electromagnetic filter to the one used for the Thorne Miniature Rooms gallery.


Image:  Page 5

Caption:  Close-up of one of the Thorne Miniatures Rooms.


Initially, the project team tested the air-particle count, as in the previous case study, taking measurements to use as a benchmark. Once the new electromagnetic filter was operational in the space, the same measurements were taken again. Because of an existing C02 sensor in the traveling exhibition gallery, when the same measurements were taken just an hour after the filter was installed, there was a substantial improvement in both VOC particle count and C02 levels in the gallery.


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Caption:The 16,000 ft2 Traveling Exhibit Gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago.



IAQ challenges can be common to museums with unique temperature and humidity parameters in their spaces. It is crucial for a museum’s operations personnel to stay on top of IAQ concerns and reports from those in the exhibition spaces. A variety of solutions are possible, depending on the variables of each space.


David Brooks, P.E., is a senior vice-president and Michael Murphy is a senior project manager at McGuire Engineers in Chicago.



IAMFA Scotland 2014 Conference Update – The Educational Programme


By Jack Plumb


With only eight weeks to go, things are starting to heat up here in Scotland. Obviously with the World Cup so very recently coming to a conclusion, and the Commonwealth Games underway in Glasgow as I write this, there is an awful lot going on. That doesn’t mean to say your organising committee is not 110% focused on providing you with a truly memorable conference when you arrive in September. This article provides some detail of the presentations you will experience at the conference.


You will have no doubt heard the tragic news about the fire at the world-famous and truly iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art (GSA) building. The fire caused considerable damage to parts of the 1907–1909 building including the library, hen run and professors' studios. As a delegate, you will have an opportunity to visit the GSA, along with the privilege of meeting with some of its representatives.


Image: Page 8

Caption:  The Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art.


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Caption:  The Mackintosh Building after the fire.


We have now also firmed up the presentations for the three days of the conference—starting with a visit to Glasgow, where we will be welcomed by Jill Miller, Director of Cultural Services at Glasgow Life, our hosts for the day. Jill is responsible for Museums, Collections, Arts, and Music (including Cultural Venues).


In keeping with the theme of the IAMFA Scotland 2014 conference, the first day will concentrate on how a city re-invents itself as a modern cultural tourist attraction, while at the same time providing significant services for the population of Glasgow.


The first presentation will be by Duncan Dornan, a Senior Museums Manager for Glasgow Life. Duncan will talk about research that has established a positive link between access to culture and public health. Museums play an important role in learning, improving mental well-being, and creating a vibrant and healthy city. We’ll hear how this is being implemented within the Glasgow museum sector.


We will also hear from Dr. Martin Bellamy—Head of Research for Glasgow Life. He was a key member of the project management teams for the re-display of Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in 2006, and the Riverside Museum in 2011. He is a lecturer for the University of Glasgow’s Museums Studies course, and has published widely on maritime and cultural history. Martin will tell us about the history of museums, the history of Glasgow museums, industrialisation in Glasgow, the growth of wealth, and the birth of the civic museum service.


Next we will hear from Alex Maclean, who is a Special Projects Manager with Glasgow Life. Alex is currently managing the redevelopment of Kelvin Hall, along with proposals for the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell Collection. Alex will tell us about the problems faced by the Burrell Museum, and development plans for the refurbishment of this remarkable building. Muriel King, venue manager at the Burrell, will tell the story of the Burrell and its collections, before we go on guided tours around the building.


On Tuesday, we will be the guests of the National Museum of Scotland, where we will hear from a couple of major authorities in their respective fields. We will hear how Scotland uses its cultural heritage buildings, transforming them into modern, accessible and relevant museums that members of the public want to come and experience.


Renowned architect Gareth Hoskins will provide the first presentation. Gareth trained as an architect at the Glasgow School of Art and at Florence University and, as a leading figure in the UK architectural industry, is in demand as a speaker at architectural conferences. He also contributes to a number of publications and architectural policy documents, and is an advisor to the Royal Institute of British Architects, a design panel member of the Scottish Government’s design ‘watchdog’, Architecture and Design Scotland and, between 2006 and 2010, held the post of the Scottish Government’s National Healthcare Design Champion.


Gareth won UK Young Architect of the Year in 2000, UK Architect of the Year in 2006, and in 2008 was named in the number one spot in Architecture Scotland’s Power 100, which lists the most influential people in the industry. That same year, Gareth was awarded the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award in the Arts Category—the first time an Architect has received this award—and is a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 2009, he was awarded an OBE for Services to Architecture in the January 2010 New Year’s Honour List.


This will be followed—this time in the field of museum design—by no less an authority than Stephen Greenberg, Creative Director of Metaphor, a company that specialises in the design and master-planning of museums, exhibitions, historical houses, cultural quarters and other heritage destinations worldwide. Stephen has overseen a prestigious body of work at Metaphor, including major blockbuster exhibitions (at the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert and the Guggenheim Bilbao); the master-plans of cultural quarters (such as the historical peninsula in Istanbul); and entire museums (such as the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo); as well as the redesign of complete museums, (such as the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Order of St John in London).


To round out the presentations on Tuesday, we will hear from someone we all will know very well: Dan McKenzie, CEO of our first IAMFA Corporate Sponsor.


On Wednesday, will be visiting the National Galleries of Scotland, where we are in for a very existing day, hearing about a number of exciting developments—this time on how existing cultural facilities can look after their collections in a sustainable way. This day will also be a Plenary Day, in which we share the day with our collection care colleagues. The Galleries have put together a very exciting programme of presentations, which I am sure will appeal to both IAMFA members and conservationists alike. The Galleries have also laid on a tour of the Portrait Gallery which, for those of you who have not visited this recently refurbished facility, will be the highlight of the day in its own right.


Wednesday’s presentations will kick off with Karen Keenman, facilities manager at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Her presentation will describe the process that led to the making of the New Rijksmuseum. We’ll hear when it started, why it took so long, who was involved, and what lessons were learned in the process, including facts and figures about climate, scale, objects on display and images of the building activities.


Next up will be Alan Hutton, describing the building, quite literally, of a new museum around an artefact, the Mary Rose, which was one of King Henry VIII’s warships. Alan led the multi-disciplinary engineering team during the design and construction of the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. The Mary Rose, Henry’s flagship, which sank in action in 1545, was raised in 1982. The ship and its artefacts provide the nation with a unique and irreplaceable experience of Tudor life. Extensive conservation measures, within a closely controlled internal environment, are vital to ensure the preservation of these treasures. The new museum was designed in close collaboration with the conservators and the operational team, to provide continued preservation of the hull and artefacts whilst maintaining control of energy use and running costs for both the Museum and the conservation processes.


The next speaker will be Dr. David Saunders of the British Museum, who will tell us about the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre at the British Museum. His research interests include the deterioration of museum objects—particularly pigments and painted surfaces, and the effect of display and storage environments on these materials. His research has focused, in particular, on the effect of light on the deterioration of cultural heritage objects. He has published widely on the subject, both in the specialist literature and in more general texts, including the 1994, as well as the forthcoming CIBSE guides to museum and art gallery lighting. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a fellow and vice-president of the International Institute for Conservation (IIC). From 2003 to 2009, he was IIC Director of Publications, also editing its journal, Studies in Conservation, from 1990 to 2009, and the proceedings of its 2006, 2008 and 2010 congresses.


The World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC) at the British Museum opened in 2014. The Centre is unusual for a contemporary museum extension, in that well over 90% of the space is dedicated to the storage, care, conservation, study, examination and analysis of the collection, with only 1000 m3 of public exhibition space. This presentation will look at how the brief for the extension was developed, along with the facilities that are provided—many for the first time—and ways in which sustainable solutions were adopted, both for the building itself and for the storage and treatment of the collection.


The next presentation will be by Dr. Ewan Hyslop, Head of Sustainability, Research and Technical Education at Historic Scotland. Ewan manages programmes on climate change, technical and scientific research, and technical education and outreach. His primary role is to deliver government policy on energy efficiency and climate change adaptation for the historical environment in Scotland. This is both for properties and sites in the care of the state as well as for the wider historical environment in Scotland, through research and dissemination of information on energy efficiency, adaptation and sustainability.


Historic Scotland is the Scottish Government’s agency for managing the historical environment, and is charged with providing visitor access and conserving 345 iconic historical buildings and sites throughout the country. Scotland has ambitious carbon-reduction targets: 42% reduction by 2020, and 80% reduction by 2050, with an overall 12% reduction in national energy consumption by 2020. Historic Scotland has embarked upon a wide-ranging programme of energy-efficiency projects across its estate. Energy-reduction measures need to be sympathetic with a building’s historical fabric and undertaken without compromising significance and value.


The final presentations for the day will be a joint presentation provided by Jacqueline Ridge and Chris McLaren on the development of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It is three years since the building refurbishment was completed, so this joint presentation will look at the results of that refurbishment. Chris takes a personal hands-on approach to projects, and is particularly talented at sensitively integrating MEP services into historical and listed buildings.  He has developed a broad range of skills across a variety of project types, in particular within the Arts and Culture sectors. For many years, he has been instrumental in developing some of the UK’s best-known and best-loved historical buildings, including Rosslyn Chapel and, most recently, the National Galleries of Scotland. Jacqueline Ridge (Jack Ridge) is Keeper of Conservation, and is responsible for collection care strategy at NGS, along with leading the collections management, art movement and conservation functions. She has a strong interest in the philosophy of collection care, and how this supports access to our national collections, viewing conservation as a “facilitating profession.”


Since her appointment at NGS, she has been heavily involved with Tate in the development of the ARTIST ROOMS conservation and collections management approach, and in developing a sustainable collection care policy for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery redevelopment project Portrait of the Nation. This presentation will summarise the development project that represented this historical building and its national collection. It will critically assess the success of the decisions taken to manage the gallery environment through semi-passive control methods, and will explore the decision-making process and lessons learnt that can be carried forward in future projects at the National Galleries of Scotland.


Jack Plumb CEng MIET MCIBSE MSLL is Head of Estates at the National Library of Scotland, and is host of IAMFA’s 24th Annual Conference in Scotland.



Installing Melman at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image: A

Great Collaboration between Facilities and Exhibition Teams


By Cat Wilson and Shaun Woodhouse


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Melbourne’s Federation Square has established an international reputation for presenting both popular and challenging temporary exhibitions across the subject areas of art, film, television, videogames, and digital culture. With 1.26 million visitors in 2013, ACMI was ranked first in the world among core film/moving-image cultural centres, and second in Australasia among art museums and galleries, in the recent Art Newspaper annual world-rankings survey.


DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition is ACMI’s key exhibition for 2014, and part of the prestigious Melbourne Winter Masterpieces season. It had its world premiere on April 10, 2014, and takes audiences into the world of the artists and filmmakers who have produced some of the most beloved and iconic animated films of the last 20 years. Curated by ACMI in close collaboration with DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles, the exhibition explores the three mainstays of animated film: character, story, and world. Each section follows the creative journey, from the initial kernel of an idea through to a fully realised animated feature.


Showcasing DreamWorks Animation’s creative legacy from Antz (1998) through to How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), the exhibition draws on the studio’s archive of rarely seen concept drawings, models and original artwork. It features over 400 original objects alongside a suite of highly immersive and interactive digital experiences, custom-made for the exhibition. Dragon Flight, a panoramic, 180-degree flight simulation takes visitors on the back of Toothless the dragon (from How to Train Your Dragon) through the Viking township of Berk, which builds up gradually—just as it does during the production process. Specially produced interviews with key artists and creators are woven throughout the exhibition, providing an extraordinarily intimate glimpse into the development of DreamWorks Animation’s unique films.


DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition will tour internationally following its exclusive Australian presentation at ACMI.


The ACMI Exhibitions and Facilities teams work closely with one another in delivering major exhibitions. As most would know, the creative process frequently delivers challenges in terms of compliance, building sustainability and public safety.The Facilities team at ACMI aims to ensure that the programming output of the organisation is supported, so that it can meet the desired objectives—but without compromising compliance or safety. In turn, with better communications between the teams, the programmers and curators have come to understand these needs and that, in the now very rare situation where a solution cannot be found, it is not just the Facilities team being difficult—it genuinely is a problem.


DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition presented a number of challenges both within the gallery and, unusually, outside too—and, in turn, became a great example of how two teams can collaborate to achieve a good outcome.


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Caption:  The exhibition contains over 70 3D character maquettes


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Caption:  You can also see a Story Artist pitch a scene from the original Shrek movie in the gallery.


To complement the exhibition and create a photo/social media opportunity for our visitors, we commissioned and produced a large-scale physical installation for passersby outside our building on Flinders Street in Melbourne. The installation is a giant replica of the iconic character Melman from DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar film series, with his rear facing the road and his head disappearing into the building. Inside the building, visitors see his head breaking through the glass, as only an animated character can, and looking in at them. Accompanying Melman are the smaller figures of the Madagascar penguins, digging their way through the sidewalk into the building. The installation is highly visible and fun, and engages directly with the building. Cat Wilson, Exhibitions Project Officer, project-managed the installation with support from Shaun Woodhouse, Facilities Manager.


After working with a concept artist to create drawings and sketches, approval from the key stakeholders, including DreamWorks Animation, was given for the design of a structure standing 5.5 meters high and extending over 11 metres in length from the back of his hoof to the tip of his nose. Melman needed to be strong, safe and robust, yet temporary and non-intrusive. He needed to last six months in all weathers, then dismantled as if he had never been there.


If you want to install any temporary structure at Federation Square three approvals are usually required:

  • Approval for the concept from Federation Square, the precinct manager, as they are responsible for approving anything external to ACMI’s building.
  • Planning approval from the local council, the City of Melbourne, as in this case, an 11m giraffe is classed as promotional signage.
  • Engineering, wind rating and safety approval from Federation Square.

Approvals were coordinated by Shaun Woodhouse.


The next step was to find a company which could meet the project’s unique set of design and engineering demands. The challenge was set to find a partner that would not only find sound engineering solutions, but also ensure that those solutions would support the playful and irreverent story we were trying to tell.


After doing some research into local and regional companies, we began working with the Brisbane-based firm, Atomiq. Having previously worked on DreamWorks Animation’s characters for theme park attractions, and with a background in film and television, Atomiq director Philip Drake already had an understanding of how DreamWorks Animation thinks as a company, and what their requirements would be. Even though we were making them larger than life, it was still very important to realise versions of Melman and the penguins that were faithful to their animated film versions. With his experience in large-scale installations, he was also was able to pre-empt and plan for many of the physical engineering and safety requirements. We needed to be able to create a version of the Melman and the penguins that met with DreamWorks Animation’s exacting standards for the physical replication of their characters, but that also seamlessly engaged with the complex building structure of the chosen site.


The area selected on Flinders Street features modern architecture, offering large expanses of glass at different angles to one another. In order to design and build Melman to fit the site, two 3D CAD models had to be created of him with the building. These were created using the CAD architectural drawings from the original construction of the building, supplied by ACMI.


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Caption: The process of developing stories is explored through this mapped projection table.


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Caption: Melman and the penguins as seen from inside the building just before entering the exhibition


The first model was by DreamWorks Animation, as they wanted to design his actual pose in situ given that Melman is their creation. For this, DreamWorks Animation used MAYA Animation, their customised version of this specialised animation software. This modelling was able to produce a near-enough reproduction of the building for them to place and position the characters in their desired poses. One unique challenge with this process is that normally the building is the background on the CAD, and the object being constructed is added to scale with the background. However, as customised animation software was being used, the reverse was the case: Melman was drawn first, and the building was added in and scaled against him. This is tricky when the building already exists and cannot be shrunk or grown to suit the installation yet to be fabricated.


Philip and his team at Atomiq built a more traditional and truly scaled 3D architectural model of the space, and placed Melman into it in the pose designed by DreamWorks Animation. This highlighted some inconsistencies and issues with alignments. Further adjustments to the pose needed to be negotiated with DreamWorks Animation to ensure that he fitted within the building form, and also to assist with engineering constraints around rigging points and anchorage. Safety considerations around public interaction were also considered at this stage, with adjustments to poses made to ensure there were no exposed sharp edges and that the structure was not climbable.


After final sign-off on all these elements, the project moved on to the engineering and production phase. Melman and the penguins are made from fibreglass, with a steel-reinforced structure. Melman was made in Atomiq’s workshops in Brisbane, and transported in sections for the 1,300km journey to Melbourne. Melman was then assembled and installed onsite. The external part is effectively sitting on the ground and roof canopy, being anchored by threaded rod into the slab. The internal section is fixed to the glazing beam structure at the neck, and the head is flown from high-level beams using steel cables.


Federation Square is a challenging precinct in which to undertake any major works, as it is one large deck built over railway lines. This means that it has a relatively low live load capacity of just 5kPa. This presents a challenge to anyone wanting to build a giraffe on the site as, not only do you need to ensure that the installation does not exceed the load capacity of the structure, but you also need to make sure that any plant or equipment used in the installation process does not exceed the load capacity, too.


This meant that a small crawler crane on caterpillar track had to be used to lift Melman up onto the external canopy. Inside was even more of a challenge, as the doors leading in to ACMI are only 2 metres wide, and the height of the Lightwell is approximately 18 metres. There is only one piece of equipment available locally that can reach that height, fit through the doors and not exceed the floor load: a 22-metre Spider Lift, which was used to install the steel cables supporting Melman’s head. A structural engineer was also engaged to calculate the wind rating of a giraffe: Melman is rated to a maximum wind of 144 km/h, which is much higher than anything previously experienced in Melbourne. He is therefore unlikely to blow away in winter storms.


One quirk in the design is that the external penguins talk. They were positioned over a redundant data cable from a previous installation, so it was possible to connect this to a loudspeaker inside the penguins, which is driven by a 100V line amplifier located at the other end of the data cable inside ACMI. Every few minutes or so, a visitor is startled and delighted by a sudden burst of the penguins speaking.


From a visitor perspective, the installation has proved to be extremely popular. The only challenge has been that, because people are used to going to theme parks and playgrounds and climbing all over installations, a lot of small children instinctively climbed on board for photos. This was problematic as, unlike playgrounds that have soft surfaces to minimise injuries from falls, our Lightwell space is paved in sandstone from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Signage to manage the risk was installed, encouraging parents to supervise their children carefully and prevent them climbing on the structures.


Melman will be with us at ACMI until the end of the run of DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition in October. Unfortunately, this will probably be the end of Melman’s body, too. This part was designed to fit around our unique building, and is too large to tour economically. Melman’s head and the penguins, however, will hopefully become part of the exhibition and travel the world—just like the “real” characters did in the Madagascar movies.


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Caption: The ACMI building from Flinders Street, with Melman half-in and half-out!


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Caption: Melman up close from inside the building.


Cat Wilson is Exhibitions Project Coordinator at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and can be reached at Shaun Woodhouse is Facilities Manager at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and can be reached at


Understanding the Patter During your Visit to Scotland

By Jack Plumb


It has been the custom for recent conference venues to provide a limited translation service to enable delegates and guests to understand and obtain even more enjoyment from their visit to a foreign land. Whilst the UK might well be on the smaller size—I believe it fits into Texas three times, and into the US 40 times—the UK will probably have as many dialects as the whole of the USA. 


When you visit Scotland, you will experience one of the most pronounced and imaginative dialects in the UK—yes, the Glaswegian “patter”. I should say at this point, when I say learning the language, I mean understanding it, and at no time should any non-Glaswegian try to use some of the words you may understand. This will only result in bursts of laughter from your audience, as inevitably there will have been slight subtlety, lost on us non-Glaswegians, to the use of your chosen word—which, as in any language, totally changes its meaning.


Whilst Glasgow does have its very own patter, Edinburgh also has its own variations, so with the words and phrases below I have tried to identify where they are most used—i.e., Glasgow or Edinburgh or both.


Patter                          Definition                               Dialect           

Aff                              Off                                          Glasgow and Edinburgh

Aye                             Yes                                         Glasgow and Edinburgh

Baltic                          Very cold                                Glasgow and Edinburgh

Belter                          Very good                              Glasgow

Bevvy                          Alcoholic beverage                 Glasgow and Edinburgh

Big Man                       Greeting a male friend           Glasgow

Blether                       Gossip/Chat                           Glasgow and Edinburgh

Boufin                         Indescribably smelly               Glasgow

Chippie                       Fish-and-chip shop                  Glasgow and Edinburgh

Clatty                         Dirty/Rude                             Glasgow and Edinburgh

Cludgie                       Toilet                                     Glasgow and Edinburgh

Crabbit                       Ill-tempered person                Glasgow and Edinburgh

Dizzy                          Being stood up                        Glasgow

Dreich                        Awful weather                        Glasgow and Edinburgh

Erse                           Backside                                 Glasgow and Edinburgh

Fearty                          Coward                                 Glasgow and Edinburgh

Gallus                          Self-confident                       Glasgow

Glakit                          Stupid/Silly                           Glasgow

Greet                           Cry/Weep/Whine                  Glasgow and Edinburgh

Hackit                         Ugly                                      Glasgow

How?                          Used instead of “Why?”          Glasgow and Edinburgh

Ken                             To know                                Glasgow and Edinburgh

Laddie                         Boy                                       Glasgow and Edinburgh

Loupin                         Throbbing with pain              Glasgow

Lum                             Chimney                                Glasgow and Edinburgh

Piece                            Sandwich                              Glasgow and Edinburgh

Plank                           Hide                                      Glasgow

Polis                            Police                                    Glasgow and Edinburgh

Rubbered                    Very drunk                             Glasgow

Scran                           Food                                     Glasgow

Scud                            Naked                                   Glasgow and Edinburgh

Scunner                       To disappoint                        Glasgow

Shoot the Craw           Travel fast in other direction Glasgow

Single end                   One-room flat                        Glasgow

Skelp                           To slap or hit                         Glasgow and Edinburgh

Slapper                        Women of minimal virtue      Glasgow and Edinburgh

Smidgen                      A small piece                         Glasgow and Edinburgh

Teuchter                      Anyone outside Glasgow       Glasgow

Wee                             Small/Tiny                            Glasgow and Edinburgh

Weech                         Throw/Fling                          Glasgow

Wean                           Child                                     Glasgow

Wheest                        Be quite                                Glasgow and Edinburgh


As I said at the beginning, don’t try to use these words, but do try to understand them, and have a great time in Scotland.


Jack Plumb CEng MIET MCIBSE MSLL is Head of Estates at the National Library of Scotland, and is host of IAMFA’s 24th Annual Conference in Scotland.



Reviving a Rare Tasmanian Heritage: The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Redevelopment Project

By Richie O’Sullivan, Emrah Baki Ulas, Michael Harrold and Chris Arkins


The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is the second-oldest museum in Australia, and its collection mandate is the most diverse of any in the country. Its campus on Hobart’s waterfront at Constitution Dock comprises a rich collection of heritage buildings, including the Commissariat Store (1808–1810), the Private Secretary’s Cottage (1813), Custom House (1902), Queen’s Warehouse (1869), the Henry Hunter Building (1863–1866), the New Gallery (1966) and the New Link Building (1986).


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Caption:View of the main courtyard and courtyard lighting. Image: John Gollings

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Caption:Artist’s impression of the redevelopment when complete.


The Project


The entire A$200-million redevelopment of TMAG will be the largest and most significant cultural development ever undertaken in Tasmania, ensuring TMAG’s place as a leading museum and gallery. It will provide many unique and flexible exhibition spaces and galleries, as well as extensive back-of-house facilities, including workplace, storage, workshops and goods-handling.


Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp was the appointed architect for the first A$30-million stage of the transformation, which involved the creation of a new public entry off Dunn Place, a new foyer, and increased exhibition space, including the opening of new galleries in the heritage buildings. Steensen Varming provided building services for the museum and gallery, including the new lifts, ICT Wi-Fi, discrete cable and services installation, and specific HVAC to satisfy the environmental conditions.


The design interweaves heritage buildings, new contemporary architecture, and archaeology to create a rich and memorable experience for visitors. Exhibitions are accommodated within state-of-the art gallery spaces and adaptive reuse of heritage spaces, in what is arguably Australia’s most significant collection of heritage buildings.


The project is of national and international significance, creating a rich and truly unique visitor experience, including the latest computer-realised technology in the exhibition spaces. Following its completion, the project received the City of Hobart Heritage Award and Museums Australia MAGNA Award in 2013.


Services Approach


The engineering building services for the museum and gallery included a new consolidated power supply, lifts, special fire engineering solutions, ICT, lighting design and specific HVAC to suit the gallery and museum requirements. Due to its significant heritage content, parts of the development were naturally ventilated and complemented with localised hydronic heating. The works addressed the relevant functional and operational requirements for TMAG, with consideration to the environment, maintenance, general health and safety, conservation, heritage parameters and constraints, whilst responding to the architectural concepts and budget requirements.


The contractors approached the works in a very careful, methodical and meticulous manner. Regular onsite meetings were carried out with relevant stakeholders and subcontractors to carefully agree on the precise final routes of cables, ducts, as well as the positioning of equipment and the mounting and fixing of services. Each section and part of the works proposal included information on how noise and vibration were minimised whilst carrying out the work. Details of all provisions were put in place to ensure that the risk of damage to the existing structure and surrounding spaces was kept to a minimum, and installed with the least visual impact.




The solutions for the electrical services made use of existing systems where possible. The existing site was made up of several individual power-authority connections, which were consolidated into one larger single supply.


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Caption:Concealed electrical services in the Central Gallery.


All redundant cabling was carefully removed and updated with new cabling and submains in a discrete manner. Some parts of the installation, such as the Bond Store, required exposed cabling as a specific heritage requirement, enabling cables to be easily removed in the future without affecting the building fabric. In the Central Gallery, special space considerations permitted the concealment of services, allowing a simple but very effective solution in which power and communication floor boxes were hidden below a removable section of flooring. This was a fine example of servicing the old museum with new modern services and technology, including Wi-Fi conductivity.


To assist in the improvement of visitor circulation and access, new lifts were installed. Lifts were carefully designed, and their size optimised for the movement of relevant artefacts. To minimise the spatial requirements and impact of lift motor rooms, motor-roomless lifts (MRL) were designed for both passengers and goods.




Lighting systems within the exhibition spaces were carefully chosen and detailed to integrate seamlessly with the buildings, whilst overcoming challenges such as the fixing of track systems and cabling infrastructure onto existing heritage elements with appropriate care.


All light sources within exhibition spaces are high-quality, dimmable, high-colour-rendering LEDs that emit minimal UV to minimise damage on exhibitions, whilst saving energy and enhancing the visitor’s visual experience of the collections. These systems have been carefully chosen, through intensive testing and prototyping, both offsite and in situ. The selected lighting systems consume only about a quarter of the energy, compared to traditional gallery lighting equipment, saving a substantial amount of energy.


Daylighting design is a key element of the environment in the Central Gallery space. The vertical daylight openings on the lantern of the raised roof are fitted with louvres, which are adjustable through automated controls to regulate the amount of daylight entering the space, as well as being manually controllable by gallery staff. External feature lighting within the courtyard also consists of efficient LED and metal-halide sources that are incorporated into structural and architectural elements, enhancing the outdoor experience of the Museum and Gallery for evening events and functions.


Ventilation and Air-Conditioning


In the development of HVAC strategies, careful consideration was given to achieving appropriate levels of indoor air quality, whilst minimising the impact to heritage fabric of contemporary mechanical services such as ductwork, fans and diffusers.


Wherever possible, natural ventilation was used, to achieve the lowest possible impact of mechanical services on the sensitive heritage fabric of the building, while also making use of the building’s original systems. Given that the basement level of the Bond Store did not have the required natural ventilation openings to satisfy building regulations, a strategy was adopted whereby supplementary ventilation is provided by mechanical means. To avoid installing a new network hot water pipes to support the radiators, based on strict heritage requirements, the design team incorporated electric radiators, coordinating the electrical cables with the general small power/lighting reticulation routes.


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Caption:Ground floor of the Bond Store, indicating the operable areas and the location of the radiators.


Where mechanical equipment was required, a review of the existing building structure was carried out to identify the most suitable reticulation route for the installation of a new network of pipework to support radiators, without compromising the heritage aspects of the building.


The Central Gallery incorporates a supplementary outside-air ducted system with the capacity to heat the incoming outside air, while also covering a portion of heating requirements for the space through hydronic duct-mounted coils. High-level louvres assist with a natural ventilation strategy during the summer months, whilst also providing glare control and solar protection to the gallery space.


Avoiding any unnecessary waste and additional project costs, three existing air-handling units were reused. These consisted of cooling coils, fans and duct heaters for specific zone heating. The existing electric duct heaters were removed and replaced with new hydronic duct-mounted heating coils, fed from the new hot water heating system. Working within heritage constraints, there was a real challenge in making alterations to the ductwork reticulation route and associated supply and, in particular, the air-return strategy.


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CaptionMixed-mode ventilation strategy for Commissariat/Queens Warehouse/Link buildings.


Energy efficiency was an important consideration. By making use of the existing configuration of operable windows, the design was able to incorporate a mixed-mode ventilation strategy. To avoid the introduction of control devices—such as reed switches which would affect heritage aspects of the building fabric—appropriate means of control between natural ventilation and air-conditioning will be undertaken through the building user management procedure. To facilitate this, a clear and intuitive building user’s guide was created and supplemented with user training to the team, ensuring that that changeover between the modes of operation is carried out with consideration to optimal outdoor conditions.


The integrated design and holistic approach taken for this project enabled TMAG’s significant heritage buildings to function within a modern context, while addressing sustainability and regulatory requirements, and provides a new, unique visitor experience in a comfortable environment that preserves and protects Australia’s cultural heritage.


On behalf of Jennifer Storer, Acting Director for Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, we wish to thank IAMFA for its invaluable collaboration and support.


Project Credits:


Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)


Taylor Thomson Whitting

Steensen Varming

Gandy & Roberts

RED Fire Engineers

Root Projects

VOS Construction & Joinery Tasmania




Richie O’Sullivan is an associate with Steensen Varming, and can be reached at He specialises in in mechanical and sustainable design and oversees project delivery, ensuring that all designs are implemented to their required quality and performance.


Emrah Baki Ulas, PhD is an associate with Steensen Varming, and can be reached at He is a renowned lighting designer, educator and creative thinker, and leads the company’s global lighting projects.


Michael Harrold is an Associate Director at Steensen Varming, and can be reached at He specialises in electrical, ICT, security, lighting and vertical transport designs, and is dedicated to ensuring that the client’s requirements are satisfied in a holistic manner.


Chris Arkins is a Director at Steensen Varming, and can be reached at He manages the regional operations for both the Sydney and Hong Kong studio, and leads and coordinates the company’s commitment to integrated sustainable design across its global studios.



 [Conference schedule]



Waste Heat Recovery at The Art Institute of Chicago


By Patrick B. Jones


In May of this year, the Art Institute of Chicago installed two new HeatSponge-Titan-12 boiler economizers. For those unfamiliar with this technology, the intent is to capture surplus heat contained in flue gases, and divert it to practical purposes. At the Art Institute, that purpose is to pre-heat feedwater to two Johnston high-pressure steam boilers.


According to design specifications, this installation will result in over 11,000 MMBTU’s of natural gas savings per year. The total cost of the installation was just under $250,000, with an expected payback of less than three years. Because the project qualified for energy-efficiency rebates, the payback period was ultimately reduced to about one year.


The two economizers placed at the Art Institute were produced by Boilerroom Equipment. The Pennsylvania-based manufacturer specializes in economizer and steam-accumulation technology, as well as condensing heat exchangers. Vince Sands, PE, owner of Boilerroom Equipment, told us a bit about the development of his company. “Ten years ago, we saw an opportunity in the market for a new generation of highly engineered heat-recovery equipment. Equipment at that time was based on a 1950s technological model. There was much more welding present in the older technology and, when service was required, the cost to perform it was prohibitive. Our equipment is designed to maximize heat recovery, while also being easy to repair by plant personnel, rather than outside maintenance technicians.”


Sands reports that economizers like those his firm manufactured for the Art Institute account for 70 to 80% of his business. “Of course, it was a hard winter for many of us in North America. Facility managers everywhere are looking for ways of reducing the overall spend for natural gas. Although gas prices have reduced significantly due to the advent of hydraulic fracturing, there is still strong demand for our heat-recovery equipment. We have grown significantly during the past decade.”


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Caption: Economizer installation at the Art Institute.


The Art Institute’s economizer installation was engineered by McGuire Engineers, who have been long-time corporate sponsors of IAMFA. Michael Murphy, LEED AP, Project Manager of McGuire noted the superiority of the design of these economizers. “The unit features tube elements that can be individually replaced without the need to perform any welding. The individual tubes can be easily removed and replaced. The method of tube connection is a simple compression fitting-type connection.”


Hill Mechanical of Franklin Park, Illinois was the mechanical contractor for the project. Harold Hacker, Vice President of Hill noted that “This was an interesting project and it required a great deal of coordination to put these economizers into a working steam plant. The space we had to work with was tight, and the plant needed to be in continuous operation during the installation phase. The economizers themselves are large, so it was kind of like putting a ship in a bottle. We were really pleased by the ingenuity of our team, who devised and executed the rigging and placement of these large components.”


As part of this project, the Art Institute took advantage the Peoples Gas Natural Gas Savings Program, administered by Peoples Gas, Light and Coke, the local natural gas distribution company in the Chicago area. According to Leon Dorsey, Account Manager for Peoples Gas, “every ratepayer in our territory contributes to the rebate program by paying a ‘Natural Gas Savings Program’ payment as part of their monthly bill. Our customers can then apply for partial funding of energy-efficiency projects that are determined to meet program goals.”


Franklin Energy, the firm contracted to administer the program, and part of our energy team, worked directly with the Art Institute right from the beginning. Adam Roche of Franklin Energy noted, “We were excited about this project. This was an extremely complicated project to engineer, quantify savings, and garner financial approvals within the organization.  Having a partnership relationship with the Art Institute allowed us to finetune our program offerings to meet our customer’s needs. This project benefited on many levels from our program, with the funding of a feasibility study by McGuire Engineers to quantify engineering challenges and potential savings. Our rebates allowed the Art Institute to request funding for a project which not only met typical payback requirements, but exceeded them, allowing for the project dollars to be approved immediately, without having to push through normal capital budget request processes. It was an honor to work with a customer such as the Art Institute, as it is with all customers of Peoples Gas. This was truly a team effort, which will yield significant benefits to the Art Institute for years to come. We encourage all customers in the Chicago area to pursue energy efficiency technologies such as this and to participate in the Peoples Gas Natural Gas Savings Program.”


At a special ceremony held at the Art Institute on July 17, 2014, John Moran, Account Management Senior Leader of Peoples Gas presented William Caddick, Associate Vice-President for Facilities at the Art Institute, with a check for $154,138 from the rebate fund for the boiler economizer project. Mr. Moran congratulated the whole project team for their success.


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Caption: William D. Caddick, Associate Vice-President of Museum Facilities at the Art Institute of Chicago (seventh from the left), received a rebate check for $158,138 for the boiler economizer project at the museum. With him are representatives of Peoples Gas, Franklin Energy, McGuire Engineers, Hill Mechanical and Boilersource. Photo: Deborah Baugh

Acknowledging the presentation, Mr. Caddick, a past IAMFA President, took a moment to recognize each member of the team. “I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that it is professionally rewarding to participate in an effort like this. It is rare that a project meets so many important goals. We have reduced the amount of energy we need to consume in our operations, at the same time generating significant cost savings. We have reduced our carbon footprint, and have contributed to a greener Chicago. I believe that projects such as this were the original intent of the rebate program, and each of you should be proud of the role you have played in it.”


Museum facility managers who are considering-energy efficiency infrastructure improvements are encouraged to seek incentive funding to offset project costs. A comprehensive list of such funding sources in the United States is available at


Patrick B. Jones is Manager, Off-Site Facilities and Energy at the Art Institute of Chicago, and can be reached at



Sustainable Preservation Practices for Managing Storage Environments—Series III


Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Education & Training Grant Program

Presented by the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology


A third round of IPI’s highly successful series of free workshops and webinars for collections care, facilities, and administrative staff in cultural institutions will begin this fall. Visit IAMFA’s website www.NewIAMFA.Org for a link to register for the workshop, and a special offer from IAMFA. Individuals who attend the two-day workshop, and who have never been a member of IAMFA, will receive a free one-year membership to IAMFA valued at $200. 


These presentations are designed to enable collections care and facilities staff in cultural institutions to work together to define and achieve an optimal preservation environment—one that combines the best possible preservation of collections with the least possible consumption of energy, and is sustainable over time. Over 2,000 individuals participated in the last two series, and 99.5% rated the presentations clear, useful, well organized, and relevant.


The Series III workshops will convey the latest information and best practices for sustainable management of collection storage environments. Participants will receive two full days of practical information on understanding mechanical system functions, responsible energy-saving strategies, and guidelines for managing changes in environmental settings without reducing preservation quality. Each participant will receive a copy of IPI’s Guide to Sustainable Preservation Practices for Managing Storage Environments.


Workshop Hosts and Presentation Dates

o   Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA—September 29–30, 2014

◦        Held in the Alfond Auditorium

o   American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY—October 28–29, 2014

◦        Held in the Linder Theater

o   California Preservation Program, Berkeley, CA—November 4–5, 2014

◦        Held in the David Brower Center

o   Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C.—December 9–10, 2014

◦        Held in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery’s McEvoy Auditorium

o   Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX—January 13–14, 2015

◦        Held in the Museum Auditorium


There are no registration fees for the workshops or the webinars. Space is limited at each venue—please register early, if you are certain that you can attend.


Series III webinars will be scheduled between January and November 2015. Details of topics and schedules will be available at when they are finalized.  

We strongly encourage a team approach, and suggest that institutions register participants representing collections, facilities, and administrative staff.


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Caption: Presentation by facility manager during IPI Sustainable Preservation Practices Workshop.


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Caption:Audience for IPI Sustainable Preservation Practices Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia.



An Air Quality Standard for the Protection of Cultural Heritage


By Peter Fish, Chris Muller and David Thickett



In a previous Papyrus article[i] a specific environmental factor was discussed that warranted special consideration with regards to the protection of historical artifacts and materials. Gaseous (or chemical) pollution such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are known to have significant deleterious effects, and information was provided on one method being used to monitor and measure gaseous pollutants. Over the last several years, work has been ongoing to refine this technique specific to the protection of cultural heritage, such that “reactivity monitoring” has become the de facto environmental standard for many institutions.


Reactivity (or corrosion) monitoring has been in continuous use for more than 30 years in museums, libraries, and archives, as a tool to gauge the aggressiveness of the ambient environment towards materials and artifacts. The use of passive and real-time reactivity monitors has been written into specifications, and a classification scheme relevant to conservation and preservation environments has been developed. Advances in real-time reactivity monitoring technology have provided for smaller, battery-operated devices with internet and wireless communication capabilities, and many have called for a formalization of this classification scheme into an international standard for exhibition and storage applications.


Standards and Guidelines for Gaseous Pollutants

Despite all of the research that has been performed over the past decade, there is still no universally accepted air quality specification for museums, libraries, or archives. There are a number of guideline documents and standards that are often used as references (partial lists below), some of which date back more than 30 years. Most provide a short list of gaseous pollutants that require control, along with recommended control levels, but research continues in an attempt to determine what levels of gaseous pollutants cause deterioration of historical artifacts and archival materials, as well as the most relevant air-monitoring technique.


Museum Air Quality Guidelines

  • National Bureau of Standards (NBS, 1983). “Air Quality Standards for Storage of Paper-Based Archival Records,” NBSIR 83-2795. Gaithersburg, MD.
  • Thomson, G. (1986). “The Museum Environment,” 2nd Eed. Butterworths, London.
  • National Research Council (1986). “Preservation of Historical Records,” National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
  • “Conservation notes: Environmental standards” (1987). International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, Volume 6, Issue 2.
  • Purafil, Inc. (1989). Technical Brochure TB-600: “Environmental Control for Museums, Libraries and Archival Storage Areas.”
  • National Information Standards Organization (NISO 1995). “Environmental Guidelines for the Storage of Paper Records,” TR01-1995, Baltimore, MD.
  • National Park Service (NPS, 1999). “Museum Handbook, Part 1: museum Collections,” Washington, D.C.
  • Tétreault, J. 2003. Airborne Pollutants in Museums, Galleries, and Archives: Risk Assessment, Control Strategies and Preservation Management. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute.
  • “Rare Collections Library Design Specifications,” (2005).  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA.


Museum Air Quality Standards

  • Advisory guideline air quality archives (1995). Government Buildings Agency (Rijksgebouwendienst), The Hague.
  • ISO 11844: Corrosion of metals and alloys – Classification of low corrosivity of indoor atmospheres (2006). International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva.
  • BS5454:2000: Recommendations for the storage and exhibition of archival documents (2012). British Standards Institution (BSI), London.
  • NARA 1571: Archival Storage Standards (2012). National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, D.C.
  • EN 16141:2012: Conservation of cultural heritage - Guidelines for management of environmental conditions - Open storage facilities: definitions and characteristics of collection centres dedicated to the preservation and management of cultural heritage (2012). European Committee for Standardization (CEN), Brussels.
  • EN 15999-1:2014: Conservation of cultural heritage - Guidelines for design of showcases for exhibition and preservation of objects - Part 1: General requirements (2014). European Committee for Standardization (CEN), Brussels.


Museum Air Quality Specifications

Engineering specifications, individual institutional requirements, and other sources pertaining to air-quality requirements for cultural heritage going back 20 years were examined to develop a list of gaseous pollutants most commonly cited, as well as their control levels.[ii] Table 1 shows this list and the range of control specifications, along with the most commonly cited copper and silver reactivity levels.


Table 1. Most commonly referenced ambient air contaminants 1990–2010.


Reactivity Monitoring Research

With respect to the reactivity monitoring guidelines listed above, this environmental analysis method is currently being used by a large number of institutions, and has been described in the literature, with much of the research supporting reactivity monitoring, going back to the 1990s.[iii]


Reactivity Monitors

Both passive and real-time reactivity monitors have been provided by Purafil, Inc. since the early 1980s for use in cultural heritage applications. Some of the more notable include Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, the Sistine Chapel, the Capital Museum and Forbidden City Museum (Beijing), the General Government Archives at The Hague, national archives in China, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S., as well as many U.S. state archives and several Presidential Libraries. Broad acceptance and continuing R&D efforts have resulted in the latest generation of commercially available reactivity monitors.


The Corrosion Classification Coupon+ (CCC+) measures the amount of corrosion formation on copper and silver coupons and logs the temperature and relative humidity of the local environment. This passive monitor provides all of the data necessary to verify industry-standard classifications on the amount and type of corrosion present, as well as identifying specific contaminant classes.


The Purafil OnGuard 4000 (OG4) Atmospheric Corrosion Monitor (ACM) indicates the level of corrosion, before severe damage occurs, by characterizing the room environment and evaluating the effectiveness of pollution-control strategies. The OG4’s copper and silver sensors measure corrosion rates, along with temperature and relative humidity in real time, and an internal data logger stores the results for access via the internet, or for direct transmission to a building management system. Data may also be downloaded to a PC.


Additional information on both the CCC+ and the OG4 can be found at


Other Recent Research Projects

Other recent research projects also point to the continued relevance of reactivity monitoring in cultural heritage applications. Two European Union (EU) projects are described here.



The goal of this project was to develop electronic loggers, designated AirCorr, for the continuous measurement of air corrosivity, and to finetune the monitoring system for application in the cultural heritage sector. Based on results obtained in a survey of professionals working with cultural heritage objects, three versions of the AirCorr logger have been designed for specific applications: AirCorr I—an indoor version with an exchangeable sensor; AirCorr I Plus—an indoor version with temperature and RH sensors, two replaceable corrosion sensors, and LCD showing actual corrosivity; and AirCorr O—a watertight outdoor version. More details are available at


Memori Project[v]

The aim of this project is to provide the conservation market with innovative, non-destructive, early warning technology for easy assessment of environmental impact on indoor cultural heritage. The MEMORI solution is an early warning system sensitive to the main degradation factors of indoor environments. It integrates technologies that can identify the environments that will create a negative impact before effects can be seen on artifacts. The MEMORI dosimeter is sensitive to photo-oxidizing gases and organic acid gases. The MEMORI reader is designed for onsite measurements, and a web link provides evaluation of the dosimeter readings. A handheld reader allows for the collection and analysis of data onsite, streamlining the process of identifying problem areas. The MEMORI dosimeter and reader can be connected to a web-based system designed to visualize and interpret the results from the reader. Additional details on the MEMORI project can be found at


A New Reactivity Monitoring Standard

Over the years, several standards that directly correlate copper and silver reactivity rates to environmental classifications have been considered for cultural heritage applications.[vi],[vii] Current standards that employ reactivity monitoring—either in passive or active form—and directly correlate corrosion rates to environmental classifications have also been considered. The three that have been most commonly referenced for the cultural heritage sector are:


  • ISO 11844-1:2006—Corrosion of metals and alloys—Classification of low corrosivity of indoor atmospheres —Part 1: Determination and estimation of indoor corrosivity.[viii]
  • ISO 9223:2012—Corrosion of metals and alloys—Corrosivity of atmospheres—Classification, determination and estimation.[ix]
  • ANSI/ISA 71.04-2013—Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement and Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants.[x]


Each of these has its shortcomings for use in cultural heritage applications and, in order to be truly useful, each would have to be significantly modified based on the results of ongoing testing and the specific needs of these environments.


Purafil maintains a cultural heritage database containing thousands of sets of copper and silver coupons, in addition to several hundred OG4 atmospheric corrosion monitors. Included in this database are local, state, and national archives, private and public libraries, and some of the world’s best-known museums. A summary of Purafil’s database is in Table 2.


Table 2. Reactivity Monitoring Database for Cultural Heritage (summary)[xi]


Purafil’s historical application of reactivity monitoring, including many years of environmental research and verification, has shown that this technique can be used as an alternative to direct gas monitoring in these environments.


Based on this, and through partnership with a number of institutions that have made reactivity monitoring their standard for environmental assessment and classification, a proposed air-quality standard for cultural heritage applications is shown in Table 3.


Table 3. Reactivity Monitoring Standard for the Protection of Cultural Heritage


This classification scheme has remained as shown here, with only slight modification to the class descriptors and the acceptable corrosion rates for each class. More specific guidelines for various use categories, using this classification scheme, have been developed and are listed below.


  • Class C1/S1:  Archives, Film Collections, Metal Collections, Rare Books
  • Class C2/S2:  Museums, Museum Storage, Libraries
  • Class C3/S3:  Historic Houses
  • Class C4/S4:  Short-Term Acceptable
  • Class C5/S5:  Not Acceptable


It has been demonstrated that, if an environment exhibits reactivity rates of C1/S1, there is nothing else that can be done, economically, to improve the environment. Meeting a general acceptance criteria of C2/S2—without the presence of active sulfur or inorganic chlorine contamination (as copper sulfide [Cu2S] and silver chloride, [AgCl], respectively)—often indicates an environment sufficiently well-controlled that direct control of gaseous pollutants is not required.


Individual corrosion species can be used to further characterize the environment and determine the proper control strategies. These guidelines are more general in their application, and are most often used for the characterization of an environment prior to the implementation of pollutant-control measures.


A Workable Standard

Based on all of the evidence presented here, why should additional time, effort, and money be spent on developing reactivity monitoring tools and techniques if there is not a standard environmental classification system in place? A reactivity monitoring standard for cultural heritage would be used to perform environmental “pre-assessments” to set facility design specifications for display and storage areas, HVAC design, etc. It would also provide validation of preventive/remedial actions taken to improve air quality, including the use of enhanced air cleaning.


The 10-year Dutch DeltaPlan project actually met its goal of correlating pollutant levels using corrosion rates, to damage caused to archival materials. It validated the use of real-time reactivity monitoring, and has shown that specified environmental conditions can be achieved and maintained.


We already have essentially everything needed to publish a standard. There is a workable method for the use of both passive and real-time reactivity monitoring. There is also a historical basis for this method, and an environmental classification scheme has already been developed and is in use.


Our recommendation? We should not waste the efforts of others, but rather consolidate the research that has already been performed to formalize a standard classification system applicable to cultural heritage, based on the use of reactivity monitoring. This would allow conservators and facility managers to provide real-time data on environmental conditions, and communicate with one another using a common monitoring methodology. Information could be shared without having to be qualified or converted to a different format, as is the case now with the various air-monitoring techniques being used.


Putting a standard in place will also make it much simpler for conservators, architects, engineers, facility managers and others to convey precise environmental requirements for gaseous pollution in these environments. Using a method that looks at the sum total of the effects of gaseous pollutants, as opposed to trying to infer risks based on individual gas measurements, will ensure more effective and economical environmental controls for cultural heritage.


The Next Step?

A new work item proposal (NP) is being prepared, and will be submitted to the relevant ISO Technical Committee for consideration. Granted, if accepted there would be the expected back-and-forth on what reactivity levels would be acceptable for different applications, materials, locations, etc. However, if we can look past the “way we’ve always done it” syndrome and institutional biases, and take advantage of the some of the brilliant research that has been performed, a reactivity monitoring standard for the cultural heritage sector could be developed in a relatively short period of time.


Peter Fish ( is Principal at Prisma Services, Ltd. Chris Muller ( is Technical Director at Purafil, Inc. David Thickett ( is Senior Conservation Scientist at English Heritage. 




1.     Muller, C. “Air-Quality Standards for Preservation Environments: Considerations for Monitoring and Classification of Gaseous Pollutants,” Papyrus, Winter 2010-2011, 11(3): 45-50.

2.     Purafil, Inc. (2011). “Review of Air Quality Guidelines for Museums, Libraries, and Archives: 1990-2010,” unpublished report.

3.     Fish, P. , C. Muller, and D. Thickett, “Is it Time for a Reactivity Monitoring Standard for Museums?,” Proceedings of IAQ 2012 – the 10th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality in Heritage and Historic Environments, June 17-20, 2012, London, England.

4.     MUSECORR Project: Protection of cultural heritage by real-time corrosion monitoring. EU research project funded through the Seventh Framework Program, Theme 6: Environment, Duration: June 2009 – May 2012, Contract No. 226539.

5.     MEMORI Project: Measurement, Effect Assessment and Mitigation of Pollutant Impact on Movable Cultural Assets. Innovative Research for Market Transfer. EU research project funded through the Seventh Framework Programme, Theme 6: Environment, Duration: November 2010 – October 2013, Contract No. 265132.

  1. Vosteen, R. 1994. “Advisory Guide - Line Air Quality Archives,” Delta Plan for Culture Preservation,  Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Government Buildings Agency Netherlands, Department Design and Engineering, The Hague.

7.     Muller, C. and E. Sacchi, 2005. “Air Quality Monitoring at Historic Sites,” ASHRAE Journal, 47(8): 40-46.

8.     ISO 2005. ISO 11844-2:2005 (E), Corrosion of metals and alloys — Classification of low corrosivity of indoor atmospheres — Part 2: Determination of corrosion attack in indoor atmosphere. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland.

9.     ISO 2012. ISO 9223:2012, “Corrosion of metals and alloys -- Corrosivity of atmospheres -- Classification, determination and estimation. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland.

10.  ISA 1985. ANSI/ISA 71.04-1985: Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement and Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants. Research Triangle Park: International Society for Automation ISA 2013.

11.  Purafil, Inc. (2014). “Purafil’s Museum Database,” unpublished report.



The History of Fire Protection at the National Library of Scotland


By Jack Plumb


The world-class collections of the National Library of Scotland have faced the threat of damage or destruction by fire on many occasions down the centuries. An examination of this history shows there have been a number of extremely close calls.


The ever-present danger that fire poses to cultural collections or treasured buildings was all too apparent earlier this year when the iconic Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art was badly damaged by fire. The school’s library, regarded as one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau in the world, was completely destroyed. This occurred just months before a new fire suppression system was due to be installed.


Today the National Library’s collections are protected by a modern sprinkler system, but this is a relatively recent development in a 300-year-old fight against fire. It all began with the establishment of the Advocates’ Library in 1680, which presented its historical collections to the nation in 1925 to create the National Library of Scotland.


The Advocates’ Library had its first close call in 1700. In what later became known as the Lesser Great Fire of Edinburgh, the house that contained the library’s collection was destroyed, although most of the books were saved by the selfless exertions of the keeper. The fire burnt from the Cowgate to High Street, with only Parliament House surviving.


This led the library to relocate to a new home under Parliament Hall, but the collection was in grave danger again in 1786, when a fire broke out within Parliament House itself. It subsequently cost the Faculty of Advocates £500 in fees for “superintendence of repairs.” A blaze in a neighbouring tenement property in 1790 presented the advocates with an opportunity to purchase properties to the west of Parliament Hall, with the intention of creating a new library.


There was a need to expand into bigger premises which could house the growing collection, while also offering better protection from fire. The land that had been bought in 1790 was subsequently used to build additional court accommodation, and the library was again relocated—this time to what is now the Signet Library in Parliament Square.


In 1823, concern about the risk of fire led the advocates to insure the collections for £40,000 and the building for £10,000. These fears were justified just a year later, when the Great Fire of Edinburgh destroyed much of the High Street and Parliament Close. The library and Parliament Hall narrowly escaped. Thirteen people died in the fire, with many hundreds of others either badly injured or rendered homeless. Building damage amounted to over £200,000—a colossal figure for the time.


The scene on that night in November was described by one of Edinburgh’s most prominent citizens, Lord Cockburn: “I found the south-east angle of the Parliament Close burning violently. It was almost touching Sir William Forbes’s bank, the libraries of the Advocates’ and of the Writers of the Signet, the (St Giles) Cathedral and the courts. Of course the alarm was very great; but this seemed only to increase the confusion. No fire ever got fairer play. Judges, magistrates, officers of the state, dragoons, librarians were all mixed with the mob, all giving peremptory and inconsistent directions. Amidst this confusion, inefficiency, and squabble for dignity, the fire held on till next morning; by which time the whole private buildings in the Parliament Close, including the whole east side, and about half of the south side, were consumed.”


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Caption:The Edinburgh Sheriff Court House, which was demolished to make way for construction of the National Library in the late 1920s.


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Caption: The Signet Library, which we will visit at the IAMFA Scotland 2014 conference to hear about its role in the development of the Advocates Library.


Edinburgh realised it had to become better prepared to fight fire, and that led James Braidwood to establish the world’s first-ever municipal fire brigade. Braidwood, widely regarded as “the father of firefighting”, would eventually move on to set up a dedicated fire service in London. His legacy was recognised by the city of Edinburgh in 2008, when a statue was erected. It stands on Parliament Square: the very place that had borne the brunt of the dreadful inferno all those years ago.


Just as in 1700, the fire of 1824 prompted the advocates to think again about the future of the library, which led directly to the construction of a new building from plans drawn up in 1830 by one of Scotland’s greatest-ever architects, William Playfair. This building, which lies at the rear of the National Library, connects to Parliament House and continues to house the Advocates’ Library to this day.


Open fires provided the main form of heating in this period, and fire safety was not all it could be, as is clear from an inspection report by Robert Reid, produced prior to the move into the new building. “I found in an apartment connected with the Advocates’ Library, and immediately under Parliament House, a very considerable deposit of tar barrels, shavings and other combustibles used for the fires of the library rooms, and, in the same apartment, the servants of the library were in the habit of placing the buckets containing the ashes removed from the fireplaces.”


The advocates decided to sell their accommodation in the Signet Library for £12,000 to raise funds for the new library. It was recognised that the move to the Signet Library had been a mistake; it was too small, having room for only 17,000 volumes, and was quickly outgrown.


The new building overcame that problem, having much more generous space but the risk of fire remained a worry. A new heating system—Parkin’s Patent Hot Water Heating Apparatus, consisting of coils of hot water pipes—was installed to reduce the reliance on open fires. However, it was not free from problems. A member of the Faculty warned that pressure and excess heat could build up, leading to combustion of material such as old, dry woodwork that came into contact with the pipe. “I see it is beyond doubt that an extra fire on a frosty morning—or even more moderate ones continued through a winter—may prove the destruction of our noble collection.”


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Caption: The construction of the National Library, begun in 1938, was unfortunately held up during the Second World War and the austerity that followed, and wasn’t completed until 1956.


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Caption: How the Main Reading Room would have looked in 1956.


There is no record of that happening, but a fire did break out in 1875, when a smoke flue to the furnace overheated. Once again, the library’s luck held, with damage to only 3,560 volumes—551 of which were completely destroyed.


Even as late as 1873, a cellar for firewood and coal opened directly off a collections’ storage area, with only a flimsy door separating the two. Portable hand pumps were installed on each floor of the library six years later ,on the advice of the Edinburgh Firemaster. He also recommended that bookshelves be removed from above fireplaces, but this was resisted as it would do away with 800 feet (244 metres) of shelving.  The balance of finding enough space for the collections, while keeping them safe and accessible, proved as difficult as ever.


Thanks to the efforts of the Faculty of Advocates, treasures such as the earliest books printed in Scotland; the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots; Blind Harry’s ballad, which is the main source on the life of William Wallace; one of the copies of the National Covenant of 1638; and the order that brought about the massacre of Glencoe in 1692, among many others, are today in the safekeeping of the National Library of Scotland.  We owe them a great debt.


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Caption: The current Advocates Library. This is actually the William Playfair Corridor, but it is all that is left of the original grand plans for the Advocates Library.


Jack Plumb CEng MIET MCIBSE MSLL is Head of Estates at the National Library of Scotland, and is host of IAMFA’s 24th Annual Conference in Scotland.



Stewardship and the Diefenbunker

By Brendan Goodfellow, Stephanie Miles and Ian MacLean

Canada’s Central Emergency Government Headquarters, now most commonly known as the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, is a 100,000-square-foot, four storey underground bunker that was designed to house over 400 people for a duration of 30 days in the event of a nuclear war. With the Soviet Union increasing its arsenal of nuclear weapons in the mid-1950s, the idea of constructing bunkers to ensure continuity of government was born. 


Construction of the Diefenbunker began in 1959, and was completed only 14 months later in 1961. Not only was it constructed for continuity of government, but it also served as a central hub for communications within Canada. All bunkers within Canada were linked to the Diefenbunker, relaying information regarding evacuations, refugee camps, weather patterns for radioactive fallout, and top-secret information relating to retaliatory strikes and counterstrikes. The history of the Diefenbunker is inextricably linked to the Cold War, which dominated international relations through the latter half of the 20th century.


Upon completion of the structure in 1961, the facility began to be outfitted with specialized mechanical and electrical equipment, all specifically designed for self-sufficiency, and mounted on springs for shockproofing. Built with marine technology in mind, even the plumbing was specially designed to be able to absorb shocks from earthquakes and blast waves resulting from a nuclear strike. 


The Diefenbunker remained operational from 1962 to 1994. During this period, it underwent several modifications and upgrades to bring it up to modern standards. In the early 1990s, it was deemed too costly for the government to continue with upgrades and a decision to decommission the facility was made. It was at this time that a group of individuals took it upon themselves to ensure that this important remnant of Canadian Cold War history would not be demolished nor permanently closed off from the public. 


The Diefenbunker was designated a national historic site in 1994. The reasons for this designation, as derived from the 1994 HSMBC (Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada) Minutes, are:

•   It is symbolic of the Cold War and the strategy of nuclear deterrence;

  • It is symbolic of a people’s determination to survive as a nation following nuclear war; and

•   It is a poignant, tangible reminder of what was arguably among the most critical periods in modern history.


The heritage value of the Diefenbunker National Historic Site of Canada lies in the comprehensive physical evidence it presents, confirming Canada’s determination to survive and function as a nation during a nuclear attack. This is exemplified by its location, landscape-integrated setting, nuclear-detonation-resistant design, and heavily reinforced concrete construction.


The Diefenbunker opened its doors to the public as a private, not-for-profit museum in 1998. Today, 50,000 people a year roam the halls of the facility. Some brave the massive underground facility on their own, while others join group tours and have the facility interpreted for them.


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Caption:Exterior entrance to the Diefenbunker, via the Butler Hut.


In 2012, the Diefenbunker Museum Board of Directors approved a Strategic Plan, which articulates its vision from 2012 to 2017. As part of the strategic planning exercise, the Board developed a more concise Vision Statement, which is specific to the period of this plan:


By showcasing/championing Canada’s preparedness to secure the seat of government during the Cold War, the Diefenbunker creates this country’s most unique learning environment for present and future generations to better understand one of the most critical times in the world’s history.


Our care of the Diefenbunker will make sure the best of the past is kept to enrich lives today and in the future.


Strategic Objective 4 involves preserving the building as the Diefenbunker’s primary artifact. In order to achieve this, and to ensure the sustainability of the Diefenbunker, it is necessary to address funding for capital needs and repairs through sponsorship and fundraising.


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Caption: Blast tunnel inside the Diefenbunker.


In 2013, the Diefenbunker engaged an Ottawa-based engineering firm, Morrison Hershfield, to prepare a Building Condition Report for the mechanical and electrical systems in the facility. As a result of the decommissioning process of 1994, there are several systems which can no longer be operated. For example, the three chillers, originally used to process water for the HVAC and domestic water systems, have not been operational since 1994. Because these machines sat idle for such a long period of time, they have become inoperable, and the costs to recommission them are too high. However, the chillers will be left in their current location and preserved for interpretation as artifacts. 


In order to operate the Museum in the long term, new HVAC systems will have to be installed. This is a rehabilitation activity that will ensure continuing use of this historical facility, while protecting its heritage value. Another rehabilitation activity is the installation of a new electrical service to replace equipment that is now over 60 years old.  The current equipment will be kept in a preserved state for interpretation.


The Building Condition Report provided the Museum with a solid rationale to seek further funding for capital improvements to the facility. Included in the report were recommendations and costs for the required upgrades. This information is now being used for fundraising and sponsorship activities.


A Conservation Plan has been prepared to complement the Building Condition Report, and to provide guidance for preservation of the mechanical and electrical character-defining elements of this National Historic Site. Preservation activities will allow the Diefenbunker to retain its heritage values and extend its physical life. Conservation plans for the facility’s other character-defining elements are also currently being prepared. 


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Caption:One of the mechanical rooms deep inside the Diefenbunker.

Stewardship is the responsible planning and management of resources, and is often linked to the principles of sustainability, and heritage conservation. MTBA Associates Inc. of Ottawa assisted in defining the elements of stewardship in the context of real property management, especially with respect to principles of heritage conservation for the National Historic Site. They are: 

•   Establishing heritage value and embodying and protecting character-defining elements;

•   Implementing management strategies for this protection and integrating these strategies with other building management objectives on an ongoing basis;

•   Including heritage conservation methodologies into all lifecycle maintenance and building management strategies; and

•   Integrating the entire property management team into these strategies, such that those responsible for maintenance and decision-making become aware of the heritage values of the property and conservation approaches are applied to overall management strategies.

In conclusion, ownership of real property entails an investment in the present, and a commitment to the future. Stewardship of this facility will optimize its service life and provide a safe and healthy environment for Museum staff and visitors, while also preserving the building and grounds for future generations.

Brendan Goodfellow is Facilities Manager at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. Stephanie Miles is Conservation Assistant at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. Ian MacLean is a consultant and former Chief, Facilities Services, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation.


LinkedIn Group Collaborative Article: Success with Wireless Temperature Sensors?

By IAMFA’s LinkedIn Group


IAMFA’s Linked in Group has now grown to over 700 members in 48 countries. The group offers IAMFA’s members a forum in which to communicate with one another, while also interacting with non-members of IAMFA around the world who have similar interests. This exchange last month demonstrates the willingness of members of the IAMFA LinkedIn Group to share their experiences. We hope all IAMFA members will join our LinkedIn Group.



William Lull—Consultant in Building Technology

Who has tried the new wireless temperature transmitters? Do they work? What are the limitations? I am looking for some that can be added to an existing BMS, preferably as external AI connections that are not proprietary to a particular BMS vendor. I see lots of applications if they are effective and not too expensive.


Lawrence FraserBuilding Manager at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia

The National Portrait Gallery of Australia has installed eight wireless temperature and humidity sensors in our gallery spaces as a check for the original sensors, which were installed in the return air duct—obviously not a real indication of what is happening in the spaces. The units which we have are from DELTA, the parent company being from Canada. The main issue is that there is a receiver required—one for every two sensors—and all wireless units need to be within transmission distance of one another.


We had major issues with the concrete construction of the building, and it took some time to figure out a spot where they could all work. If the signal is weak, the batteries go flat in no time, as the sensor is constantly searching for something to send its information to. 

In all, they work, and I believe these ones are BACNet-compatible, so should work on any existing system. They are expensive—works out to around $1000 per unit by the time you get the receivers, etc. in—so cabling would be cheaper if you had an option, which we did not. If you send through your email, I can shoot you all the information I have and a few photos.


Paul CollisFacilities Coordinator at Queensland Art Gallery, Australia

That's great information; I have been looking into this a little and will be taking this up with our HVAC contractor for the Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA. The nature of contemporary art means that often AC sensors are in locations where work needs to be placed. This requires constant movements and rewiring. Remote sensors would be a solution and save some time and money in the long run, so I'll look into a few of the options you mentioned above. Thanks.


Allan TyrrellHead of Engineering Services at the National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery started to install wireless environmental space sensors six years ago. We now have in excess of 50 throughout the Gallery, reporting back on temperature, humidity and CO2. We use the data for control purposes, after it was proven reliable and accurate; we have experimented with light-level sensors also. The system is manufactured by Eltek. With some walls over six feet thick, we were originally concerned about transmission; but with the installation of receivers to boost the collected information, they are a good solution in a Grade I listed building. We use them in a remote store that we share with Tate and return the data over broadband. 

Our work with 16th-century buildings with a Hanwell wireless system, in which the walls are a great deal thicker, has proven the system’s transmission reliability—certainly a good option where routes are restricted for wired systems, and drilling is not permitted. The manufacturers have taken on board concerns over the aesthetics of the sensors, and now offer them in more colours to enable them to blend in; in some cases, the sensors and the bodies of the units are supplied on flying leads to enable the sensors to be hidden from view. 

The information has been added to our BMS for control of plant serving Gallery areas, and trending is available to curators and conservators. Overall, a successful installation that grows as our needs change.


Kurt SissonPresident, Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association, USA

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has tried several types of sensors. Here is input from Brian McGivney, our Controls expert:

“Yes, we have tried several different wireless sensors with mixed results. For our VAV systems (Study Center) we used Enocean ( products from Distech and Thermokon. They worked very well when used for short distances. Veris makes a Wi-Fi sensor that we tested, but never deployed in a production environment. The test results were positive, and we would consider using this product in the future. TDP’s wireless network makes these attractive. We used a fair number of wireless sensors from TRS-Sys. These were spread spectrum types sensors and worked fairly well. I understand that TRS-Sys was sold to Veris.

“New tech that hasn’t yet hit the big time is Mesh Radio or Cognitive Radio. Zigbee and ModHopper are “mesh” sensor systems that could be the answer.”


If anybody would like to contact Brian directly on this topic, his email is


Installation of New Disabled Access Ramp at The British Library, St. Pancras, London


By Richard Warren


A new ramp has been built at the eastern end of the main entrance steps to improve step-free access to the building. Although there was an existing entrance ramp, this was restricted by a large column reducing the clear width, in addition to being slightly off-route to the main entrance.


The ramp is constructed from “wire-cut” brick paviors, and cut-to-size, dressed and honed Hauteville stone from a quarry in France—to match the existing stone on the piazza, which was selected originally due to its high density and good resistance to frost attack.


The ramp design incorporates large anchor plates to which the handrails and posts were attached. Installing fixings for the baseplates required penetration of the waterproofing membrane beneath the piazza (and above the five basement levels below) with subsequent re-waterproofing over the baseplates once installed. The handrails and posts were produced specifically for the Library by a specialist metalwork contractor, in bronze and mild steel respectively, to match existing hand railing on the piazza.


Lighting is incorporated in the stone up-stand on the western side of the ramp, ensuring that the ramp will be well lit. A new lighting control box was installed in the existing adjacent ashlar-clad wall, and switches the lighting on at dusk, and off at dawn.


What should have been a relatively straightforward project was drawn out by a delay in delivering the stone from the French quarry. The stone was on order for over three months and, in the end, the Director of the company contracted to build the ramp visited the works in southeastern France himself to ensure its dispatch to the UK!


The new ramp follows several building modifications made over recent years to improve access to the St. Pancras building, which the Library hopes will be continued wherever there is a future need, and funding is made available.


Richard Warren is Building and Projects Manager at the British Library.



Regional Chapter Updates


Washington, D.C.–Baltimore Regional Chapter

By Maurice Evans


On May 1, the Washington, D.C.–Baltimore Chapter met at the National Archives for its quarterly meeting. The meeting was very well attended with over 30 individuals, representing eight different cultural institutions.  


The meeting kicked off with an introduction of all members and visitors in attendance, and a quick overview of IAMFA and chapter business and news. Mark Sprouse welcomed everyone to the National Archives. During the meeting, Maurice Evans announced that, at the end of the fiscal year, he would be relinquishing his duties as Chapter Chairperson—a post he has held for five years. He also put out a request for anyone interested in becoming the next Chapter Chairperson to submit his or her name.    


Kevin Anderson gave a presentation on the Archives composting operation, located at the Archives’ College Park Maryland campus. The composting operation has been operational a little over a year and a half, with a 10-year expected ROI. This was followed by a presentation from Don Overfelt on the new co-generation system and the LED lighting upgrades in the Rotunda.


After the presentations we were given a choice of two different tours: the central plant and co-generation rooms, or the new Visitor’s Orientation Plaza at the Constitution Avenue entrance. The next chapter meeting was scheduled for July 25 at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. 



Northern California and Nevada Regional Chapter

By Jennifer Fragomeni

On July 18, the Northern California and Nevada Chapter met at the NIF (National Ignition Facility) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. The NIF houses the world’s largest and highest-energy laser, in a building large enough to contain three football fields. The giant laser has high-tech, precision optics, including ones made from specially grown crystals. These optics are used to precisely guide, reflect, amplify, and focus 192 laser beams onto a BB-sized fusion target. The fusion target is held inside a pencil eraser-sized cylinder made of gold, called a hohlraum, which becomes something like a miniature x-ray oven, causing the fusion of hydrogen atoms when the laser is shot.

The group started off the tour with a crash course on fusion. Then we were shown some examples of targets and hohlruaums before getting a tour of a laser bay, a laser switchyard, the target chamber, and the control room. The group was present to witness a test shot of the laser. 

Most of the facility is treated as a “clean room,” and all air-handling units have HEPA filters. Temperatures around the target area must be controlled to within a fraction of a degree Celsius.

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Caption: Left to Right: Charlie Booth, ABM Facilities; Edgar Maxion, Stanford Libraries; Irv Stowers, NIF (retired); Raina Phillips, Stanford Libraries; Jesse Jackson, Exploratorium; Chuck Mignacco, Exploratorium; Jennifer Fragomeni, Exploratorium; Larry Dahl, Stanford Libraries; Mark Palmer, San Francisco Department of the Environment; Tamara Hayes, San Francisco Historical Society; Jesse MacQuiddy, Exploratorium; Shani Krevsky, Exploratorium; and Ari Harding, California Academy of Sciences.



UK Chapter


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Caption: Whiskey, the official bevvy of the 2014 IAMFA Scotland Conference.



Hong Kong

On June 13, Steensen Varming celebrated the joint opening of their new Hong Kong studio, shared with Henning Larsen Architects.

Guests were met by sweeping views of the Victoria Harbour and music from cellist Javan Tong of the Hong Kong Music Academy.

Speeches were given by Ole Lindholm, Danish Consul General; Mette Kynne Frandsen, CEO, Henning Larsen Architects; Dan Mackenzie, CEO, Steensen Varming; and Dr. Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre. The speeches were followed by a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

Hong Kong is a uniquely global business city, strategically located in the heart of Asia, providing a gateway to opportunities within the Southeast Asian market, as well as in mainland China. The establishment of Steensen Varming’s office in Hong Kong is an important step in the company’s global development, and they are looking forward to offering their highly specialized services to this dynamic market.

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Caption: Chris Arkins and Dan Mackenzie chat during the opening reception for the Hong Kong office.


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Caption: Dan Mackenzie addresses attendees at the opening.


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Caption: The ribbon-cutting ceremony.



List of Contributors

Chris Arkins

Emrah Baki Ulas

Nancy Bechtol

David Brooks

Paul Collis

Maurice Evans

Peter Fish

Jennifer Fragomeni

Lawrence Fraser

Brendan Goodfellow

Michael Harrold

Patrick B. Jones

William Lull

Ian MacLean

Joe May

Stephanie Miles

Chris Muller

Michael Murphy

Richie O’Sullivan

Jack Plumb

Kurt Sisson

David Thickett

Allan Tyrrell

Richard Warren

Cat Wilson

Shaun Woodhouse