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Papyrus—Winter 2016


Cover Headlines

Recap of the 25th IAMFA Annual Conference

Annual Message from the Treasurer

Building Conservation Management Plan

Reducing Energy Costs for Chilled Water Systems 

Advances and Trends in Air Purification for Preservation Environments

Cover Image: Sue, the largest, most extensive and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever found.  Photo: Joe May



Letter from the Editor


Welcome to this winter edition of Papyrus, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as your editorial team enjoyed putting this issue together.

For those of us fortunate enough to have attended the 25th annual conference this year in Chicago, this issue will bring back fond memories of the conference. Reading through some of the articles and pictures, you may recall some of the educational highlights, old friends you caught up with, and new friends that you made.

Personally, I always judge the success of the conference by asking myself what benefit I gained from attending the conference. I am happy to say that this conference was one of the most rewarding, from the educational content of the presentations, to the back-of-house tours of the major museums—I certainly learned a lot. It is always a pleasure to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and this conference was no different. Unfortunately, during the conference we also learned that one of those friends, Donna Reinhart, who always had a smile for everyone, was seriously ill. She passed away a short time after the conference. Our thoughts go out to Rich and their family and friends.

As part of IAMFA’s five-year strategy (2013–2018), we agreed to build the educational potential of IAMFA members into a form that all IAMFA members can benefit from. I have been asked to make a start on this endeavour by setting up a small educational committee to oversee how this can be achieved. In my first letter from the editor, I invited members and readers to share articles of a technical and educational subject with Papyrus. I am very pleased to say that you have taken me up on this invitation by submitting really good articles.

The IAMFA website has also made good progress by linking a number of technical documents and conference presentations so they can be accessed by all those who access the IAMFA website. Therefore I would take this opportunity to ask members interested to being a part of an IAMFA educational forum to get in touch with me, or any other board member. I should mention that, at this stage, we have no fixed ideas of how this educational forum should work, and our first task will be to formulate ideas on how we think this might work.

All of which brings me to this edition of Papyrus. First of all, a very special thank you to all those contributors who took the time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?), to provide the articles we will be reading. Papyrus is IAMFA’s magazine for IAMFA members. In this issue, we are particularly grateful to David Brooks, Chris Muller and Sarah Drysdale for their in-depth technical articles. Papyrus would be not, however, be the magazine it is without the other authors to whom we are just as indebted for their contributions, so please keep your articles rolling in. They do not need to be technical articles; we are just as grateful to receive the topical, the observational, or lyrical—yes, poems and personal stories are welcome as well.

One subject that was raised at the board meeting immediately following the conference was how IAMFA members can integrate themselves with social media. This was a particular request from the guests of IAMFA members, who wanted a more informal and instant means of communication. Some time ago, Joe May had set up the IAMFA group both on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Whilst the LinkedIn IAMFA group has gone from strength to strength, the Facebook IAMFA Group has not made much progress. Well, now is your opportunity to join the IAMFA group on Facebook. It couldn’t be simpler; even I managed it, and am enjoying the banter. It is open to IAMFA members as well as their guests so let’s get . . . well, whatever we do on Facebook. When you are on Facebook, just search for “IAMFA”, and “Like” us. See you there!

One last item I wanted to bring to your attention was that the board has agreed to send out a survey in an attempt to learn what you, the members, like or dislike about the conferences. The purpose of the survey is to try and improve the whole conference experience, and make it as accessible as possible to as many members as possible. The survey will be open to all members, including those members who did not attend the conference—or indeed have never attended a conference. We are just as interested in the reasons why you didn’t/couldn’t attend, as we are in the experiences of those who did attend. To make any survey a success, it is essential that we receive as many returns as possible. The survey will be available online, so we would be extremely grateful if you could all spend a couple of minutes to fill it out.

In the meantime, enjoy yet another outstanding issue of Papyrus, with sincere thanks to our contributors for providing us again with food for thought, technical know-how and even a chuckle or two.


Jack Plumb




Message from the President

By Nancy Bechtol


This past September in Chicago, we celebrated our 25th anniversary as an organization, during our annual meeting, organized by Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones. This was the third conference organized by Chicago members—the first being in 1990, the second in 2000, and now again in 2015. If you missed this outstanding conference, you missed a lot! 

For two straight years, Bill and Patrick worked tirelessly to organize our 25th anniversary conference. All of their work paid off big time, because the entire week’s activities went off without any issues or problems. Delegates and guests were treated like gold from the moment they arrived in Chicago till the day we all had to leave. Conference organizers programmed morning, noon and night—starting on Sunday with our benchmarking session and evening reception at Tommy Guns, through Thursday when we toured three museums in Milwaukee.  We will never be able to thank Bill and Patrick enough for the level of service and dedication they have both extended to IAMFA over the past two years. 

During our closing gala this year at the Art Institute of Chicago, the IAMFA George Preston Award was presented to Bill Caddick, in appreciation for his decades of dedicated. It was a fitting tribute for Bill to receive this award in his own museum, where he has dedicated most of his professional career in facilities management. It was also an honor for Bill to be given an award that is named for one of IAMFA’s founding members. Creating an association for the administrators of museums and other cultural institutions was George Preston’s idea and vision. 

A conference of this size and scope required many willing partners from the cultural resources community in the Chicago area to step forward and host our delegates and their guests. We are very appreciative of our host organizations. Whenever we arrived at a venue, these hosts took over and made sure our tours and educational programs ran without any issues. The IAMFA board hopes that all of these organizations will continue their work together in the years to come by organizing a Chicago Chapter in which their partnering and learning can continue to grow. We can’t thank these folks enough for their personal time and attention to our conference, so a big thank you to Joyce Koker, Thomas James, Larry Bannister, Ed McDonald, Ernst Pierre-Toussaint, Dan Somers, Steve Thompson, Robert Wengel and Jay Yelen.

A quality conference requires solid support and sponsorship from our facilities management corporate community, and this particular community in the Chicago area really came out in force to support our 25th anniversary conference. Bill and Patrick have worked hard over the past two years to garner this level of support, and the board is hoping they will continue to assist us in the years to come, since their expertise and success in this area was truly outstanding. 

As you will read elsewhere in this issue in more detail, throughout the conference we were treated to evening programs such as architectural tours of the city, local historical theater, and a gala celebration in the Art Institute of Chicago—much of it due to the generous support of our sponsors. Please remember them when seeking the types of services they offer. Although you will see them recognized throughout this issue, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Able Engineering, Affiliated Customer Service, Anderson & Shah Roofing, Block Electric, Camfil Ltd., Emcor, The Hill Group, HOH Water Technology, Huntair, John’s Plumbing, Johnson Controls, Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Lighting Services Inc., Loop Acrylics, McGuire Engineers, Mueller Associates, Pepper Construction, Whiting Turner, Turner Construction, and Steensen Varming.

Bob Evans, one of our most longstanding and devoted members, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala dinner during the conference. I was first introduced to IAMFA by Bob Evans some 15 years ago. He has been gathering members and cheerleading our mission for more than two decades. He devoted most of his facilities management career to the Smithsonian Institution, where he is still dearly missed to this day. Bob now joins a number of previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners—John DeLucy, Bob Morrone, Tony McGuire, and Vinny Magorrian—all of whom were in attendance at the gala.   

The conference program was packed with building tours, educational programs, networking time, and fabulous meals in many fabulous places. Our final day was spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we toured three museums and their downtown river walk area. We had a fabulous day with over 70 in attendance.  This conference broke many records, one being our largest Thursday program ever! 

One of the best parts of any IAMFA annual conference is the time spent catching up with our members and their guests. We learn from each other throughout the year, too, but there is nothing better than being with each other during the conference. We learned right before the gala dinner that our dear friend Donna Reinhart was gravely ill; she unfortunately lost her battle with cancer shortly after the conference concluded. Rich Reinhart and his family are in our thoughts and prayers, and we look forward to being with him in Boston in 2016.  

If you missed the Chicago conference, please make sure now to save the dates for our next conference in the New England area, organized by Jim Moisson. He has organized a conference before, back in 2004, but this time around we will see many new cultural sites.  The dates are locked, hotel reserved, and the schedule for each day is firming up thanks to all of the work Jim and his team have already devoted to our next conference. I look forward to seeing everyone again on October 2–5, 2016!  


Nancy Bechtol




Message from the Treasurer

By Alan Dirican


As we head towards the Holiday Season, with another year almost finished, I’ve taken the opportunity recently to reflect on how IAMFA has grown, both in size and in its ability to fulfill its mission. I am so impressed with what this organization has achieved, and I feel like celebrating what we have as an organization, made up of like-minded professionals, all of whom serve their own institutions and communities the way they do. 

This year, we celebrated IAMFA’s 25th anniversary, highlighted with an incredible annual conference held in Chicago, the birthplace of our organization. Over the past 25 years, our organization has grown from just a handful of members to the present 340 members from 10 countries and four continents.  In 2015, we added over 400 trial memberships, bringing our total membership to over 750. We hope we can coax some of those trial members to stay with us beyond the end of the year; if not, however, we have certainly spread the word about IAMFA to hundreds of additional cultural institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Our outreach efforts have certainly evolved over the years, from occasional letters sent to members by IAMFA’s President, to a full-fledged membership magazine. Papyrus continues to grow, with more and more professional and educational articles. This issue will demonstrate what I mean. We now also have a presence on the Internet through social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook. If you haven’t “Liked” our Facebook page, please search for IAMFA, and “Like” us. We hope this will be a great way—especially for the guests who accompany our members to the annual conference each year—to stay in touch with one another. 

We’ve been successful in holding yearly conferences in all of the past 25 years except one. I just attended my 19th consecutive conference this year; I’m afraid I got hooked after the first one. At the conclusion of every conference, I’ve thought to myself, “This conference was the pinnacle of all the conferences so far; we cannot make it better than this year’s.”

I’ve been wrong every year. Each subsequent conference host committee has somehow managed to put on a conference that is just as well organized—if not more so—than its predecessor.  The formula seems to be simple: have a great educational program made up of presentations and tours, and fill the evenings with social activities that we can’t wait to attend. The daytime activities provide the content to take back to our respective institutions, and both daytime and evening social events provide plenty of opportunities for networking and building friendships that continue throughout the years. I have formed some of my best friendships through IAMFA.

During these past 25 years, as our organization grew, we have also improved our business practices. Since I joined the board of directors—first under the charismatic leadership of past President John de Lucy, and now under the brilliant and visionary leadership of current President Nancy Bechtol—all board members have continuously looked for ways to improve the organization. We meet monthly through teleconferences, and in person twice a year, first by visiting the host for the upcoming conference mid-year to review the conference plans, then during the conference itself. 

Success in growing IAMFA and securing such wonderful sponsors is allowing the board to help conference hosts in the planning required to put on the annual conference. In most cases, our hosts have never before organized a week-long conference, and we have made strides over the past several years to standardize portions of the budgeting and planning process. We now capture the good points, as well as the lessons learned, and pass those along to next year’s hosts. The board also started staying behind an extra day after the conference to continue face-to-face, day-long meetings to conduct IAMFA business. In addition, at the Annual General Meeting during the conference, each board member makes a presentation to attendees to keep them informed about the work that has been done, and what has been planned for the future to improve IAMFA. 

For those who don’t regularly attend the annual conference, or for those who missed this year, I would like to outline some of the things the board has been working on, especially in relation to improving practices.

In recent years, the board has looked closely at every aspect of how we do business. We researched other organizations, and sought advice from our legal counsel, accountants and CPAs that work for our institutions, to explore opportunities for improving our business practices. The board also looked at all the general business expenses and resources to better align them and create efficiencies.

As a result of implementing these best practices, coupled with the hard work and great fundraising success of the past conference chairs, we now have a healthy surplus in the bank.  This can be used, in part, for essential capital investments such as the purchase of urgently needed membership software, which is being spearheaded by our multi-talented and energetic newest board member, Tiffany Myers, VP of Regional Affairs. We will also pay for certain services that are no longer feasible for volunteer board members, due to the growth of our organization.

We need to continue to maintain, and hopefully increase, our financial surplus in future years. This will not only help subsidize conference expenses in the event of a fundraising shortfall, but also hopefully one day establish an endowment to support IAMFA’s growing activities.

In recent years, we have become better at collecting membership dues and conference fees from all members, and have established mutually successful conference and corporate sponsorship programs that are a “win” not only for IAMFA, but also for our sponsors.

On the expenses side, we renegotiated or solicited new bids for various services such as printing, auditing, tax filing, and teleconferencing, and reduced costs for the mid-year board meetings and other expenses.

On the communications side, we increased board communications by implementing monthly teleconferences, while making it possible to hold semiannual in-person meetings at mid-year board visits and at the annual conferences. This is in addition to nearly daily email and phone communications between board members. We have been keeping immaculate records of meeting minutes and other records, thanks to our Secretary, David Sanders. We established an archival system through Dropbox that is accessible to board members, as well as other external drives that can be transferred to incoming board members. We significantly improved the website and our presence on LinkedIn, as well as our document archive, thanks to past Editor Joe May and our current Editor, Jack Plumb.

In 2013, we implemented a five-year strategic plan to improve Membership, Sponsorship, Communication, Educational Opportunities, Financial Fitness, and Technology, including our benchmarking efforts. We developed job descriptions for each board position, and updated IAMFA’s bylaws. We also revised our election process to nominate the best possible candidates when multiple candidates run for a particular board position, and now, all regular members can vote electronically each year, instead of just those attending the annual conference. Thanks go to Randy Murphy, VP of Administration, for his diligence and hard work in making these things happen.   

The Treasurer gives monthly treasury reports to the board, and an annual report to the membership during the conference. The Treasurer also does a thorough review of all finances with the board of directors annually, on the day after the conference. Our taxes are filed annually by a professional accounting firm, but there are other forms that must be filed to maintain our non-profit status, as well as the government registrations required to receive membership and conference payments from U.S. federal agencies. Detailed records are kept of all accounts receivable and accounts payable, in order to maintain complete bookkeeping. 

The Treasurer also makes timely deposits and payments for services, exceeding 500 transactions annually. We’ve streamlined the payment and accounts-receivable process by doing more transactions electronically, accepting more credit cards, and adding the “Square” payment system for on-the-spot payments and refunds. As a best practice, we added IAMFA’s President to the bank accounts as a signatory. Additionally, we began annually detailed reviews of finances, and have an annual audit performed by a volunteer CPA to find recommendations for improving efficiencies in the accounting of IAMFA finances.

Our work as a board has been demanding in some cases, but incredibly rewarding—and our work is not complete yet. We continue to make improvements, and plan to communicate these to our members as we implement them. As always we welcome your feedback. I believe we have a great trajectory as an organization, and would recommend that all IAMFA members consider volunteering to serve on the board, or one of our numerous committees, to contribute to the growth of this wonderful organization.


Alan Dirican, CFM, is Director of Facilities at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C., and has served as VP Administration and Treasurer of IAMFA. 


Going with the Flow: Reducing Energy Costs for Chilled Water Systems at The Art Institute of Chicago

By David Brooks

Large chilled water plants can waste energy and money if not properly tuned. By monitoring energy use, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) learned that it could improve performance. By replacing existing two-way control valves with pressure independent control valves, the AIC has saved 13% on their energy costs.



Chilled-water systems in museums are an integral part of maintaining the proper temperature and relative humidity in critical areas. As such, they also are a major consumer of power, and can be responsible for up to 30% of energy costs. It is therefore important that cooling systems operate at their best efficiency without sacrificing environmental control.

Following completion of the Modern Wing in 2010, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) suspected that its cooling plant was not running at top efficiency. Two new large chillers had been added to the three existing chillers. Building staff was struggling with sequencing the operation of the new and existing chillers. Additionally, flow rates and temperatures of the new cooling plant were inconsistent with what staff engineers expected. 

AIC’s chilled-water plant is a constant primary/variable secondary pumping system, as shown in Figure 1. The chillers are part of the primary loop, and flow is dictated by how many chillers are operating. The air handlers and secondary chilled-water pumps are part of the secondary loop, and are variable flow. A common pipe decouples the primary system from the secondary system. 

The primary piping system is comprised of two 1,250-ton (4375 kW) centrifugal chillers, and three 750-ton (2650 kW) chillers with associated primary pumps, for a combined flow of 11,400 GPM (2622 m³/hr). The secondary piping system has four 3,000 GPM (690 m³/hr), 200 HP (149 kW) pumps with variable frequency drives (VFDs), and approximately 56 air handlers, with a combined flow of 8,320 GPM (1913 m³/hr).

Figure 1: AIC Chilled-water plant.


In an ideal chilled-water system, the cooling load delivered by the chillers to the building is completely consumed. With a primary/secondary chilled-water system, the primary loop flow is controlled so that it is equal or greater than the secondary loop flow. This protects the secondary chilled-water supply temperature, which is ultimately what controls the building environment. This approach uses more energy than an ideal chiller plant, but it is a compromise to maintain a robust chiller-plant operation. A common pipe between the primary and secondary loop decouples the loops and allows them to flow at different rates. 

In the case of the AIC, the design secondary chilled-water supply temperature is 40°F (4.5°C), and the return temperature is 54°F (12°C), which corresponds to a 14°F (7.5°C) temperature rise, or ΔT. If the flow in the primary loop and the secondary loop are equal, the primary supply and return water temperatures are equal to the secondary temperatures. If the primary loop flow is greater than the secondary loop, the primary return water temperature will be a mixed temperature between the secondary supply and return temperatures. This is due to mixing of the return water at the common pipe.

If not controlled properly, the secondary loop flow can be greater than the primary flow. This is to be avoided, because it deteriorates the ability of the plant to cool the building. The chilled-water supply temperature becomes a mixture of supply and return temperatures.

The relationship between cooling load, chilled water flow, and chilled water temperature is as follows:


Q = m×Cp×∆T


Q = Cooling load Btu/hr (Kw)

m = mass flow rate GPM (l/s)

Cp = Specific Heat of Water

ΔT = temperature difference °F (°C)

Therefore, Q α m x ΔT


The equation above is important because it shows the relationship between ΔT and flow. If the system has low ΔT consistently, then the flow must increase for a given cooling load.  Increased chiller-plant flow means more pump power is used and more chillers must operate, which means more power is used per ton (kW) of cooling: (kW/ton), (Coefficient of Performance – COP).  Additionally, chiller efficiency suffers at low ΔT. This is why we want the ΔT at design or higher.

Initial Diagnoses

In order to get a quick diagnosis of the chilled water plant efficiency, we selected several parameters to trend. All were easily obtained from the building automation system.  We logged the data for one month at 15 minute intervals.


  1. Secondary chilled water supply and return temperatures
  2. Secondary chilled water flow
  3. Chiller run status


The results of the preliminary measurements were as follows:

  1. Primary and secondary chilled-water flow
    1. There were instances when the primary chilled-water flow was less than the secondary, resulting in poor environmental control and peaks in energy use. This is evident in Figure 1, where the black line (secondary flow) is greater than primary flow (blue line).
    2. The secondary chilled-water flow remained relatively constant, and did not vary with the building cooling load, resulting in over-pumping and overuse of chillers. In Figure 2, the line represents the speed of one of two secondary chilled water pumps. The speed remained fairly constant, between 70 and 80%. We expected to see ranges between 50 and 80%, based on our estimates.
  2. Secondary chilled-water return temperature.
    1. Secondary chilled-water return temperature was lower than design, resulting in inefficient chiller-plant operation. The ideal temperature is 54˚F (12°C), but the average measured return temperature was about 47˚F (4.5°C). See Figure 3.

Figure 2: Primary chilled-water flow (blue) and secondary chilled-water flow (black).




Figure 3: Secondary chilled-water pump speed.


Figure 4: Chilled-water supply and return temperatures. The black lines represent the design supply and return temperatures.


After reviewing the preliminary results, AIC commissioned a more detailed report to determine what measures could be taken to improve the plant’s performance. The report was done in conjunction with ComEd, the local electric utility. If energy-conservation measures (ECMs) could be found to pay back within a reasonable time, the utility would give incentive rebates to implement the measures.


The results of the study were as follows:



Electrical Savings ($)

Simple Payback with Incentive

1. Trim impellers on primary chilled water pumps



2. Eliminate mixing of chilled and hot water at old valves



3. Optimize chilled-water performance via pumping and Delta-T improvements



4. Convert to variable primary pumping




AIC implemented the first measure immediately. The second measure will be completed within the next six months, and the third has just been completed. The remainder of this article will concentrate on the implementation and verification of Measure 3: Optimizing chilled-water performance.   


Chilled Water Performance Optimization

As discussed above, poor chilled-water performance can be indicated by over-pumping, low chilled-water return (and consequently low ΔT), and high chiller energy use (kW/ton) (COP), which are all interrelated. So the question is: What can be done about it?

There is an excellent white paper published by ASHRAE called Degrading Chilled Water Plant ΔT: Causes and Mitigation, which describes several ways to optimize chilled-water performance. They are:


  1. Adjust set points and calibrate controls.
  2. Replace three-way control valves with two-way valves.
  3. Properly select chilled-water coils for air handlers.
  4. Properly select chilled-water control valves.
  5. Interlock control valves with air-handler use.
  6. Properly install piping at the air handlers and tertiary pumps.
  7. Install variable-speed chillers.
  8. Convert to primary-only pumping.
  9. Install unequally sized chillers.
  10. Install a check valve in the common leg (with caution)* or over-pump chillers with oversized primary pumps (preferred)*.

* Note that the comments in parenthesis are our opinions.


AIC had implemented most of the above, so we were forced to be more creative. We studied the likely cause of the over-pumping and low ΔT by creating a model of the chilled-water system that computed pressure and flow relationships for the entire system at differing conditions. What we found with the model is that the chilled-water systems closest to the central plant had very high pressures, because high pressure is required to get chilled water to the far reaches of the building. This resulted in erratic control-valve operation and low chilled-water ΔT. 

A possible solution was to install new standard control valves at air handlers closest to the plant that were more suited for the high system pressures, as recommended by the ASHRAE white paper. Control valves are usually selected to operate between 25 and 50% of the available pressure between the supply and return branches. If the pressure increases considerably beyond the anticipated pressure, the control valve will flow erratically, causing low ΔT.

If the system behaved more predictably, this could have worked. However, the model and actual operation of the system demonstrated that high- and low-pressure regions moved around the building, depending on which systems were operating. AIC has over 56 air handlers operating on very different schedules. Some run 24 hours a day; others when the museum is open; and yet others are based on special events and exhibits.

We sought a control valve that was not influenced by pressure changes: a Pressure-Independent Control Valve (PICV). PICVs work by creating constant differential pressure across the valve with the help of a pressure regulator. This delivers accurate flow control over varying pressure changes. 


The museum elected to replace most of their existing control valves with PICVs and perform retro-commissioning of the air handlers and cooling-plant controls. The scope of work was as follows:

  1. Replace 40 existing two-way control valves with PICV’s (16 of the AHU’s already had PICV’s
  2. Air Handling Unit performance efforts
    1. Verify valve installation
    2. Verify proper controls
    3. Calibrate temperature and relative humidity sensors if required
    4. Verify control sequence
    5. Document the performance of each coil
  3. Cooling Plant Performance Efforts
    1.  Verify and validate proper control of chilled-water pumps
    2. Verify and validate proper chiller sequencing
    3. Calibrate chilled-water differential pressure controls
    4. Institute a chilled-water pressure reset program
    5. Trend all relevant cooling plant data to verify energy savings
      1. Primary chilled-water supply and return temperatures
      2. Primary chilled-water flow
      3. Secondary chilled-water supply and return temperatures
      4. Secondary chilled-water flow
      5. kW of chillers, pumps, and cooling towers
      6. Outside air temperature and relative humidity


The project took four months to complete, and the results are currently being evaluated.   What is already clear is that the PICVs have made a measurable difference.

During retro-commissioning, only two issues were identified, both of which involved malfunctioning differential pressure sensors associated with the secondary pumps. Repairs are in progress.

To review, our goal was to reduce the power consumed by the cooling plant, while improving the use of chilled water in the building. Replacing the standard two-way control valves with pressure-independent control valves reduced the energy wasted when chilled water goes out to the system and returns unused. The unused chilled water manifests itself with low chilled-water return temperatures (and low Delta-T), leading to energy losses at the pumps, chillers, and cooling towers. Key parameters for identifying improvements are:

  1. Primary and secondary chilled water flow
    1. Primary should be equal to or greater than the secondary.
    2. Secondary flow should vary with the building load.
  2. Secondary chilled water return temperature
    1. Secondary return temperature should be at, or greater than, the design return temperature of 54˚F (12°C).
    2. Secondary return temperature should be fairly consistent, regardless of building load.
  3. Chilled Water Plant Efficiency
    1. Efficiency should be below 1 kW per ton. Ideally, 0.7 kW per ton (COP = 5) or less (COP to be greater) is the goal. This measurement includes chiller, pumps, and tower energy.

The following figures demonstrate the performance of the chilled-water system before (blue/red lines) and after (green/purple lines) the installation of PICVs. Each before and after period was approximately two weeks long. Outside air enthalpy is referenced in all cases (orange lines).

Primary and Secondary Chilled Water Flow

The before and after graphs in Figures 4 and 5 demonstrate a clear difference. After the installation of PICVs, both the primary and secondary water flows were reduced and became more consistent. This reduces both pump and chiller energy. Secondary chilled-water flow remained lower than the primary flow, in most cases. This maintains temperature and relative humidity control in the building. Our estimate of pumping energy savings for a typical year is 735,000 kWh, and chiller energy savings of 110,000 kWh. This translates to $90,000 to $105,000 per year.


David Brooks, P.E. is Principle with McGuire Engineers based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and can be reached at  Visit for more information about McGuire Engineers. 


Building Conservation Management Plans

By Sarah Drysdale


Most of the buildings within which we work in the U.K. museums and galleries sector have a level of significance drawn from their historical, aesthetic, social (communal) or evidential (archaeological) importance. In order to safeguard what is important, it is essential for managers of these properties to understand that significance, assess what could threaten to change it, and put in place means of managing change and development. The development of Building Conservation Management Plans, is an effective tool for achieving this.


The philosophy behind Conservation Management Plans (CMP) was established in the 19th century, with the development of legislation to protect historical buildings at risk of demolition or irreversible change. Formal CMPs, however, were not really developed until 1982 when, in Australia, James Sempler Kerr published The Conservation Plan (current edition 2013). In this document, Kerr established that: 


a full understanding of the place and its significance should precede and be taken into account in the development of policies for conservation and management, and these in turn should guide the development of any master plan for future change to the place.


With this, Kerr established the need to understand the importance of an asset before it could be actively managed. The adoption of such plans did not come to the U.K. until the 1990s, and even then only became widely used following the requirement by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 1998 for CMPs to form part of funding applications.

Today, the development and use of CMPs has expanded. Organisations are now putting conservation management plans in place as tools for appropriately managing their historical assets, rather than simply including them as part of the process for a specific funding application. A CMP used this way helps inform development and ensures that appropriate change can occur. A demonstration of this can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the images below.  On the left is the V&A's old Boiler House Yard, identified in the CMP as offering an opportunity for enhancement. On the right, is a proposed scheme to develop this part of the site as a public piazza, whilst respecting the existing historical buildings on all four sides.


Image page 11 Left side

The Victoria and Albert’s old Boiler House Yard, identified in the CMP as an opportunity for enhancement. Photo: Peter Durant


Image page 11 Right side

Proposed scheme to develop a public piazza, whilst respecting the existing historical buildings that surround the area.


What are CMPs?

A CMP is primarily a document identifying why and what is significant about a site or building, while also explaining how that significance can be retained in any proposed new use, repair, development or management scheme.  The key element of a CMP is the emphasis on significance. 

A CMP should also contain information on the building’s historical development, building materials, construction technique and architecture, as well as policies providing information on how to conserve what is significant, and how to help maintain it. These considerations should be part of the key strategic documents for the estate, and should be the starting point when planning development, change or repair.

Depending on the nature and complexity of the property being assessed, different parts of the plan can be developed to a greater or lesser extent. One of the areas that has been developed in more recent years is the gazetteer, which can provide a room-by-room assessment defining what is significant within each space. The gazetteer can be a very useful summary of the document, although —depending on the size and complexity of a property—it is not always required or practical. Additional appendices can also elaborate on particular research elements of a plan: for instance, providing additional detail about the architect, or more detail on specific decorative elements.

 A typical CMP will contain the following chapters:

  • Introduction/Summary

  • Understanding the Site/Building

  • Assessment of Significance

  • Risks, Opportunities and Policies

  • Conclusion

  • Gazetteer

  • Appendices

Why Do We Have Them?

Many organisations having CMPs initially procured or developed them as an HLF requirement, but are now revising and developing them as part of good practice for the management of their estate. CMPs can also assist with applications related to listed buildings and schedule monuments applications: they can provide the initial information required for a statement of significance to accompany an application in which the Local Planning Authority and Historic England can have confidence.

What should also be remembered is that, without quick access to defined policies and information on what is important about a building, irreversible damage can easily be caused through lack of understanding or information. For example, few decades before the development of the V&A CMP, a temporary hoarding was erected on a stairwell decorated in fine Victorian ceramic relief work. To fit the hoarding, the ceramic relief was chipped off to provide a flatter finish. Had there been access to a CMP, it is expected that this stairwell would easily and quickly have been identified as highly significant, and appropriate methods for the hoarding would have been developed, thus avoiding damage to the ceramic decoration.


Images page 12

Caption:  To fit the hoarding, a section of ceramic relief was chipped off to provide a flatter finish.


How to Develop a CMP

Whether using an in-house conservation specialist or a consultant, the process should be the same when it comes to developing a CMP. A brief outlining what you want to achieve should be developed in consultation with key stakeholders and future users of the plan, as well as Historic England or Local Conservation Officers.

Depending on the outcome of these discussions, there may be site-specific elements that need to be developed, or a particular issue that the plan is designed to resolve. As part of the initial planning and development of the brief, the following questions should be asked and resolved:


  • What do you/your organisation want from the CMP?
  • Who will use it? Will it be used in-house, issued to contractors/consultants, or both?
  • What has motivated it (e.g., development, lack of information on the building, inappropriate changes, HLF bid, general management)?
  • What problem(s) do you want solved?

Once the brief has been agreed upon, development of the plan can commence. Initially, an understanding of the property is required, which usually involves documentary and archival research to understand the development of the property or site. In this section, information should also be captured about the history, architecture, construction and materials; the purpose is to understand what you have. 

In the past, the initial CMPs did not go too much further than this, simply establishing facts and figures about the building. To create a useful tool to help manage your property, however, the information gathered during this first phase needs to be turned into a meaningful product. To achieve this, an understanding and assessment of the significance of the building is required, based on the four criteria laid out by English Heritage in Conservation Principles, Policy and Guidance 2008: historical, aesthetic, social and/or evidential.

The assessment is rated into categories, ranging from high to low significance, and can include neutral areas or areas that detract. Once significance is understood, the assessment needs to turn to the building and its current use, development and future needs, in order to determine where the significance of the property may be vulnerable and at risk of being irreversibly altered or lost. These four key stages are summarised below. 

Throughout the development of the plan, there should be an ongoing dialogue with the stakeholders who will most likely help develop the policies. Such stakeholders will be able to provide input into policy development, based on their experience of how the property and organisation operate, and in so doing can help ensure that new policies do not conflict with existing organisational policy.  

Likewise, they may highlight areas where there are likely to be divided interests, and provides an opportunity to establish a means of mitigating these within the plan. For example, an energy-saving policy may promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels; however, this is likely to be in conflict in some parts of a historical estate. The conservation policy on this can identify the most sensitive areas (moderate to high significance) where a new sustainability policy should not necessarily apply.



In completing a CMP, there are a few final stages that should be considered, in order to ensure that it will be used. It is important to ensure, for example, that the stakeholders are involved throughout the process and that they sign on to the final document. Once the CMP is finalized, ensure that those who will gain the most from it are aware that it exists, and that they understand how to interpret it, perhaps by holding workshops or group presentations. This will also identify where the CMP can be found, and who is responsible for answer queries regarding it. 

CMPs are not meant to be static documents. They should be used as management tools to help inform change. There should accordingly be an appointed person who is responsible for helping to interpret the plan, and for updating it as more information about the building is known. 

Conservation Management Plans not only provide valuable information in a single key document, but can also help facility managers and stakeholders to assess, safeguard and guide change at their institutions in a way that not only respects historical estates, but also makes it easier to determine and justify necessary building works.


Sarah Drysdale is Property Project Manager (Conservation) for the Royal Household, and former Building Conservation Estate Manager for the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Advances and Trends in Air Purification for Preservation Environments


Chris Muller1, Rene Van Dijke2, and Richard Corel3

1Purafil, Inc., 2564 Weaver Way, Doraville, Georgia 30340 U.S.A      

2Heartfil, De Trompet 1766, 1967 DB Heemskerk, Netherlands

3RC Diversity, Aziesingel 30, 3404 EL IJsselstein, Netherlands


Keywords: air purification, chemical contamination, chemical filtration, indoor air quality         




The control of airborne chemical contaminants is becoming more specialized as many have realized that a “one size fits all” approach to prescribing air purification no longer works in many specialized applications such as when applied to preservation environments. Research has shown that an air cleaning system using a single gas-phase (or dry scrubbing) air filtration medium is not adequate for the control of the major gaseous contaminants found in motor vehicle exhaust – perhaps the primary source of contaminants of concern in museums, libraries, and archives.

A new permanganate-impregnated alumina media provides for improved control of NO2. Application of this and other dry-scrubbing media types into a nonwoven fiber matrix provide higher removal efficiencies and lower pressure drops than traditional air cleaning systems and can also be produced with integral particulate filtration for more complete control of automobile and diesel exhaust emissions.

This article will present information and comparative test data on this new dry-scrubbing medium, how it is incorporated into a nonwoven fiber matrix, and how a combination chemical and particulate filter product is being used in air cleaning systems for the control of automobile and diesel exhaust.


Air cleaning, automobile exhaust, indoor air quality, nitrogen oxides.


In preservation environments there are a number of environmental factors which can cause the degradation of materials and artifacts. Among these are temperature, humidity, particulates, and gaseous pollutants. Of these, gaseous pollutants are the most destructive.

Gaseous pollution today is caused primarily by the burning of fuels in power plants, factories, commercial and domestic buildings, and automobiles. The two main types of gaseous urban air pollutants can be classified either as acidic or oxidizing. Over the years, these two types have merged and now the three main pollutant gases found throughout the industrialized world are sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Others of primary concern include chlorides (chlorine [Cl2] and hydrogen chloride [HCl]), acetic acid (CH3COOH), and formaldehyde (HCHO).

While automotive and/or industrial emissions are considered as largest contributors of SO2, O3, NO2, and chlorides, there are also many significant sources of internally-generated pollutants. Materials and activities associated with restoration and conservation laboratories, many artifacts and archival materials, and employees and patrons themselves can contribute to the overall pollutant load in preservation environments.

Although gaseous pollutants are a major worldwide environmental concern, sources of gaseous pollutants, their introduction and migration through museums, and their interactions with artifacts are the least studied and least understood area of concern within preservation environments.

Pollutants derived from automobile operation have begun to pose problems of considerable magnitude in preservation environments as many materials can be damaged by those pollutants typically found in urban environments. It has been calculated, for example, that 70% of the carbon monoxide, 45% of the nitrogen oxides, and 34% of the hydrocarbon pollution in the United States can be traced directly to automobile exhausts (Anon.).

Motor vehicle exhaust

There are six main classes of gaseous contaminants which are routinely described in motor vehicle exhaust (a term which will be used here to refer to both automobile and diesel exhaust). As shown in Table 1, hydrocarbons (HC) make up the largest non-particulate component of automobile exhaust whereas oxides of nitrogen (NOx) constitute the main component of diesel exhaust that can be effectively and economically controlled using current chemical filtration technology.

Toxic compounds, like polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), are also found in the exhaust of a diesel engine and can be associated with both particulate and hydrocarbon emissions. Table 2 (Khair and Majewski, 2006) shows volumetric concentrations of the main constituents of diesel exhaust.

Table 1. Emission factors*

* In pounds per 1000 gallons of fuel


Table 2. Emissions from diesel engine

CO - carbon monoxide, HC – hydrocarbons, DPM - diesel particulate matter, NOx - nitrogen oxides, SO2 - sulfur dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide belongs to a family of highly reactive gases collectively called nitrogen oxides (NOx). These gases form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, and come principally from motor vehicle exhaust and stationary sources such as electric utilities and industrial boilers. A suffocating, brownish gas, nitrogen dioxide is a strong oxidizing agent that reacts in the air to form corrosive nitric acid, as well as toxic organic nitrates. It also plays a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce ground-level ozone (or smog).

Since nitrogen dioxide dissolves in water eventually to form nitric acid, a strong oxidizing agent, it can cause many problems in preservation environments, particularly the corrosion of metals, hydrolysis of cellulose, and attack on calcareous stone and murals.

Nitric acid is volatile in nature and therefore cannot be entrained on dry surfaces. This requires that it must react on contact. Because of this it is probably a lesser menace than sulfuric acid – except in the presence of ozone which catalyzes the formation of nitric acid (HNO3).

NO2 also forms ozone (O3) and peroxyacyl nitrate (PAN) – major components of “photochemical smog” – in combination with sunlight. However, recent years have seen increases in NO2 levels in major urban areas with the concurrent increases in ground-level ozone to the point that it has become a threat to both people and objects.

Gas-phase air filtration

Past research (Muller and England 1994, 1995) has shown that an air cleaning system using a single gas-phase (or dry-scrubbing) air filtration media may not be adequate for the control of multiple contaminants. Granular activated carbon (GAC) does a good job in removing many aldehydes, hydrocarbons, organic acids, and nitrogen dioxide due (in part) to its high surface area to volume ratio. It is not as effective against oxides of sulfur, lower molecular weight aldehydes and organic acids, or nitric oxide.

The effectiveness of various dry-scrubbing media against compounds found in motor vehicle exhaust, in terms of removal capacities, is shown in Figure 1 and Table 3. These results illustrate why, for motor vehicle exhaust applications, an air cleaning system needs to employ a minimum of two different media – granular activated carbon (GAC) and permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA).

Figure . Removal capacities for GAC and PIA


Table 3. Breakthrough capacity test results (typical)

For the gases tested, GAC performed better against chlorine, nitrogen dioxide, and toluene. The PIA was more effective against the formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide.

Because PIA showed an effectiveness for both NO and NO2, research was initiated to determine if this type of dry-scrubbing media could be enhanced for the control of both contaminants.

Development of a new PIA media

In contrast to the reversible process of physical adsorption as when using GAC, chemical adsorption, or chemisorption, is the result of chemical reactions on the surface of the media. This process is specific and depends on the physical and chemical nature of both the media and the gases to be removed. Some oxidation reactions can occur spontaneously on the surface of the adsorbent, however, a chemical impregnant is usually added to the media which imparts a higher contaminant removal capacity and can give it some degree of specificity. Although some selectivity is apparent in physical adsorption, it can usually be traced to purely physical, rather than chemical, properties. In chemisorption, stronger molecular forces are involved, and the process is essentially instantaneous and irreversible.

The first PIA media was developed in the 1960s using potassium permanganate (KMnO4), a broad-spectrum oxidizer effective against a wide-range of contaminant gases. The most effective and reliable manufacturing process requires that the KMnO4 be used in liquid form, however, it has a low solubility in water (65.0 g/L, 8.6 oz/gal) and there are inherent difficulties in handling and processing this material.

Historically, the impregnation level in the media had essentially been determined by the amount of KMnO4 that could be added to the media and kept fully available for reaction. Advances in manufacturing technology has allowed the KMnO4 content to go from the original 2% to 4% and ultimately to the current 8% maximum KMnO4 content of the leading brand of active oxidant media, where it remained for more than a dozen years. Each doubling of the active oxidant content effectively doubled the contaminant removal capacity (England and Muller, 2006) and in turn offered a longer service life for the air cleaning system in which it was used.

When using KMnO4 as the active oxidant, trying to raise the impregnation level to 10%, 12%, or higher actually resulted in reduced media performance. Because of its relatively low solubility in water, the KMnO4 could re-crystallize and fill up the adsorption sites - significantly decreasing the surface area, pore volume, and availability of the KMnO4 in the media.

Breaking the 8% barrier

Knowing that the maximum effective KMnO4 content had been reached, any new media developed had to maintain the broad spectrum contaminant removal capabilities of KMnO4 while at the same time providing better overall performance. Our experience with and knowledge of oxidation chemistry, and specifically permanganate chemistry, led us to sodium permanganate.

Sodium permanganate (NaMnO4) is an inorganic oxidant that performs chemically the same way as potassium permanganate, only in a more concentrated form. Work had begun with sodium permanganate even before the introduction of an 8% KMnO4 media, but its limited availability delayed the start of a comprehensive new product development program. However, continued research into NaMnO4 chemistry and its potential applications provided a much better understanding of pore size geometry and by-product formation and their relation to overall media performance.

Air cleaning for NO2

A comparative media study (Muller et al., 2015) was used to determine the removal capacity for nitrogen dioxide when the media is subjected to a flowing gas stream containing the gas. The test follows the procedure of the American Society for Testing and Materials standard test method D 6646 – 01 (ASTM, 2003). Results of testing a 4% and 8% KMnO4 media and a 12% NaMnO4 (PIA-Na) media are shown in Table 4.

Just as advances in media manufacturing technology allowed for an increase in active oxidant content to 12%, it has also provided for an overall improvement in media performance – especially with respect to NO2. This is evidenced by the 2.0% removal capacity for the 4% PIA media shown in Table 3 versus the 11.25% removal capacity shown in Table 4. With an NO2 removal capacity now approaching 30% for the PIA-Na media, there is now a way to effectively and economically control one of the primary offending contaminants found in motor vehicle exhaust.

Table 4. Comparative media test data

Combination filters for control of motor vehicle exhaust and improved IAQ

The availability of a PIA-Na media with a high NO2 removal capacity provides an option for improved control of emissions from motor vehicle exhaust.

The optimum control of motor vehicle exhaust would allow for separate sections in a building’s mechanical ventilation system for both particulate and gaseous contaminant control. However, many began looking for an effective alternative to this approach by combining these two forms of filtration. Doing so meant one might be able to offer the same level of pollutant control at a significantly reduced cost.

Gas-phase air filtration media have been applied in many forms for improving and maintaining IAQ with the most common form continuing to be bulk granular products. Physical limitations placed on air cleaning systems such as restrictions in size and pressure drop, and constant budgetary constraints have spurred the development of many new chemical filtration products. Manufacturers began applying dry-scrubbing media to various particulate filter substrates, but most processes rendered the adsorbent materials ineffective due to the use of, and reaction with, various binders and adhesives, as well as the manufacturing techniques employed. Advances in filter manufacturing technology, however, have now eliminated most of these deficiencies.

The most promising new chemical filter technology that has been developed applies both PIA and GAC to a bi-component non-woven fiber matrix (Figure 2). This product provides for flexible filter design allowing easy application into new or existing HVAC systems with removal efficiencies and service lives comparable to many granular media systems.

Figure . Adsorbent-loaded nonwoven fiber medium


Perhaps the most important advance in this type product is that it is now being produced with an integral particulate filter that can practically eliminate retrofit costs. This has resulted in a filter material that can be pleated into essentially any standard filter size for the removal of both gaseous and particulate pollutants. These true “combination filters” (Figure 3) have shown single-pass gas removal efficiencies of 90+% for many common outdoor and indoor pollutants with particulate removal ratings of MERV 6-15 available (ASHRAE, 1999).



Figure . Combination chemical + particulate filter

 The next step

As has been described above, motor vehicle emissions contain much more than just particulate matter and NO2. Providing a combination filter that contains only PIA-Na media will remove the contaminants many consider to be the most problematic from a health and environmental perspective – particulate matter and NOx, but it will fall far short of being able to effectively control automobile and/or diesel exhaust emissions.

Adding GAC will provide for the control of hydrocarbons, and to a degree SO2 and NO2, however, the optimum control of automotive exhaust will require the addition of a third type of dry-scrubbing medium – this being a caustic-impregnated activated carbon-alumina (CICA, using potassium carbonate, K2CO3, with or without other reactive chemicals). This type of media has superior performance against sulfur dioxide and other acidic contaminants found in motor vehicle exhaust than either GAC or PIA-Na. This “triple-blend” media is optimized for the major chemical components of motor vehicle exhaust when the GAC, PIA-Na, and CICA are in a ratio of 1:1:2.


The chemicals described here are the predominant species found in motor vehicle exhaust although several hundred exist. Many of these chemicals have been identified by exposure tests to be damaging to materials, causing corrosion or other types of deterioration, resulting in loss of value and potentially permanent and irreparable damage.

Beyond these direct hazards to materials, diesel engines produce much more fine particulate matter (diesel particulate matter or DPM) than do well-maintained gasoline engines and can result in more aesthetic problems such as soiling or discoloration. Further, many of the chemicals produced by motor vehicle operation can be adsorbed on the surface of DPM, which can include some potentially reactive compounds.

Nitrogen oxides are the substances that react in sunlight to start off the very complicated series of reactions that produce photochemical smog (Los Angeles type smog). In cool damp conditions, they can alternatively react with water droplets to produce nitric acid and acid rain.

Nitrogen dioxide is the most common compound of the nitrogen oxides group in the atmosphere. Road traffic is estimated to be responsible for about 50% of total emissions of nitrogen oxides, therefore mean nitrogen dioxide levels are highest close to busy roads and in large urban areas. Power stations contribute another 25% of total emissions.

In the past, NO2 was considered to be the second most important pollutant, after sulfur dioxide, with regards to acidic decomposition of archival materials and corrosion of metals. However, emissions of nitrogen oxides are of increasing importance due to stricter controls on emissions of sulfur-containing compounds. In fact, with the progressive reduction of SO2 in North America and some European countries, NO2 may eventually become the major precursor of acid rain (Tétreault 2003).

Hydrocarbon emissions result when fuel molecules in the engine do not burn or burn incompletely. Like NOx, they are precursors to the formation of ozone in that they react in the presence of nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog.

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is the dry-scrubbing medium of choice for the control of many hydrocarbons and testing has shown that a new permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA) medium containing 12% sodium permanganate (NaMnO4) shows a much higher removal capacity for NO2 than PIA containing potassium permanganate (KMnO4). Add to these a caustic-impregnated activated carbon-alumina medium and one can effectively control the majority of the primary gaseous contaminants of concern found in automobile and diesel exhaust.

Application of these three dry-scrubbing media to a nonwoven fiber matrix with an integral particulate filter medium results in a combination filter product that can be applied in almost any application to improve and maintain indoor air quality where contamination from and exposure to outdoor air and motor vehicle exhaust is a concern.


I wish to acknowledge Bill England’s efforts in performing the breakthrough capacity challenge testing.



ASHRAE. 2012. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2012, Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size, Atlanta, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

ASTM. 2014. Standard D6646 – 03(2014) Standard Test Method for Determination of the Accelerated Hydrogen Sulfide Breakthrough Capacity of Granular and Pelletized Activated Carbon, West Conshohocken, PA: American Society for Testing and Materials.

Khair, M.K. and Majewski, W.A., 2006. Diesel Emissions and Their Control. Warrendale, PA: SAE International.

Muller, C.O. and England, W.G., 1994. “Gas-Phase Air Filtration: Single Media or Multiple Media Systems. Which Should Be Used for IAQ Applications?” Proceedings of IAQ ‘94, ASHRAE, St. Louis, MO.

Muller, C.O. and England, W.G., 1995. “Achieving Your Indoor Air Quality Goals - Which Filtration System Works Best?” ASHRAE Journal, 37:2, pp. 24-31.

Muller, C.O. and England, W.G., 2006. “A Comparison of Active Oxidant Impregnated Media,” Proceedings of AFS 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, American Filtration & Separations Society, Richfield, MN.

Muller, C.O., Seng, H. and Satienrattanakul, T., 2015. “Ambient Air Quality in Thailand: The Impact of Particulate and Gaseous Pollutants on IAQ,” Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Environmental Science and Sustainable Development, Bangkok, Thailand.

Tétreault, J., 2003. Airborne Pollutants in Museums, Galleries, and Archives: Risk Assessment, Control Strategies, and Preservation Management, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Canada.

Continuous Improvement: Part Two in a Series

By Joe May


Last spring, Tom Westerkamp and I co-wrote Part One in a series on continuous improvement. We wrote that continuous improvement is an important strategy for any manager, and that any improvement begins with an idea, and ends with its implementation. 

A good improvement program is one that is designed to generate lots of ideas for improvement, then keeps those ideas moving from idea to implementation. In this installment, I’ll describe a simple system used with clients over a large part of my career to formalize this process, and to maximize the number of improvements that can be implemented. This continuous improvement system works best when a team is formed to participate in the process. At the Getty Center, I would meet with each shop (HVAC, Electrical, Maintenance, Plant, Logistics, Contracts, Grounds, and Audiovisual) monthly to update progress, and to measure the status of their projects.

Over a period of several years, we implemented over 200 improvements. The mechanics became used to looking for better ways to accomplish work, and were eager to share their ideas. This system I describe helped ensure that ideas kept moving toward implementation, and that they did not slip through the cracks when everyone got busy with their everyday responsibilities.

So, as I mentioned above, improvements begin with an idea. When I first met with the shops, I asked the mechanics to think about things that would make their job easier, or ways that we could save energy or water. The ideas started to flow as we got more and more into the process. Each idea was considered a “Concept” until investigation showed that the idea had a good chance of working. Ideas were logged in the “Conceptual” section of the Methods Improvement Control System. The Methods Improvement Control System was an Excel Spreadsheet with five sections:

• Conceptual

• Probable

• In Progress

• Installed

• Not Feasible


New Concepts were investigated to determine if they were economically feasible, and whether or not they were probable in terms of being moved toward implementation. If the team determined that an idea was feasible, the idea was moved from the “Conceptual” section of the spreadsheet to the “Probable” section. Assignments were made to keep an idea moving through the system, so that it didn’t get stalled. 

With each idea, we determined the costs of implement it, and also would calculate the savings in material, energy, or labor that would result. This was used to determine the payback period for an improvement idea. We recorded the originator along with each idea, although many of the ideas were made by an entire team. In some cases, an idea did not produce direct savings, but instead improved safety.


When the team was in agreement that it was approved to begin making the change, the idea was moved from the “Probable” section on the spreadsheet to the “In Progress” section. Each improvement team (each shop) would meet monthly to review ideas in the system, and to keep them moving toward the next section in the Methods Improvement Control System spreadsheet.

Finally, when an idea was ready for implementation, the team would determine whether any special arrangements were needed before final implementation. At that point, the idea was implemented. Each originator was rewarded with a gift card of different amounts, depending on the savings resulting from the improvement. The gift cards let each team member know just how much we appreciated their participation in continuous improvement. 

If, along the way, an idea was found not to be feasible at the time, we would move the idea to the “Not Feasible” section so that it wasn’t lost. We found that some “Not Feasible” ideas eventually became feasible, and they were moved back to the Conceptual section of the spreadsheet.

In the next installment in this series on Continuous Improvement, we will discuss another focal point for achieving operational improvement: specifically, how to achieve savings from improved labor productivity in your Facilities Operations. We’ll define the components of labor productivity, and how you can assess the productivity of the mechanics and technicians in your Facilities Department. As always, we welcome contributions from others for this series.


Joseph E. May, P.E., spent 20 years as a consultant and partner with H.B. Maynard and Company, Inc. (now Accenture), prior to joining the staff of the Getty Trust in Los Angeles. Joe served on the IAMFA board for ten years, and now assists with Papyrus, and acts as a technical advisor/project manager with Connors Group LLC. Joe was host of the 2006 IAMFA Annual Conference in Los Angeles, and can be reached at



The Image Permanence Institute’s Optimal Preservation Environment Approach

By Patricia Ford


The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) has been encouraging the concept of an “optimal preservation environment” since the 1990s. We define an optimal preservation environment as one that achieves the best possible preservation of collections with the least possible consumption of energy, and is sustainable over time. This works best when institutions develop a cross-disciplinary environmental management approach between building engineers, facility managers, collection care staff, and preservation specialists.

A team-based “optimization process” considers collection needs and vulnerabilities, the local climate, building envelope, mechanical system capabilities, and requirements for human comfort. These elements are measured, analyzed, and prioritized in order to identify and achieve optimal operation. IPI's general approach to providing an optimal and sustainable preservation environment focuses on four core principles.

  1. Environmental control is fundamental to collections preservation and requires specific conditions, but these conditions can vary based on:

o  the needs of the collections in the space; and

o  seasonal environmental fluctuations.

  1. Environmental monitoring and data analysis is an essential and ongoing process.

o  Periods of sustained high or low temperature or RH have a more significant impact on material preservation than sudden, temporary spikes or short-term fluctuations.

o  Mechanical systems often operate sub-optimally, and operational settings can change over time, neither of which is self-announcing.

o  Data analysis for risk management requires review of data collected throughout the seasons of the year, as well as year-to-year, to identify trends and changes in operation.

  1. Best practices for an institution must be based on a number of factors, including:

o  collection vulnerabilities and current environmental standards;

o  the local climate, building envelope, and mechanical system capabilities; and

o  the need to reduce energy costs.

  1. A collaborative approach involving a cross-functional team of facilities, collection care, and administrative staff is key to sustainable environmental management.

Making the best choice of environmental conditions for a collection begins with knowing the nature of objects in the collection, and deciding what forms of deterioration will be of primary concern. Considering the great variety found in most collections, it is obvious that no one condition can be equally good for everything, and that choices have to be made based on the primacy of certain material types and forms of deterioration. General approaches include:

1.   Environmental recommendations for collections that are vulnerable to chemical decay (primarily organic materials, metals susceptible to corrosion). These include:

  • making it as cool as you can while avoiding mechanical damage (below 20% RH), biological damage (above 65% RH), and corrosion (above 55% RH); and
  • keep summertime dewpoints as low as possible.


2.   Environmental recommendations for collections that are vulnerable to biological damage (primarily organic materials) include:

  • minimizing risk by avoiding high RH at moderate temperatures;
  • keeping excursions above 65% RH to a few days or less; and
  • keeping summertime dewpoints low.

3.   Environmental recommendations for collections that are vulnerable to mechanical damage (organic materials and composite objects are at risk) include:

  • keeping excursions below 20% RH or above 70% RH as short and infrequent as possible; and
  • keeping wintertime dewpoints from being too low, and summertime dewpoints from being too high.


The complexity of identifying and instituting energy savings depends on the size of the institution and the type of building and mechanical system with which you are working. All actions should be monitored and reviewed to ensure that no significant changes in preservation quality result. Very general suggestions include:


  • Reduce heating and cooling loads.

o  For small institutions and historical houses, consider sealing windows, closing curtains, adding awnings, weather-stripping, insulation and vapor barriers—as long as it can be done without damage to historical structures.

o  Minimize outside air infiltration through the building envelope.

  • Minimize lighting and equipment operation.
  • Lower the temperature while maintaining a safe relative humidity level (use IPI’s Dew Point Calculator——to determine the best balance you can achieve).
  • Deal with any problematic sources of moisture (high RH, leaks, ground water, etc.).
  • Review the possibility of reducing fan speeds.
  • Investigate safe seasonal temperature and RH settings, and shutdowns during unoccupied periods.


All of our institutions house priceless and irreplaceable objects and works of art. Establishing an optimal preservation environment across all areas of facilities and collections management can help ensure the ongoing preservation of our collections in a sustainable manner, while also ensuring that energy and maintenance costs are kept as low as possible.


Patricia Ford is a project manager at the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Patricia can be reached at


IAMFA International Conference—Chicago 2015

By Jack Plumb


September 1990—Chicago: A group of estate managers sit around a table. They are trying to come up with ideas on how this group could help one another by learning from their various experiences. One of the learned gentlemen makes the suggestion that perhaps they should get together each year at a different venue. Some of those at the table think, “What madness—how can that fly?”

Well, 25 years later at the very same venue of the very first meeting, we all learned that this seemingly crazy idea not only flew, but did the equivalent of blasting into orbit. With just over 100 delegates and some 40 guests, the 25th annual IAMFA conference was well and truly underway.

Sunday, September 20

For all of our benchmarkers, this was the day of the benchmarking workshop. It was the usual intense learning experience, with a good dose of fun chucked in for good measure. The workshop ended in its normal fashion, with members assembling at the bar to complete the first lesson in attending an international conference. Meanwhile, registration was well underway, ably managed by Nancy Caddick and her willing helpers.

As evening fell, we all boarded the bus en route to a dinner show at Tommy Gun’s Garage. This is usually when the conference stages its opening reception; well, the opening reception Chicago-style took us back to a 1920s speakeasy, complete with gangsters and flappers. It was great fun, with familiar songs by Cole Porter and Duke Ellington—and a not-to-be-missed introduction by our very own Chicago boss man, Bill Caddick.

As if that were not enough, several of us left the bus early to drop into Buddy Guy’s Legend club, where on that Sunday night we got to see and hear Jimmy Johnson perform live: a very rare privilege indeed—and this was still the first night!


Monday, September 21

For delegates, it was onto the bus for a short run to The Field Museum. We were welcomed by Ernst Pierre-Toussaint, Director of Facilities at The Field. The Field is one of the largest natural history museums in the world, with more than 24 million specimens and objects, and continues to grow at the rate of 200,000 specimens and objects per year. With an average of 1.2 million visitors a year, this is certainly a very busy venue.

The Field Museum first started life in 1894 as the Field Columbian Museum, based in the Palace of Fine Arts. In 1914, construction started on a site in Grant Park, its current home, and six years later The Field Museum moved into its new building, opening officially on May 21, 1921.

The original Field Museum was over 1,000,000 ft2, (93,000 m2) of collection and exhibition space, but storage had always been a problem. A new 186,000 ft2 (17,300 m2) Collections Resource Center (CRC) was started in 2001 and completed in 2005. The CRC now houses 13 million specimens and objects in the fields of anthropology, geology and zoology, as well as 200,000 cryogenically frozen DNA and tissue samples—all stored in a climate-controlled and fire-protected environment.


Whilst tooting his institution’s horn is not Ernst’s style, we can do that for him. In 2011, The Field Museum won Best Bathroom in the U.S. award, and in 2015 was awarded the LEED Existing Building Operation and Maintenance, Gold award, by the U.S. Green Building Council.


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Caption: The Field Museum.


It was then onto the presentations, with five presentations that really set the tone for the conference. We had a mixture of the informative, entertaining, and educational. Roger Machin, of Methods & Materials, provided some really good examples of moving large pieces of art through very small openings. Tom DeBates of Habi-Tek, presented images of what can go wrong with the installation of PV panels.

The educational presentations included Chris Arkin, Emrah Baki Ulas, both of Steensen Varming, and Chris Ecob of Camfil Ltd. These were high-quality educational presentations, from which I certainly learned a lot. Being a lighting engineer (a rather poor one in present company), I was particularly impressed by Emrah’s sensitive lighting scheme for the Australian War Memorial, a must-see if you are ever in Canberra.


Following lunch, several back-of-house tours were arranged for us. These included a tour of the Collection Resource Center, a tour of the Shedd Aquarium, and finally a tour of The Field Museum plant rooms.


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Caption: The Shedd Aquarium.


Then it was back to the hotel, a quick change of clothes, then back on the bus on our way to the navy pier and all aboard the Spirit of Chicago. The cruise included dinner and a once-in-a-lifetime night-time view of Chicago from Lake Michigan—absolutely stunning, and this was only Day One.


Tuesday, September 22

Day Two saw delegates on the bus again for a slightly longer run down to the Museum of Science and Industry. We were greeted by Ed McDonald, Director of Facilities and Operations. Ed explained that the Museum of Science and Industry was the largest school in Chicago and he was proud, as an ex-teacher himself, to be part of that educational delivery.

The Museum of Science and Industry started life as the derelict former Palace of Fine Arts. With the relocation of The Field Museum from the Palace of Fine Arts to Grant Park in 1920, the site fell into disrepair. In 1929, however, work began on the site to create what we see today. The Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time on June 19, 1933. Today, it welcomes 1.2 to 1.4 million visitors a year, which includes 300,000 to 400,000 schoolchildren.


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Caption: U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry.


In 1954, the Museum was given U-505, a German submarine that had been captured towards the end of the war. Initially, the submarine was stored outside, but it soon showed signs of serious deterioration. In 2005, the Museum opened its new 35,000 ft2 (3,250 m2) facility, built 72 feet (22 metres) below the level of Lake Michigan. The facility was especially developed for the preservation and interactive display of the submarine.

On Day Two, we had three presentations, all of which were of the very highest educational order—with a special mention to David Brooks of McGuire Engineering, and Ken Kane of LSI Lighting, from whom I am sure we all learned something new that day. The final presentation from Jenny Stantz gave a great overview of what can be achieved with BMS installations.

We then all enjoyed a guided tour around U-505. This was a special treat for your editor, as well as the rest of the delegates, as I again got to examine an Enigma machine and marvel at all those men and women, of many nationalities, who strove to try and break the codes that were sending many Allied seamen to their watery graves.

After lunch, we held the annual AGM, where IAMFA business was carried out. Elections were held, but with no new candidates, your very loyal board will continue in post.

Then it was back on the bus to get ready for the evening entertainment, courtesy of Chris Ecob and Camfil Ltd., to whom we are very grateful for sponsoring the architectural tour up the Chicago River and deep into downtown. For years now, Chris and Camfil Ltd. have laid on similar events for both delegates and guests—something for which I am sure we are all very grateful.


Following the architectural boat tour, some of our more enterprising colleagues went off to Wrigley Park to catch the Cubs game, an experience never to be forgotten.


Wednesday, September 23

Day Three saw delegates make their way to the Art Institute of Chicago, IAMFA’s first home, where the very idea of IAMFA was born.

Bill Caddick welcomed us to the Art Institute, and explained that the day’s presentations would be based around the construction of Art Institute’s Renzo Piano Modern Wing. Located on the east side of the railway tracks, the Modern Wing was constructed on ground built up using rubble from the great Chicago fire and construction of Chicago’s subway tunnels.

The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for the fine arts in 1879: a critical era in the history of Chicago, as civic energies were devoted to rebuilding the metropolis that had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. The Art Institute found its permanent home in 1893, when it moved into a building constructed jointly with the city of Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition. That building, its entry flanked by the two famous bronze lions, remains the “front door” of the Art Institute to this day.


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Caption: The Art Institute of Chicago.


The final day of presentations including a number of outstanding educational presentations—in particular, a session with Arne Johnson on controlling vibrations during the construction of the Modern Wing. Nick Canellis gave us very good insight into how contractors deal with the challenges of such a high-quality project. We also heard from Doug Hall and John Bixler, both of the Smithsonian, and from Mike Stensland and Kevin Bredeson of Pepper Construction. The final presentation was a panel presentation describing the benefits of fan-wall technology. The panel consisted of Harold Hacker, VP of Abel Engineering Services; Russ Nelson, Senior Projects Engineer, Hills Group; Reid Woods, Owner of Mid-West Applied Solutions; and Chris Willemssen of Nortek Air Solutions.

Then it was a walk back to the hotel, to get changed for the gala dinner. We duly boarded the buses ready for the short drive back to the Art Institute for the gala. The group photo was taken on the main staircase of the original Art Institute before a short walk to the dining area.


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Caption: IAMFA group photograph at the closing gala Dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago.


The George Preston Award went very deservedly to our main host and former IAMFA President, Bill Caddick, presented by conference co-host and board member Patrick Jones.


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Caption: The George Preston Award was presented to Bill Caddick at the closing gala by Patrick Jones.


The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Bob Evans, presented by Dan Davies, a longtime term colleague of Bob’s before Bob’s retirement.


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Caption: The Lifetime Achievement Award being presented to Bob Evans by Dan Davies.


A new award was presented this year, called the Peer Award. This award is presented to an individual selected by his or her IAMFA peers for their contribution to IAMFA’s mission. This inaugural Peer Award went to Maurice Evans of the Smithsonian Institution, and presented by Neal Graham of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.


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Caption: The inaugural Peer Award was presented to Maurice Evans by Neal Graham.


Finally, Bill Caddick and Patrick Jones passed the baton to James Moisson, Chair of the Boston Conference, who invited us to join him in Boston and gave us all a taste of what to expect once we are there.


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Caption: Jim Moisson, Chair of the 2016 IAMFA Annual Conference in New England.


Thursday, September 24

On Day Four, those of us who had signed up for the extra day boarded the bus for a day trip to Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, we visited the Milwaukee Public Museum, where we met up with our old friend and former IAMFA Editor Larry Bannister, for coffee and a tour around his museum.

It was on to the Harley-Davidson Museum for lunch, followed by a really interesting tour around the Museum itself.

Finally it was off to the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum, which must have the most famous and elaborate Brise Soleil in the world, well worth checking out on YouTube.

Then it was back to what IAMFA Conference delegates and guests do best: yes, enjoy some of the famous Milwaukee beer and sausages.  

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the 25th-anniversary IAMFA conference in Chicago. A very big thank you to Bill and Patrick and their team for arranging the conference. To all of our hosts and their teams, who welcomed us warmly into their establishments, another big thank you. Our sincere thanks, as well, to all the presenters who gave up their time to provide us with excellent educational presentations, from which I am sure, we all learned a great deal—and of course to our conference sponsors, without whom much of this would not have been possible.


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



Vacationing during the 25th Annual IAMFA Conference

By Joe May


At first, I kept thinking about how intently IAMFA members must be listening to the presentations right now. I bet they are hearing about the Fan Wall about now . . . or maybe they have moved on to the presentation about Maintenance of Renewable Energy Systems.  The Annual General Meeting isn’t until tomorrow; I wonder what is up next? But right then, two beluga whales jumped out of the water during their synchronized swimming exercise. I think that was the last time I wondered what the delegates were doing. I had discovered the real treat that goes on during the IAMFA Conference—yes, that’s right, it’s the Guest Program! 

There has always been a Guest Program during the conference for members’ partners or friends. Now, I was learning firsthand just what a treat the guest program really is. It’s a vacation, a guided tour of the best highlights in the city, great meals, entertainment, wonderful hotel—all the things that you look for when you plan a great vacation. I never realized just what a great deal the Guest Program was, but now I do!  

I hope the delegates had a great conference, because the Guest Program was amazing! I’m so glad I tagged along on the Guest Program this year to help our hosts take care of the guests. We were a force some 35 strong—and pretty well organized, I must say. I don’t think we ever got separated, and nobody ever missed the bus getting from one venue to another. We were a team: a team of 35 vacationers, learning about some of Chicago’s amazing cultural institutions.   

As guests, we did all the fun social activities that were planned each evening with the delegates; but the next morning, the fun just continued. On Monday, we started at the Adler Planetarium, where we boarded a spaceship and embarked on a 3D tour of our solar system.  We leaned back in our chairs, and raced off to visit all eight planets; in fact, we made it all the way out to the planetoid Pluto, and then to the Oort Cloud, before we had to head back to Earth so we could make it to the next stop: The Field Museum of Natural History. 


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Caption: Guests gather around for a tour of exhibitions at the Adler Planetarium.


We had lunch with the delegates at The Field Museum, and I tried to act like I was busy keeping all the guests on schedule, but mostly it was all about having a great time! After lunch, we toured The Field, and we met Sue—you know, the largest, most extensive and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever found— then we walked next door to the Shedd Aquarium. 


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Caption: Sue—the largest, most extensive and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever found.


The belugas I mentioned above were just getting warmed up, and they put on a great show for us. They were white as snow, like giant dolphins, working with their trainers, and doing stunts to our general amazement. We hated to leave, but we had to get back to the Hyatt to prepare for our dinner cruise on Lake Michigan that night. Well, at least the delegates got to go on the dinner cruise with us.


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Caption: Belugas at the Shedd Aquarium.


On Tuesday, we got an early start (9:00 a.m.) and travelled by bus to the Chicago History Museum, where Jay Yelen, their Director of Properties, treated us to breakfast, then took us on a tour of this remarkable museum. We had a great time seeing Jay’s museum; what a resource on the history of this amazing city. 


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Caption: The American Civil War ended at this table—on display at the Chicago History Museum.


As we were getting ready to leave for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, I thought we had lost at least one of the guests. It turned out, however, that they were only a couple of stragglers taking full advantage of the gift shop at the History Museum.


The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is the oldest museum in Chicago, if I remember correctly. We decided to have lunch before exploring, during which Dr. Steve Thompson from the next-door Lincoln Park Zoo talked to us, allowing us to maximize our time later when we visited the Zoo itself. After lunch, we visited the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Notebaert Museum. It was a real treat! There were butterflies everywhere, along with a few birds, and even a turtle that emerged from a creek inside the room. We could have spent a lot more time at the Notebaert Museum, but we were on a mission—and we had one more stop during the afternoon before we could get ready for the evening activities.


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Caption: The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.


It was time to walk next door to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Dr. Steve gave us a guided tour of current construction projects, then we scattered like animals throughout the park to see our favorite furry critters. I have to admit that I was a little worried that not everyone would make it back to the bus in time for our return trip to the hotel. One of the guests suggested that keeping the guests together was a bit like herding cats. But you know what? Everyone was back right on time. We were a very good herd of cats! The Lincoln Park Zoo wasn’t the only one with a pretty neat herd of big cats.


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Caption: Conference guests pause at the entrance to the Lincoln Park Zoo.


We had to get back to the hotel so we could rest for a while, and get ready for the architectural boat tour on the Chicago River, which turned out to be a real treat. Many thanks to Camfil Ltd. for sponsoring us! The Chicago buildings were amazing when you took time to look at all their peculiarities, and our docent gave us a detailed explanation of their history. It was a beautiful evening in Chicago, and I was proud of just how well the guests and delegates alike utilized the bar on the boat. Those bartenders deserve a lot of recognition for their efficiency in serving a very thirsty group. Cheers to those wonderful bartenders; I hope our paths cross again someday!

Wednesday began with a walk from the hotel to the Art Institute of Chicago, where guests were given tours of Impressionist paintings and American art. I never saw so many Claude Monet paintings! The painting American Gothic was pretty cool, too. 


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Caption: A docent tells us about American Gothic at the Art Institute. 


Guests walked a few blocks to the Union League Club next for lunch. Long-time IAMFA members Tony McGuire and David Brooks were our hosts. Thank you so much, Tony and David, and McGuire Engineer Engineers, for treating us to a wonderful lunch and a tour of their collection of art which was impressive—how many private clubs have their own painting by Claude Monet? 


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Caption: Guests sit down for lunch at the Union League Club.


We had to get back to the hotel so we could rest up and get ready for the annual IAMFA closing gala dinner held this year at the Art Institute of Chicago. After our short coach ride, we all assembled on the Grand Staircase for a group photo; then the festivities began. We sampled wonderful beverage concoctions by our hosts at the Art Institute before making our way to the Modern Wing for dinner. We all had great seats—the view was wonderful.  I had a great time; I think everyone else did too. 


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Caption: IAMFA delegates and guests assemble on the Grand Staircase of the Art Institute of Chicago, prior to the gala dinner on September 23, 2015.


It was so nice having the guests there at the conference to spend time with the delegates, and it was terrific this year being part of the guest group. It really was like a vacation for me. 

Come join us next year—we will do it again in Boston!


Joe May is a former IAMFA board member, and has attended the past 13 IAMFA conferences. 



2015 Benchmarking Practices and Learning Workshop

By Keith McClanahan


The 2015 Benchmarking Workshop, held at the Chicago Hyatt, was one of the most engaging meetings to date, attended by nearly 50 IAMFA participants. There was excellent interaction from all, and it was a great prelude to the IAMFA conference.

To obtain the maximum value from benchmarking, participants need to focus on best practices to see how others are achieving first quartile performance. The real opportunity for participants lies in understanding how other organizations are doing similar jobs for less cost or with a higher quality. The workshop provides a forum for networking, finding others with similar issues and opportunities, and sharing best practices.

This year, only first-time attendees—and those who had not recently attended a learning workshop—were invited to provide brief presentations on their facilities. At previous meetings, all participants had given short background presentations on their institutions. Comments from last year’s conference indicated that this took too long, and that participants wanted to get right into the discussion regarding best practices.

The Steering Committee was recognized at the workshop itself. The Committee provides valuable input on all aspects of the benchmarking survey. The Committee meets monthly by conference call for an hour or less, helps establish the workshop agenda, makes survey adjustments, and is always looking for ways to add value to the IAMFA benchmarking program.

Energy costs and their impact on budgets were discussed extensively. Patrick Jones of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Tony Young of the Carnegie Institute, provided a presentation on response to electric demand. Non-electric regulatory costs are becoming a much more significant cost component of many participants’ electric bills. Patrick and Tony indicated that their institutions had experienced significant cost increases, due to demand charges. They have taken steps to reduce those costs by monitoring the demand at their institutions in real time. They have achieved significant cost reductions by implementing these measures.

Many of the participants reported increased utility costs, caused by a combination of extreme weather and increasing utility rates. Although the benchmarking survey shows that both consumption and costs are declining slightly, both would be up considerably if not for the efforts of energy management personnel to curb consumption through a variety of programs. LED lamps have been installed at many institutions with great success. Compared with the existing bulbs, light quality appears to be about equal or better; there is less heat; and service life is much greater.

Dave Samec, of the National Gallery of Art, discussed an ongoing issue with pests. Many in the room reported similar problems, without any good solutions at the present time. Discussion related to who monitors and manages pest-control programs, how they are tracked, and what experts are available to develop appropriate solutions. There did not seem to be any really good answers to this issue, and more discussion is sure to follow.

Jack Plumb of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) provided a presentation regarding environmental guidelines for collections. In his presentation, Jack provided background regarding environmental standards:

  • Where did they come from?
  • Current standards
  • Future standards

Jack indicated that the most significant reasons the NLS has achieved energy utilization reductions is the wider range of operating temperatures and humidity that have been agreed to by the collections staff.  It is acknowledged that the issue of collection and material environmental requirements is complex, and conservators/conservation scientists should actively seek to explain and unpack these complexities. Guidelines for environmental conditions for permanent display and storage should be achievable for the local climate.

Jack indicated that, following consultation with NLS Collection Care colleagues, the Library decided on the following operational criteria:

  •  59ºF (15ºC) to 68ºF (20ºC)
  • 40% RH to 60% RH


The wider range of operating criteria and targeted mechanical system upgrades has significantly improved energy utilization at the NLS. 

Some of the presentations were oriented toward problems and issues that are more mundane. Guy Larocque and Jennifer Fragomeni provided insight on the issues and experiences they have had with waterless urinals. Both Guy and Jennifer indicated that waterless urinals can work, and that they have successfully reduced domestic water consumption by significant amounts. However, the use of waterless urinals will also damage traditional drainage piping unless the lines are flushed routinely or are made from purpose-designed materials. Many of the other participants in attendance echoed similar experiences. It was noted that careful attention to drainage, or additional water flow from other fixtures such as sinks, was a good solution to resolve blocked drainage pipes from waterless urinals.

Nearly all participants returned the comments and feedback form. It was refreshing to read these comments, and note that this was a rewarding and productive workshop for all attendees. Everyone indicated that they would attend a workshop again, that the topics covered were relevant and useful, and that the workshop added value to the conference. The participants said that this was one of the high points of the conference, and a great opportunity for networking.

Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make this such a successful workshop.


Keith McClanahan is the Principal at Facility Issues Inc., and is the coordinator of IAMFA’s Annual Benchmarking Exercise. Keith can be reached at



Using the System to Your Advantage

ByLinda Dingley  


So you have a pump needing replacement? That’s an easy one, isn’t it? Just look at the pump plate, take down the relevant details and order the same again—right?

If you were to look at a pump as a highly engineered, ever-evolving technological solution, similar to a mobile phone or television, you wouldn’t even begin to consider buying an identical replacement to a version you had purchased over 15 years ago. You would want to opt for a newer model, complete with all the in-built advances, improved design and better efficiencies. This should also be true when looking at pump replacement. 

Unlike other equipment, it is very rare for anyone to consider exchanging a pump for any other reason than it has developed a problem that means it is at the end of its useful life. This is true even though changing a pump could lead to huge energy savings that would mean the pump equipment would have quickly paid for itself—through lower energy bills—within a very short period of time.  

Working out the efficiency of current pumping solutions can be complex, which is why a wide range of tools has been developed by a number of pump manufacturers—including the Pump Check and Pump Audit—that can assess current pump-installation performance and make firm tangible recommendations.


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Caption: Grundfos Pump Audit Suitcase.


All Change?

In terms of making the right decision about replacement, one important consideration should be: Is the pump suitable for current requirements? The pump may be oversized, and nameplate information may not reflect the original design duty, or the current operating duty, and hence replacement-duty requirements.

It may also be the case that the original design allowed for a 10% increase in flow, and subsequent 20% in head, which would have an impact on energy consumption, should this allowance no longer be required. This can easily be engineered out again by a reduction in pump speed—remember that reducing a pump speed by 20% will reduce energy consumption by a staggering 50%.  

Another factor is to check if the building has changed its configuration and/or use since it last had an M&E fit-out, or indeed is about to change its use, as these factors can also have a major impact on what pumps and pump duties should be considered. In particular, it is important to look at changes that may require additional pumps being added to the requirement. For example, a change of use that results in more condensed living may require additional water boosting. 

Heating and cooling circulator pumps form the majority of the replacement market. New pumps offer greater efficiencies than previous generations, especially with the gradual introduction of legislation requiring high-efficiency pumps. To gain maximum energy and greenhouse gas reductions, however, variable-speed options should always be considered.

Today’s preferred choice for variable-volume systems often include permanent magnet circulators. These deliver significant energy savings over older-style pumps, because they self-adjust to the demands of the system. When considering such pumps, it is always worth considering, at the same time, changing out the old three-port control valves for new two-port pressure-independent control valves (PICVs). These valves will work very efficiently with variable-speed pumps by maintaining the correct Δt over the heater/cooling battery, delivering greater savings than the high-efficiency variable-speed pumps alone.


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Caption:  Grundfos Magna 3 pump.


One benefit of selecting a more modern design is that it facilitates easier replacement of wearing components. Choosing a major manufacturer that is able to support service requirements for the long term is important, as these manufacturers will maintain a wide range of dedicated service kits and replacement motors that will often be available ex-stock.

An additional option to achieving increased efficiencies is to opt for a member of the wall-mounted frequency converters that can operate in conjunction with centrifugal pump types in both new and existing applications. These fully integrated energy-efficient solutions provide pump, frequency converter, controller and sensor—all perfectly matched and configured to your specific pump-installation needs.


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Caption: Grundfos CUE range of wall-mounted variable-speed drives.


The overall condition and configuration of the pipework is another aspect to be considered. This can affect the choice between being able to opt for in-line or end-suction style products, which may become important. The plant room configuration and access is another aspect to consider, as access is important and sufficient space needs to be allowed in instances where cranes or hoists may need to be used. The state of the system’s existing pipework will also ultimately be a factor in the choice of route that can be taken. Further reading/guidance is available from recognised authorities, such as BSRIA at

An end-of-life a pump is not a piece of worthless scrap, however; on the contrary, it is still a valuable resource. For example, if you look at the composition of a typical Grundfos pump, 90–99% of the materials are recyclable when dismantled and separated. 

There are significant benefits to being in control of your pump replacement, as this means that timings and expenditures can be planned. Asking the right questions, and not necessarily waiting for end-of-life when it comes to contemplating a pump replacement can offer a wide range of benefits that may not be immediately obvious. The potential return on investment is significant, and is something that should be part of a systematic approach to improved plant equipment, increased efficiencies and lower overhead costs. My advice is to seek out a range of local suppliers, and ask their recommendation for the most efficient replacement pumps, being sure to ask not only about initial replacement costs, but also lifetime costs.


Linda Dingley is Marketing Manager at Grundfos, and can be reached at For additional information, please visit or



Does Your Door Hardware Meet the ACCESS Test?

By Thomas A. Westerkamp


The growing need for safety and security in all types of facilities is expanding the range of products and equipment—including door hardware—that managers seek. The ACCESS Test provides a useful tool to measure your preparedness. It means Access Control, Control of Egress, Safety and Security

This article will:

•   bring readers up to speed on the latest generation of key-door hardware components, such as locksets, closers and hinges and alarm systems; and

•   describe the ACCESS TEST strategy for ensuring that these products mesh with overall efforts to keep facility occupants and operations safe.

The Latest Generation of Key-Door Hardware Components

Heightened awareness and often-contradictory demands of safety, security and ease of entry or exit have led to an increasing array of solutions. Authorized personnel need access and, in emergency situations, rapid, safe egress. On the other, unauthorized personnel have to be excluded. Still, firefighters and other emergency personnel need ease of entry to locate and evacuate victims rapidly. Employees surprised by unauthorized visitors in a stairwell are at a disadvantage.

Public building managers are installing card and PIN lock systems. They are also rearranging traffic flow to channel visitor traffic at elevator lobbies toward properly staffed, secure reception areas. Only authorized personnel can enter the locked lobby doors. In addition, stairwells are being equipped with CCTV and sound-monitoring devices. Key hardware employed for security upgrades to facilitate these measures includes the following:

  1. Devices in this category include deadbolts, knobs, lock cylinders, levers, entry handsets, wired remote open or turn-on devices, and wireless remote devices. Some steps now being taken more frequently range from simply changing lock cylinders more often to installing more elaborate electro-mechanical and electronic remote-controlled devices.

Lock-cylinder change kits include the outside cylinder, cylinder housing and keys. The keys can be made to fit copies of existing cylinders, or other new cylinders. Blanks not available at the local hardware store can be obtained from the manufacturer, making it harder to get key copies.

Remote-control choices are better than ever. Remote-control devices offer the ability to log personnel in and out with RFID cards, track movement, allow access only at certain times of day (for example, janitorial ID cards can allow restricted entry only between 3:00 and 11:00 p.m.) track these people through the facility, and record their exit. The ID card can double as a clock-in/clock-out time-reporting device, eliminating the need for separate time clocks. Central control is also much better. In the event of a fire, for instance, the lock system can be instantly overridden so everyone can exit safety and quickly through otherwise locked doors.

  1. A wide variety of both standard and custom door-closers are available. These include surface-mounted or hidden, heavy-duty for high cycle or windy and drafty conditions, and ADA force-to-operate compliant closers. They may contain both spring and fluid operators, with separate valves for each open and close cycle.

A typical range of five cycles, with separate valves controlling each cycle, illustrates how the door-closer works. The open cycle compresses the spring and positions fluid through the open valve for closing. The delay valve controls the hold-open time, allowing slower-moving traffic to pass. The closing valve controls the closing speed to within a half-foot of the stop. The latching valve controls speed for the last half-foot.

Considerations recommended by manufacturers when it comes to closer selection include size and weight of the door, closer mounting position, interior or exterior door, functions (e.g., hold open, positive stop or fusible link), and installation specs. When using custom hinges, door stops, pivots, overhead holders, or sound-and-smoke seals, the installer should refer to the manufacturer's template book to ensure proper installation locations for the hardware.

  1. An intruder can get through a standard hinged door, even when locked, simply by removing the hinge pins. Hinges can be made more secure by removing one of the hinge screws and inserting a special peg. The peg has screw threads on the end inserted into the hinge, and a cylindrical pin on the other end that projects from the hinge surface. With this security pin in place, the closed and locked door can't be removed from the doorframe, even when the hinge pins are removed.
  2. Recent additions to door-hardware systems include radio-wave-tamper alarms. A conductor—for example, a vehicle or person moving through and disturbing a radio-wave field—activates these alarms. Motion detectors or infrared-type alarms often give false signals. The signal strength of the radio wave can be adjusted so that the alarm is energized from a distance away, or by actual contact.

The circuitry is made up of two components: a small saucer-sized control box, and an antenna. The power source sends radio waves through the antenna surrounding anything the antenna touches: a door, window, fence, vehicle, unattended building, or the like. Audio alarms can be attached. In addition, silent alarms connected to the police station, CCTV, or access-control system, can be activated.

The ACCESS Test Strategy to Mesh Products with Safety

After security has been compromised, it is too late to begin security planning. You can't start any sooner than now, or any later, to secure your facility. So, the first thing that has to happen is a high degree of management involvement, starting with a comprehensive security policy recognizing the legal obligation of an owner to provide for the safety and security of the facility and occupants. Funding limitations mean that this is a continuing need. As soon as you do the first iteration, the planning for the next update starts. A piece of the annual budget should be set aside for the continuous improvement of the security plan.

The ACCESS Test. The ACCESS Test is a systematic method to assess and upgrade access-system controls to minimize risk. Experts in the field believe that a structured approach to assessing and evaluating your current system is an important stepping-stone to heightened security of the facility.

You will need architectural plans, as well as plans for any modifications or additions since the original facility was built. These plans identify the assets you want to protect, as well as location and means of entry and egress. In addition to plans, original construction specifications offer key pieces of information, because they contain product description details, such as lockset, closer and hinge manufacturer, model number, style, size, quantity, and standards to which the hardware was designed and tested—information that cannot fit on the plans themselves.

First, what assets do you need to protect? Both personnel—employees, contractors and visitors—and property assets should be considered. Property includes physical assets, the facility structure itself, associated electrical and mechanical equipment, furniture, data contained in various storage media—both hard copy and electronic—and inventory.

What natural or manmade events could jeopardize the safety and security of each asset? What are the odds of each occurring? Who would have predicted a terrorist attack like the 9/11, with thousands of lives lost in minutes as the two towers fell; or a 4.5-magnitude earthquake in the Midwest, 70 miles southwest of Chicago; or a bear walking through an unattended, automatic door into a hospital, as happened recently? While these events are unlikely, they happened. So do threats from storms, thefts, disgruntled employees, fires, floods, and power outages (are electronic door locks power-on or power-off? Do they depend on a central power supply, or do they have their own self-contained, independent power supply?).

How would your existing security systems measure up to these challenges? What would the relative severity of consequences be if they couldn't? These questions lead to focusing on the security weaknesses, and what measures would reduce or eliminate each weakness in the existing system. They will also assist the owner in prioritizing upgrades to the system. The highest-probability occurrences with the greatest potential consequences should be addressed first.

The list of upgrades and cost estimates may exceed what could be implemented immediately, due to cost or time constraints. You can start at the top of the priority list and work down as far as possible this year. Then use the remaining list for risk management and budgeting next year.


Other Resources


American Hardware Manufacturers Association, 801 North Plaza Drive, Schaumburg, IL 60173, Phone (847)-605-1025, Fax ((847)-601-1093,


American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018,


American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), 1625 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA  22314

Associated Locksmiths of America, 3003 Live Oak Street, Dallas, TX 75204

Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), 355 Lexington Avenue 17th Floor, New York, NY  10017,  (212)-297-2122, Fax: (212)-370-9047, (800) 699-9277,

Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., 4051 Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60477

Door Hardware Institute, 14150 Newbrook Drive, Suite 200, Chantilly, VA 20151-2223, 703-222-2010, Fax 703-222-2410,

National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, 7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

Westerkamp, Thomas A., Maintenance Manager’s Standard Manual, 5th Edition, BNi Publications, 2013,

Window and Door Manufacturers Association, 1400 East Touhy Avenue, Suite 470, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018, 800-223-2301, Fax: 847-299-1286,

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), NFPA 101, Life Safety Code

National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC

20005-4905, (202) 289-7800, Fax: (202) 289-1092


Tom Westerkamp is one of the leading experts in the field of Maintenance Management, with a career spanning five decades, helping countless companies around the world. Tom is author of the Maintenance Managers Standard Manual now in its 5th Edition: Tom can be reached at


The Other Harvard

By Jay Yelen


About 75 miles northwest of Chicago, there is a small town called Harvard. Primarily a farm town, it is perched just above Woodstock, but not quite as far as Rockford.

I know Woodstock from my mid-twenties. Always looking for a bit of extra money, I took on a weekend marathon project from a friend, painting the large refrigerators of the Claussen Pickle plant located there. It remains the cleanest factory I have ever been in. Forty-eight hours of non-stop pickle aroma and epoxy paint, and I was finished. In all that time, I never saw one pickle. I still prefer them to this day when I am food shopping.

For its part, Rockford brought to us one gift from the late 1970s: the rock band Cheap Trick. The band is legend to me, as I still play their Live at Budokan or Heaven Tonight albums when I want to rock out. But I digress.

Harvard sits almost equidistant from both Rockford and Woodstock. I am certain they have many wonderful and notable success stories within that town, but I only know of one item in any detail. It is in Harvard that we have our other offsite artifact storage facility, which we’ve nicknamed after the town.

In 1981, the First National Bank of Chicago sold us the property for $1. Okay, they gave it to us, but it was a legal transaction. It is located just off a main road that is gated. Once inside the gate, you will arrive at a single-level home, even though the driveway continues. If you choose to continue, you will approach what we call Harvard. It is a 20,000-square-foot fallout shelter built into a man-made hill.

I had worked at the Chicago History Museum for about a month before I finally got the chance to take a field trip there and meet my part-time caretaker. Pulling up in front of it was almost surreal. Only the face of the building is exposed, and it has managed to camouflage itself over the decades. Rust and weather have discolored the face of the building so well that it now disappears perfectly into the side of the hill.

The only entrance visible to me was the side door by the stairs. It is at the dock level build-out, designed to shield any deliveries from rain or snow. Just outside the side door was a telephone cabinet that had a door-buzzer button, complete with a telephone. Directly above us perched a warning siren horn and red light beacon that alerted guests and occupants if radioactivity had become dangerous. Both were covered in cobwebs and yellowed from age and exposure. Directly on the other side of us was a collapsed incinerator flue for contaminated materials. What paint remained on the exterior structure was a battleship gray. Even when it was new, it was probably meant to stay very low-key.

A loud clang, and with that a door over six inches thick started to swing open through the power of a bearded gray-haired employee I had yet to meet in person. Having spoken to Patrick many times over the phone, I got the feeling that he had taken a sense of ownership in this property. That feeling was confirmed immediately upon walking inside his space.

Patrick is a Harley-Davidson kind of guy. He worked as a building engineer for decades in downtown Chicago, but chose to move out to Harvard upon retirement for a quieter environment. He has several grandkids that he adores. He was looking for a part-time job five days a week that was low-stress and low-key. He found it.

Many days he will start at 8:00 a.m. inside a building where he will be the only person there until noon, when he clocks out. His job is to maintain the proper conditions and building operations for a stable storage environment. This is a job he has perfected for me. He has found ways to make systems work with minimal effort. He has contacts on hand when things fall outside his care. After all, he is alone there. I can imagine a description of the building inside is in order.

The property it sits on/in is huge. Drawings indicate that it was built in 1965. The residence I described driving past is also part of the original design. The shelter is square and constructed of poured concrete. The concrete in the walls is over 20 inches thick. The ceiling is domed, and the concrete pour is 18 inches thick. Encased in the foundation is a 30,000-gallon fuel oil tank. To put this into perspective, the tank is the size of a train car. Logistics show that it probably arrived by train: they simply removed the wheels and lowered the tank into the ground.

The building has many interesting specifications. The front doors weigh in at 1,600 pounds each. Trucks came after the building was finished, and dumped loads of dirt over the building, burying three sides of it under six feet of earth. Farmers now grow hay on top of it, caring for the land up there in exchange for its use. The building can withstand a 3-megaton blast from three miles away.

Aside from the 8-inch asbestos floor tile and grayish-beige paint that must have been applied when it was completed, the inside would be as cold as a parking garage. The maze of heating pipes, and fluorescent lights interrupted by concrete columns, completes the look they must have trying to achieve in the early to mid-sixties. I can’t imagine what the architects must have been thinking while making these drawings. With world leaders holding a finger over the button, I guess anything would be better than going outside after nuclear holocaust and taking a deep breath.

Upon entering the building, the hall branches right and left. Left grants access to the space itself. Heading right would be the path you took for radiation contamination. It led to the showers for decontamination and clothing refuse. The radiation suits (now dry-rotted) still hang on hooks outside the showers. The showers are now used for the storage of rakes, brooms and snow shovels. There is a kitchen constructed of white metal Merillat Cabinets, complete with an electric stove and refrigerator. The kitchen could be right out of a Leave it to Beaver episode, minus the sunny window and flowers. Down the hall, several smaller rooms, once designated for executive sleeping quarters, now house boxed artifacts. The rest of the space holds several carts and platforms with muslin-covered pieces from our collection—some of which may never see the Museum again. Others are poised to be shipped to Chicago for our next exhibition.

The HVAC system is somewhat cannibalized. Shocking huh? The central air-conditioning system stopped working shortly after Patrick starting working there over ten years ago; not that it is really needed. The building stays stable at 50% RH and 62˚F in the winter. It only rises up to about 67˚F in the heat of summer. Patrick will run it to mix in some outside air when the resonance of fuel oil returns from the now-corroded tank that has been converted into a rainwater sump. There is a boiler that introduces a balance into the space, along with individually placed dehumidifiers. Being in the ground, the site is extremely stable.

But the most cryptic of all the things at Harvard has to be the emergency escape tunnels.  Poised at opposite ends of the structure are two 3x3-foot doors. Inside each door, you would find a mounted shovel as you faced an array of wooden slats, holding back packed gravel. If the bomb had dropped and the world as we knew it changed, most of the above-ground structures would be gone. The building sits with its buried back facing the city of Chicago. Even the back stairway leading to the top of the hill would implode within itself to protect the rest of the building. If the front entrance was not usable, these “dig-outs” would be needed to escape to the newly scorched surface. The slats would be removed, and digging upward would expose a buried ladder to the surface. Granted, this was not a clean or easy exit, but most likely would get the survivors used to a new lifestyle.

Deep in the specification sheets are directions to preserve a well tunnel for a power feed to the residence. Here is where my questions remain. This tunnel must have been an underground way to get to the house for periodic testing of the atmosphere. The tunnel collapsed long before we got the property, and the hatch in the house is crudely patched, but there is a 1000-amp disconnect that feeds the house if selected. Why would anyone need 1000 amps for a simple single-level, two-bedroom home in the 1960s? The well tunnel has long filled up with water, and runs into the old fuel tank for evacuation. There are two Ford Motor Company generators that barely have 50 hours of run time on each of them. They would never run again, and now simply take up space in the mechanical room.

It easy to understand the fear and threat that compelled people to build Harvard. It all comes to a head when you look into the vault constructed at one end of the building. In spite of all that people would lose in the wake of the detonation of an atomic bomb, there was a plan in place to preserve documents to reestablish an economy and rebuild society. Granted, I don’t think bank executives would survive long once back on the surface.

I am very thankful that we never got to find out what really could have happened. I am even more thankful that such a stable environment came out of a design that really had little to do with today’s purpose for Harvard storage. From the ashes we never had to crawl out of, comes something put to good use.


Jay Yelen is Director of Properties at the Chicago History Museum, and was a host of the 2015 IAMFA Annual Conference. Jay can be reached at


Help Foster an Emerging Relationship

By Kendra Gastright


It’s not possible in this day and age for facility managers in cultural institutions to not be connected with the conservators protecting the objects in the buildings we serve. We may agree, however, that the relationship has not always been perfect. Given stagnant and sometimes shrinking budgets, and mandates for sustainable cuts in energy use, our need to partner and cooperate for the greater good has never been more important. 

Additionally, think back over the past few years and recall the emergencies your team has deftly handled: the storm that blew a tree through the curtain wall, the steam outage, the flood from a failed chilled-water valve, a fire in the construction area, a failure in the lighting control system that left the lights on all night for a week.

While I’m sure your response and recovery was phenomenal, did you notice your conservators looking quite pale while reading their data-loggers and biting their nails to the quick? Perhaps you went to them, offering a strong shoulder, and explained that you had anticipated the emergency and hermetically sealed all their objects at the required temperature and humidity in a light-, water-, and fire-proof vault. Just in case you didn’t do that, I offer the next best thing for a team-building moment: a road trip to Montreal, Canada!

IAMFA has been invited to co-host a workshop with the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) on the opening day of their annual meeting in Montreal next year.


Share the Care: Collaborative Preservation Approaches

A Joint AIC/IAMFA Seminar

2016 American Institute for Conservation (AIC), Canadian Association for Conservation/Association Canadienne pour la Conservation et la Restauration (CAC-ACCR) Annual Meeting

May 13, 2016—9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

May 14, 2016—10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.—Special Post-Session on: 

Choosing and Implementing an Automatic Fire-Suppression System for a Collecting Institution

Palais des Congrès, Montreal, Canada

Join AIC, CAC, IAMFA, and allied collections professionals to focus on our shared risk and responsibility at a specialized and interactive seminar held before the start of the 2016 AIC/CAC/ACCR meeting.

  • Learn how to further preservation priorities collaboratively within your museum or institution.
  • Explore how facilities managers, conservators, collections managers and other related professionals interact, as well as how that relationship can be improved.
  • Check your institution’s emergency plan—one size doesn’t fit all.
  • Review the Current State of International Environmental Guidelines—Review of the ISO 1799 draft, EU standard, PAS 198, ICOM, Bizot perspective, etc. A discussion will follow on work with constituent groups and the best path forward.
  • Discover if shared risk and responsibility can live together under one roof in a Historic House museum.

Register today at the low rate of $115 for AIC or CAC/ACCR members—$135 for all others. Rates will increase on March 1, 2016.

AIC/IAMFA Meeting attendees have access to the AIC/CAC-ACCR room block at the Hyatt Regency Montreal.

For more information, please visit:

As more information becomes available, it will be sent to IAMFA members and posted on LinkedIn. Come for just the workshop, stay for the special post-session, or even consider staying on to attend the rest of the AIC annual meeting. This year's theme is: Emergency! Preparing for Disasters and Confronting the Unexpected in Conservation. There are definitely many topics germane to facility management, including emergency, collections care, architecture and sustainability.  


Kendra Gastright is Director, Office of Facilities Management and Reliability at the Smithsonian Institution, and can be reached at

See You In New England!

A Preview of the 2016 IAMFA Annual Conference in New England

By James Moisson


We are recently back from a wonderful conference in Chicago, and look forward to hosting a great time in and around Boston for all of you in October 2016. My chief collaborators at this time are Pete Atkinson, also of Harvard Art Museums; Bob Monk and Toni Ponte of the Peabody Essex Museum; and Bill Powers of the Clark Art Institute. We look forward to working with Kevin Eames at the Museum of Fine Arts and Michael Holland of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as we pull together a program that will both entertain and educate.  We plan to share stories of the major projects we have completed since many of you were here for the 2004 conference, addressing issues technical, aesthetic and program-related. We also are developing plans to visit Harvard’s Widener Library and the Boston Public Library.


Image page 52

Caption: Clark Art Institute


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Caption: Boston Museum of Fine Arts


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Caption: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


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Caption: Peabody Essex Museum


Our dates are Sunday, October 2 through Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Of course, we are planning the benchmarking session for Sunday with Keith McClanahan of Facility Issues.  We also have a wonderful optional Thursday excursion planned: a bus trip to the northwest corner of Massachusetts to see Naumkeag, a wonderful historical property belonging to the Trustees of Reservations in Stockbridge, and the magnificent Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. This journey through the colorful New England autumnal countryside will be punctuated by a New England-style Thanksgiving lunch.

We are working out exactly when to get you out on the water, to eat lobster and explore other issues of great importance. We mean to show you a good time while we all learn a few things! Our hotel is the Back Bay Hilton, located in Boston’s historic neighborhood of the same name, complete with shopping, restaurants and sightseeing. For the main conference, we will be in Boston, Cambridge and Salem.

As plans take shape and are finalized, we will share information for members and guests on the IAMFA website and Facebook page. Here’s to seeing old friends again, and making new ones. We hope to see you in Boston.


James Moisson is Senior Facilities Manager at Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and host of the 2016 IAMFA Annual Conference. Jim can be reached at



Regional Chapter Updates


Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter

 By John Bixler  


The most recent Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter meeting was held on August 26, 2015 at the Museum of American History’s Warren Brothers theater. We had 35 folks in attendance at the meeting, including a few from the Smithsonian Institution who were not members. Everyone was reminded of the upcoming conference in Chicago.

Last year, the Smithsonian provided sessions in service training on various topics, inviting all facilities managers to attend. The next scheduled session in service training is on Crafting a Business Case, presented by guest speaker Christopher Hodges, P.E., CFM, LEED AP, founding Principal of Facilities Engineering Associates.

The Associate Director of the American History Museum, Jan Lilja, welcomed IAMFA members, and gave a historical overview of the American History Museum. The Project Executive for the African American History and Culture Museum, Jud McIntire, made a presentation on the construction, exhibit selection and architectural highlights of the Museum, which is currently under construction. Finally, Facility Zone Manager, Angel Rodriguez, presented a virtual tour of the African American History and Culture Museum’s mechanical equipment from the basement to the roof, narrating as he traversed the various floors.  


John M. Bixler is Deputy Director, Facilities Management and Operations, Office of Facilities Management and Reliability at the Smithsonian Institution, and can be reached at


Donna Reinert

January 5, 1957 – October 16, 2015 


We lost a dear member of our IAMFA family on October 16, 2015. So many of us got to know Donna when she and husband Rich, of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, spent a week with us each year at our annual conference. Many of us also became friends with Donna and Rich over the years. We heard from them both during this year’s Chicago Conference, and learned that Donna was sick, that she would not have much more time, and that she was afraid that she had attended her last IAMFA conference. We will dearly miss seeing Donna’s smiling face. Our hearts go out to you, Rich.  

--The IAMFA Board

We have known Rich and Donna for 20 years. They are our good friends. Donna was always full of life and fun to be with. She had a vivacious laugh and loved the Phillies, no matter how they were doing. She was one of the most courageous people we have known, never giving up on her battle with cancer. And she did it with a smile.

She could make you feel up, even if she was down. No matter what heartache she was experiencing herself, she always found time to reach out and console others. Rich, her husband; Katie, her daughter; and sons David and Michael meant the world to her. She is one of those spirits who has helped to make the world a better place. You could always count on having a great time with Rich and Donna. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

--Bob and Mary Ann


Donna Lynn Reinert was a devoted wife, mother, daughter and sister who found joy in, and brought joy to, family and friends with her great sense of humor, infectious smile, and big heart. She faced her final challenge—her third battle with cancer—as she always has: with an optimistic but realistic view of life. She left us peacefully on October 16, 2015, with her devoted husband Richard Reinert at her side. She treasured their life together, and loved her children dearly: daughter Katie Duncan, stepson Michael Reinert, and late son David Duncan.

The music in her laughter, and the love in her heart will stay with her survivors forever. She is also survived by mother and father Virginia and James Silimeo, sisters Stephanie Capizzi and Debra Silimeo, brothers-in-law Manuel Capizzi and Daniel Cohen. She worked for the Women’s Health Associates of Bucks County, resided in Langhorne and before that Bensalem. She loved the sun on her face, and the sand beneath her feet. If there is a beach in heaven, she’s on it now. 

--From Donna’s Obituary