From Gray Areas to Green Areas

Abstracts

 What will the cultural record say about us? Stewardship of culture and the mandate for environmental sustainability (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session I)
 
Michael C. Henry, Preservation Architects & Engineers, Watson & Henry Associates
 
The growing scientific consensus is that climate change is a real and universal problem that is caused in part by human activity, notably greenhouse gas emissions. In a recent working group assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the projected impacts of climate change on the environment, health, society and industry are sobering. Equally compelling is a vulnerabilities assessment by Global Business Network that looks beyond direct impacts of climate change to the potential for cascading failures of interdependent social, economic and governmental systems.
 
Given the various scenarios for unabated climate change and its far-reaching potential impacts, it is clear that, at every level, humankind must find and implement measures to reduce the anthropogenic influences on climate change, as well as prepare for the potentiality of adverse scenarios.
 
This symposium will present a wide array of sustainable practices for preservation environments. Successful implementation of these practices will depend on knowledge of our respective collections, of our local past and future local climates and of the performance potential of our buildings, new and old. Successful implementation will require interdisciplinary collaboration, and certainly some compromises. It will also require fresh strategic thinking about how to create and operate preservation environments that are energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, but also durable and robust in the face of future environmental, social and economic change.
 
But we should not be content with selective implementation of sustainable practices for the preservation of our collections and archives. Instead, we should strive to maximize the beneficial effects of these practices, particularly with respect to abating the anthropogenic influence on climate change and to informing the public of the issues and solutions related to environmental sustainability and climate change.
 
The fundamental challenge in this regard is the need for an overarching policy of environmental sustainability. In the absence of federal leadership, our cultural institutions, and their funding sources, must take the initiative, not just by setting and implementing policy, but also in informing the public as to the necessity of environmental sustainability and the means to achieve it. Our highly developed ethic of stewardship uniquely prepares us to take this leadership role in demonstrating to the public the importance of stewardship in the broad sense, inside and outside the building.
 
By promoting a culture of stewardship toward the environment, we can be certain that the record will also reflect well on our stewardship of culture.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Public Sector Energy Efficiency in Texas (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session I)
 
William E. (Dub) Taylor, Director, State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
 
Some of the key drivers to moving toward a more sustainable building practice are; energy demand-supply imbalance, the need to manage energy costs, and air quality challenges. The public sector is addressing these drivers through building practices in state buildings and schools and government facilities, inspiring green building through energy efficiency programs and utility initiatives and incentives. This talk will address these drivers and give you an overview of the incentives available in Texas that help promote green building.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Real & Relevant Green Building (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session I)
 
Peter Pfeiffer, BARLEY + PFEIFFER ARCHITECTS
 
90% of the effective green building strategies occur within the first 10% of the design process. Relevant high performance green building is so much more about thoughtful project programming and prioritizing, climatically appropriate siting, sound design decisions, and building systems integration than about sustainable material choices - although these will be addressed also. An integrated approach to residential and light commercial green building will be presented.
 
Advanced green building strategies will be critiqued - what worked and what hasn't over the past three decades of the presenter's professional experience. How various design decisions and building component selections interact with each other to effect occupant health and comfort; building durability and maintenance; conservation of natural resources and project waste management; water conservation, re-use and collection; energy efficiency - including Global Warming, will be addressed in an enlightening and relevant format.
 
Learning Objectives - You will be able to:
 
- "connect the dots" between basic physics, sound building science, client expectations and life-style decisions, climatically appropriate design, US energy independence and global warming.
- clearly articulate the relative value of thoughtful programming and design as they relate to sustainable architecture and a sustainable society.
- prioritize and apply high-performance design and green building strategies so as to grow beyond the present and popular green building paradigm.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 What Architects and Engineers (and Their Clients) Should Know About Specifying Collection Storage Environments in Libraries and Museums (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session I)
 
James Reilly, Director, Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
 
Specifying the desired conditions for new or upgraded collection storage spaces is a challenging task for all involved. ASHRAE and ISO Standards often do not provide enough guidance for designers and collections staff alike to make the kinds of judgments that are necessary for sustainable, cutting-edge architectural and engineering designs. This presentation deconstructs the environmental drivers for key forms of deterioration (chemical change, metal corrosion, biodeterioration, and expansion / contraction related damage). It gives "rule of thumb" guidance for compromises from published standards and suggests appropriate avenues for energy saving in building design and operation for cultural institutions.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page

 An Update on the GCI's Experts' Roundtable on Sustainable Climate Management Strategies (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session II)
 
Foekje Boersma, Getty Conservation Institute
 
On the 25th and 26th of April 2007, the GCI organized a roundtable meeting on the island of Tenerife, Spain. Twelve international experts in the field of climate control were invited to join a two day discussion on sustainable climate control strategies and alternatives to conventional air-conditioning systems for cultural institutions around the world. It was an interdisciplinary meeting, with the experts coming to the table from a variety of backgrounds, including architects, engineers, conservators and conservation scientists. The aim was to exchange knowledge and experiences; to identify areas in need of further study or new research; and to identify opportunities for education and training.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 From Japanese Tradition: Is Kura a Model for a Sustainable Preservation Environment? (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session II)
 
Kazuko Hioki, Conservation Librarian, Preservation Department, William T. Young Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
 
In Japan, traditional storage construction, known as kura, demonstrates superior performance in maintaining stable interior temperature and relative humidity (RH) with no dedicated system for heating or cooling. One well-known example of kura is Shosoin, built in the 8th century to store the Komo Empress treasures.
 
In 1992, the Archives of the Imperial House Agency (AIHA) in Tokyo built the current storage building modeled on the traditional kura structure. The facility is a four story building with one basement housing the Emperor's official and historical documents which date from the 8th century. The building has no air-conditioning system. Instead, the environment is controlled by natural ventilation and a sophisticated insulation and multi-level vapor barrier system. The climate of this building exhibits very stable temperature and RH throughout the year. It also successfully prevents mold infestation, a major concern in the monsoon climate of Japan.
 
This presentation examines the indoor climate of AIHA and other traditional Japanese storage facilities and discusses the key factors that make their indoor climate stable and mold-free. The presentation includes a comparison of indoor and outdoor temperatures and RH and observations about building design and construction materials. Additionally, the presentation examines the effects of traditional enclosures (Japanese cypress boxes) and collection care and traditional maintenance practices such as bakuryo, by which every artifact is removed from boxes, "aired out" to prevent mold and inspected for other effects of deterioration.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Providing Safe and Practical Environments for Cultural Properties in Historic Buildings... and Beyond (Thursday, 11/01/07, Session II)
 
Richard Kershner, Director of Preservation and Conservation, Shelburne Museum, Vermont
 
From the day I started as a newly trained conservator at Shelburne Museum in 1982, it was evident that I would have to find safe alternatives to expensive museum HVAC systems if I was to have any success in preserving over 150,000 artifacts exhibited and stored in 29 collection buildings spread over 40 acres. As I became more familiar with Shelburne's varied collections of folk art, fine art, and cultural artifacts and the historic buildings that housed them, it also became apparent that striving to maintain the generally accepted museum standards of 68°F ± 3°F (20°C) and 50% 3% relative humidity was not only unreasonable for Vermont buildings but probably unnecessary for the preservation of most of our artifacts.
 
This presentation will summarize several practical alternative climate control methods successfully implemented at Shelburne Museum over the past two decades. Since we cannot separate our artifacts from the historic and contemporary buildings where they are housed, it was first necessary to determine environmental conditions that our various buildings could safely support. Selected Shelburne Museum collection buildings will be used to illustrate a classification system for the climate control potential of buildings developed by engineer Ernest Conrad.
 
Conservation heating (humidistatically controlled heating) effectively controls humidity levels inside several of our historic buildings for the fall, winter, and spring seasons when building interior temperatures are below 72°F (22°C). Conservation ventilation (humidistically controlled ventilation) is used to reduce humidity levels in barns and historic house structures by an average of 10% during the hot summer season. In addition, the resulting air movement prevents mold growth even when relative humidity levels exceed 70% for extended periods of time.
 
By combining practical climate control methods with a traditional HVAC system in a newly constructed, well-insulated 10,000 square foot storage, library, and collections management building, it is possible to maintain preservation quality environments for the entire building using HVAC equipment sized for only the 5000 square foot second floor. The 5000 square foot first floor storage area maintains RH between 40% in the winter and 65% in the summer by "coasting" on the HVAC system that conditions the rest of the building, saving an estimated 40% in energy costs.
 
Our most recent alternative environmental control system combines conservation heating to control humidity for three seasons of the year with DX cooling to reduce RH during the summer months. A 3500 square foot storage building was tightly sealed and insulated with densely packed cellulose insulation. Digital controls operate a high-efficiency residential gas furnace and DX cooling system to maintain RH between 60% in the summer and 45% in the winter. Heat is withheld from the building to keep the humidity around 45% even during the cold winter months.
 
Johnson Controls Metasys automated building management program controls the conventional and alternative environmental control systems to nearly eliminate harmful relative humidity extremes below 30% in the winter and above 75% in the summer in most of Shelburne's collection buildings.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page

 Green Museums and Collection Preservation - The Conservator as Consultant in Museum Construction Projects (Friday, 11/02/07, Session I)
 
Paul Himmelstein, New York conservation firm of Appelbaum and Himmelstein
 
The ever-increasing interest in constructing "green" buildings to house museums has raised questions about the ability of these buildings to provide suitable environments for the preservation of their collections. Having a conservator experienced in museum construction and in the preservation needs of collections serve as a member of the design team from the beginning of a project is important if green projects are to meet the essential goal of providing appropriate preservation environments.
 
Conservation consultants must be very well prepared for their role on the team and experienced in similar projects, because other members of the team (architects, engineers, etc.) are experts in their own fields but are often not experienced in matters specific to museums and the care of collections.
 
It is especially important that environmental requirements of a project be based on a careful examination of the specific collection to be housed in the building, rather than using generalized recommendations, which are often not appropriate and sometimes out of date. The consultant conservator's understanding of the needs of the specific collection can often result in a less rigid set of parameters, carefully tailored to provide an appropriate preservation environment while accommodating some of the "green" aspects of a project. This is possible only if a conservator is a full participant at all stages of a project.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 From Institutional Mission to Sustainable Outcome: Cultivating Stewardship Through the Planning and Design Process (Friday, 11/02/07, Session I)
 
Laurie Zapalac, Cultural resource planning consultant
 
Cultural institutions, by their very nature, are about sustaining material and knowledge not only as evidence of the past, but also as resources for the present and future. This talk will focus on the consultant's role in understanding the values and mission of an institution, with examples of how these can be referenced and reinforced in the planning and design process. The target end product can, and should, thus be considered in both tangible and intangible terms: a resource-efficient building and meaningful institutional framework.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Pennsylvania's Rare Collections Library Environmental Renovation (Friday, 11/02/07, Session I)
 
Cornelius J. Rusnov, Project Coordinator, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Bureau of Engineering and Architecture
 
The State Library of Pennsylvania Rare Collections Library will be located within the Forum Building, a Neo-Classical Art Deco building constructed between 1929 and 1931. This historic building that once housed the Department of Education is located in the Harrisburg Capitol Complex. A strong application for placement in the National Register of Historic Places has been submitted for the entire Capitol Complex. The Forum Building consists of a steel structure encased in concrete, finished in plaster, marble and/or wood paneling on the interior and clad in limestone and granite on the exterior. Original vertical separation partitions of the building consist of either brick or clay tile encased in many different finishes. The structure was primarily designed and built around cross ventilations principles leaving the building with a negative pressure and a sizable outside air infiltration.
 
The Library originated as the reference collection for the Provincial Pennsylvania General Assembly and as such, was one of the first libraries in the American Colonies. The General Assembly, through then Clerk of the Assembly Benjamin Franklin, created the Library in 1745. Since its inception, the Library has always been adjacent to the political seat of Pennsylvania government. As an integral part of government, this collection must be accessible to the citizens of Pennsylvania per the mandate of Mr. Franklin and the founding fathers. Because the volumes in this General Assembly collection evolved into one of the first Libraries used as primary resources by the Founding Fathers, the individual library components and the collection in its totality is considered an American Historic Treasure. A portion of The Assembly Collection is currently being conserved under a $250,000 Save America's Treasures matching grant.
 
The age and vulnerability of the State Library's holdings is immense and wide-ranging, dependant on the political climate at any given time. These holdings represent a wealth of primary source material which served as well as documents our nations birth, the development of the underground railroad, the civil war, the industrial revolution and many other pivotal moments in our nation's collective heritage; all of which were focused or were established in the Keystone State. Promoting the use of these collections and ensuring its continued existence for future generations of researchers while making the library a healthier place for both its holdings, staff and patrons is one of the greatest challenges any library can under take. To ensure this triplex of functions and the library's original mandate, the State Library has initiated a proactive preventative conservation program integrated into the redesign of its space to ensure the collections survival as well as to enhance the collection's historic usefulness and service to its patrons.
 
Extensive research has shown that paper-based collections due best and survive longer in low-light spaces, free of biological, particulate and gaseous pollutants held at cool constant temperatures in dry conditions. The main goal of the design for the facility is to preserve the individual components of the Rare Collections Library and to extend their useable life until future technologies can offer additional solutions. The major culprit in the deterioration of this invaluable collection has been the lack of environmental control. The damage sustained over the past 250 years because of drastic climate fluctuations is still an on-going concern and problem. Every possible consideration has been given to eliminating any damaging environmental effects in the housing of the collection.
 
Affordability was a central theme of the design concept. Due to budget constraints and considerations for the current funding stream, the maintenance costs associated with the requirements for the projected life of the collection are critical. High maintenance cost and/or exotic equipment were not an option. The financial ability to maintain the required design standards for the long-term protection of the collection was an ever-pressing demand on the design of the Library. Special consideration was incorporated into the design of all the many different components, which comprise the environment(s) of the library, so that in the future, when any one of the system(s) is decommissioned and/or in need of replacement, it can be done without disruption of the collection or the degradation of the environment, in which it is housed.
 
Taking the holistic approach that an integrated whole has a reality independent of and greater than the sum of the individual parts of the environment allows for a more sensitive/efficient and therefore cost effective approach to preventative conservation. Integrating this concept into the initial design stages of a project allows the building to truly act as the first line of defense against the agents of rapid deterioration of the collections. All of the different factors, chemical, pollutant-induced, light-induced, biological, physical, temperature, humidity, etc. which constitute the environment, can be influenced in a positive manner unlike ever before. Today the technology required has improved to the point that specialized environments can be designed for the preservation of special and rare collections as well as general use paper-based collection. The design and the creations of such environments can be done in an affordable and long term cost couscous manner, which will ensure the useful longevity of collections for future generations to use.
 
In 2006, the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the Pennsylvania Department of General Services in partnership with PALINET, and the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical and Museum Organizations were awarded an IMLS National Leadership Grant in the Research and Development category in the amount of $416,350. The purpose of this grant is to investigate and evaluate the comprehensive design approach for the protection of paper-based collections housed in the State Library's Rare Collections Library; and to disseminate information about these findings and best practices.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Overview of Sustainable Design from the Engineering Perspective (Friday, 11/02/07, Session I)
 
Joseph S. Reyes, Senior Associate / Mechanical Engineer, PAGE SOUTHERLAND PAGE, LLP
 
Mr. Reyes will present an overview of sustainable design from the engineering perspective, including best-practices for lighting, HVAC, and plumbing systems in modern green buildings. Potential strategies for application in Preservation Environments will then be addressed, with specific emphasis on maintaining stable temperature and humidity environments through the use of energy-saving system designs. Advanced technologies utilized in similar critical environments, such as semiconductor cleanrooms and research laboratories, will be discussed and examined for application in sustainable preservation facilities.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page

 HVAC Strategies, Hidden Costs (Friday, 11/02/07, Session II)
 
William P. Lull, Adjunct Associate Professor of Building Technology at NYU, Senior Conservation Environment Consultant, Garrison/Lull Inc
 
1. Energy Conscious Design (ECD): Everything old is new again. The primary operative elements of the "green" movement in buildings are not news. They were first discovered in the post-oil- embargo 1970's, and have been recycled ever since.
2. Load Reduction. The best way to conserve resources is to simply need less. For most building types, including preservation environments this is best done through restraint in architectural design. Examples: Harvard Depository and Arizona's Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building (under construction, containing support areas, archival and museum environments). For HVAC energy reduction, the big loads are outside air and lighting.
3. Specious Architectural License. Architects often use "green" and energy savings to drive project costs up and actually waste energy. The most common problem is daylighting. Example: GSA building study in Queens. Sometimes people will "cook" the numbers to get what they want. Example: Getty Energy Study's "small skylight."
4. Mixed-Use Non-Preservation Environment Techniques to Avoid: Air-Side Economizer, HID lighting, Savings from Daylighting (sic), Distribution Temperature Reset, Flexible Space Use.
5. Preservation Environment Techniques: Water-Side Economizer, Space Segregation and Adaptable Space Use (Example: Baker Library).
6. Value of a Preservation Environment. Like in the good 'ole days of ECD, where the energy issue was a rounding error compared to office productivity, so energy costs for preservation environments are a rounding error compared to the implications on the rates of chemical deterioration for many organic collections, particularly including paper and photographic media.
7. False Economies: Utah Archives.
8. Lack of Preservation Environment Understanding and Driving by Looking in the Rear-View Mirror: Library of Virginia. Bay-zoned fan-powered VAV boxes, windows, chilled water storage.
9. Understand the Levels of "Environmental Control" and mechanisms of damage:
  a. Protection from Major Risks (fire, flood, mayhem);
  b. Protection from Biological Attack (vermin, mold);
  c. Protection from Use (handling, light);
  d. Protection from Mechanical, Chemical and Photochemical Vectors.
Many people may say they have environmental control only because they have been successful in achieving (a.) and (b.). While (c.) may also command some capital cost and change in behavior, only (d.) has irreducible energy implications. Beware of "low energy footprint" precedents, including in the third world, when their breakthrough may be to have added (b.) or (c.) to their institution, with no progress on (d.).
10. Other Good Precedents:
  a. Bermuda Archives Retrofit (dedicated AHU)
  b. University of New Mexico Art Museum (dedicated AHU)
  c. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Original 1930's WPA Building (less than $1/sf)
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Experience with Green Techniques and Museums (Friday, 11/02/07, Session II)
 
David Lake, Lake|Flato Architects
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Architect of the Capitol / Library of Congress Copyright Deposit Facility (Friday, 11/02/07, Session II)
 
Lou Krupnick, Senior Project Manager and design team leader for EwingCole Architects in Washington, D.C.
 
Using lessons learned and precedents from similar facilities including the Smithsonian Museum, The National Archives and other Library of Congress archival facilities, the Copyright Deposit Facility is a LEED certifiable facility which derives many of its sustainable features from a common sense approach to problem solving and a high-tech approach to design.
 
Although the archival requirements for this facility necessitated stringent interior environmental conditioning, maintained within rigorous temperature and humidity boundaries, considerable attention was given toward developing cost sensitive, appropriate architectural and technical solutions, including material and building envelope performance and sustainable design considerations.
 
From a design perspective, the Copyright Deposit Facility is a contextual piece that pays homage to a blend of regional agrarian and contemporary architectural forms. Located on a highly visible site on the Congressional Parcel at FT Meade, MD, many sustainable features were integrated into the design that not only served to reduce energy consumption but also served to improve the aesthetics of the building. These elements included earth berming which helped reduce the scale of the building; a well-defined exterior building structure which afforded a sense of rhythm to an otherwise very long façade, and exterior shading devices which reduced envelope heat gain and provided a element of depth, through shadow and shade. Additional sustainable concepts utilized natural ventilation, the integration of daylighting for general building illumination and a very considered use of materials with respect to indoor air quality.
 
A physical architecture was developed based upon a somewhat unusual approach to building design. Most contemporary buildings derive their structure at or adjacent to the exterior wall, either born directly by the wall, as in the use of load bearing materials, or via columns located directly adjacent to the perimeter. Recognizing that this type of model can provide undesirable thermal bridging, condensation and moisture migration into a building, we sought to develop a more appropriate envelope by divorcing the thermal and structural envelopes. Extensive climatic and envelope mathematical modeling was performed using daily data over a 100 year baseline to evaluate our envelope within the context of a myriad of seasonal variations. Moisture drive, condensation, vapor pressure, wetting and drying were modeled dynamically and evaluated, as well.
 
Though perhaps the Copyright Deposit Facility may appear to be a relatively simple building, the exterior belies significantly robust mechanical systems and N+1 redundancy. The building was also designed to meet federal anti-terrorism force protection requirements, including progressive collapse.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page


 Sustainability Means "Less is more" (Friday, 11/02/07, Session II)
 
Joachim Huber, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Prevart Ltd., Winterthur, Switzerland
 
In the near future, we will not have enough financial ressources to maintain what we currently wish to achieve in the field of collection preservation. Looking back, the main trend of the late 20th century was toward highly sophisticated constructions and active climate control. Based on intensive research in stress behaviour of different types of objects, more and more narrow guidelines for the climate control in museums and storage facilities were developed with the goal to prevent damage to cultural heritage. To fulfill these needs HVAC equipments were widely used. Energy efficiency and running cots of such systems, however, were rarely an issue. The long term consequences of such machinery has rarely been discussed:

1. Does this massive use of technology (and energy) ideed lead to a significant improvement of the long term survival of our cultural property?
2. What long term consequences will failures of sophisticated technical equipment or neglect of their maintenance have on collections (e.g. due to fast drastic change as compared to slow continuous change without active control or due to spread of bacteria and spores from difficult to maintain systems or due to the lack of filter replacement)?
3. Will we be able to provide financial ressources in the future to pay for the costs ofenergy, maintenance of our museums, archives and storage facilities?
 
What we need is basic research in sustainable buildings and passive climate control formuseums, archives and storage facilities. Two questions are of major interest:

1. What are realistic standards (e.g. feasible, affordable, simple, with minimal risk of failure) that lower the risk to cultural property on long term (i.e. optimization instead of the current maximization)?
2. How can museums, archives and storage facilities be constructed in order to a) reduce significantly risk to objects b) be affordable to build c) be affordable to run d) be easy to maintain e) provide low risk of failure
 
In addition to the sustainability of the museum building and environment, sustainability in collection management plays an important role for the long term preservation of collections. During the second half of the 20th century, thanks to a relatively stable economic level in the north-western hemisphere, museums and archives have added continually to their collections, in many countries without parting from less important objects. This has lead to continually and fast growing collections, needing more space, generating more costs for maintenance and running. Therefore a further important question arises: What and how much can we afford to keep for the future?
 
As it seems now, with much research still pending, as well for the active building environment as for growth of collection: less will be more in order to guarantee for the long term preservation of cultural heritage.
 
Go to Top | Program | Bio page