under construction unit 3


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Construction projects in cultural heritage institutions can be challenging for their collections. This 5 part presentation offers some suggestions for a successful build.

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under construction unit 3

  1. 1. Under Construction: Preservation Concerns During Construction and Renovation LYRASIS Preservation Services Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Preservation and Access. Unit 3
  2. 2. Unit 3 – Preparing Materials for Moving – Protecting Collection in Situ – Protecting Buildings and Collections – Collection Dangers
  3. 3. Preparing Materials for Moving • What supplies you use to prepare your items for moving will depend in part on how long they will be wrapped around materials and how far you are traveling.
  4. 4. Preparing Materials for Moving • Are you moving from one floor to another, or across the country? • Are you moving the materials into a new building, or are you moving the collections off-site while you renovate the space you are in? • If the latter, how long will the materials stay wrapped up? • Moving projects can provide institutions with an opportunity to provide more appropriate housings for their materials.
  5. 5. Preparing Materials for Moving • Shrink-wrap is a popular method of protecting materials in transport. – If the items are sealed completely for long periods of time, they may trap harmful gases and further the deterioration process. If using shrink wrap, be sure to poke a few holes in the wrap to allow for air cirulation.
  6. 6. Preparing Materials for Moving • There are many options for moving books. If you are moving them a short distance, it may be easiest just to load them onto book trucks. Some people stretch wrap the book carts to protect against the books falling off in transport. If the volumes are especially fragile, consider boxing them, either in individual boxes to create a protective micro-climate that will be useful long after the move, or in a bigger box with other books. If boxing books into larger boxes, place volumes spine down, and do not stack multiple layers on top of each other. Tie items with detached boards together with cotton twill tape to protect the text block and keep pieces together.
  7. 7. Preparing Materials for Moving • When moving unbound paper-based collections, rehouse the items in damaged, acidic or non-standard boxes into boxes that meet the ANSI Z39.48 standard for permanent paper and boards. Tape boxes shut – this will prevent them from falling open in transport. Before taping closed, add any necessary spacers to prevent items from bending or falling out of files. Multiple boxes can be moves at one time using flatbed hand truck, but be careful not to stack them too high – you do not want the lower boxes to be crushed under the excessive weight from the boxes stacked upon them. If you are moving the boxes by truck, you may want to consider stretch wrapping the boxes onto pallets.
  8. 8. Preparing Materials for Moving • Artifacts may need special protection. Fragile items may be wrapped in bubble wrap on a temporary basis. If planning on permanently protecting the object, consider polyester batting or polyethylene foam bags that will not off-gas. Some fragile materials may need to be hand- carried. • Map cases can be moved with oversized materials inside if the items are placed between corrugated cardboard to protect the items from shifting. You may tie or tape the cardboard together. As long as you plan on removing the cardboard immediately, you do not have to worry about using board that meets the Z39.48 standard for permanent paper. The cases can the be wrapped to keep the drawers closed.
  9. 9. Preparing Materials for Moving • Another option is to put oversized items in large map folders and place in specially constructed pallet boxes. Rolled items can be stored and moved in rectangular telescoping archival boxes. Through your institution, you may have access to a carpentry shop that may be able to fabricate carts to transport your oversized materials. • Consider hand-carrying fragile items. Glass plate negatives and lantern slides should be clearly labeled as such. Place sheets of bubble wrap at the beginning and end of boxes of glass plate negatives. Hand carry or stretch wrap to prevent boxes from moving.
  10. 10. Preparing Materials for Moving • Be especially careful when handling nitrate materials because they can be flammable. Disposal and transport of nitrate must adhere to local, state, and federal regulations regarding hazardous materials. For more information on storage and handling of nitrate materials see the standard from the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA 40: Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film. • http://www.nfpa.org/
  11. 11. Protecting Collections In Situ • If you decide not to move your collections, you need to decide early on how your are going to protect them from damage and debris. You have several options. • Your decision will be influenced by: – the scope and pace of the construction – the need to access the collections during the construction process – your resources
  12. 12. Protecting Collections In Situ • One way is to build barriers or temporary walls around construction zones or around the stack areas to minimize the dust and other construction pollutants. You must make this decision early on in the bid process or it will end up costing you more money. • Another option is to hang tarps or drapes or sheets – whatever material you use, make sure that they are flame retardant.
  13. 13. Protecting Collections In Situ • Sealed wraps extend from top of each shell unit to the floor, and wall-to-wall. You can gain emergency access to volumes on the shelves by slitting the wraps and using duct tape to reseal, but if you choose the method, you should be prepared for reduces access. Slit the wraps too many times and they will no longer function effectively. • Polyethylene sheeting will reduce (although probably will not eliminate) dust and protect from potential leaks from sprinklers. – You do not want the sheeting to be too tight, or it could turn into a breeding ground for mold if there is no air circulation in the area!
  14. 14. Protecting Collection In Situ • Protective enclosures may be created for specific items. If there are collections that require boxing, this may be a good time to address those needs. Boxing can protect materials that are being moved as well as provide a good microenvironment for materials near a construction area.
  15. 15. Protecting Collection In Situ • Be prepared for routine services to be interrupted so that staff can make time to protect collections. If you are only wrapping the shelves that are in the immediate vicinity of current construction, make sure that construction officials give you advance notice (at least 48 hours) so that you have time to protect the next area before they move into it.
  16. 16. Protecting Collections In Situ • Do not test your HVAC system without covering the collections first, or dust, grit, and grime may spread throughout the building. Even with all these protections, construction-related dirt is so pervasive that it is impossible to keep it completely away from your materials, so plan on cleaning the areas regularly.
  17. 17. Protecting the Building and Collections • Fire • Water Damage • Environment • Insects and pests • Mold • Interruptions in service • Theft ALL of these are concerns during renovation and construction projects. The next slides will examine these potential hazards.
  18. 18. Protecting the Building and Collections • The Northeast Document Conservation Center has created a checklist for protecting collections from destructive factors at the end of their Technical Bulletin: Protecting Collections During Renovation. • http://www.nedcc.org/free- resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency- management/3.9-protecting-collections-during- renovation
  19. 19. Fire • The prevention of fires begins with fire safety education, not just for the staff but for the construction crew as well. Make sure that everyone knows where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them. • Hire construction workers that are certified and follow codes for electricity, HVAC, and other building standards.
  20. 20. Fire • Inspect alarm systems before construction begins and test systems weekly during construction. If possible, improve alarm systems and fire suppression equipment before any construction activities begin that use heat-producing or electrical equipment in collection spaces. • Ensure that interruptions in services (e.g. electrical work) do not interfere with fire detection and suppression.
  21. 21. Fire • Finally, dust barriers protecting collections should be fire-retardant in case a fire does break out. For more information on fire protection during construction, see guidelines in the National Fire Protection Association Code 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resources Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship • http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and- standards/document-information- pages?mode=code&code=909
  22. 22. Water • Water damage is a common occurrence during construction projects. • The risk of water damage goes up whenever workers are altering water line or using water for some aspect of the construction job, so it is important to identify vulnerable areas and take precautions.
  23. 23. Water • Bad weather and human error can cause water damage, and uncontained water in your building can be both the cause and the result of fires. For example, water draining into fixtures can result in a fire. • Other sources of water damage can come from steam pipes, pressurized water lines, toilet drains, etc. Roof and skylight replacement, installation of pipes, fan coils, sprinklers, the excavation or replacement of plumbing are flooding hazards.
  24. 24. Water • Before a construction crew begins to work on a part of the roof, give staff 48 hours notice so that staff can protect areas below by installing water- proof sheeting as temporary barriers to prevent water from draining onto collections or moving collections away from the area. Roofs must be protected against water infiltration at the end of each day by covering the areas they are working on – sheets and tarps do not provide adequate protection unless secured at joints with drainage routes.
  25. 25. Water • To prevent damage from flooding, store collections at least four inches off the floor. • Install water alarms in vulnerable areas. Water alarms are electronic disks or cables that can be laid on floors or attached to walls that are activated when a circuit is completed by moisture. Water alarms should be audible and some can be tied into other alarm systems.
  26. 26. Water • If a water disaster should occur, know where the main pipes are located so that they can be turned off in an emergency. Be sure to update the contact information for services that might be useful, such as freezer facilities and dehumidification services. Finally, be sure to hold regular staff training sessions in water salvage procedures.
  27. 27. Environment • Construction projects can create an environment that puts your collections at risk. Projects can generate lots of dust, which can abrade collections and speed up the deterioration of materials. HVAC systems can further spread that dust around. Dust can also settle into carpets. • In order to protect collections, you may need to adjust current housekeeping procedures to compensate. After each section is completed, plan for a complete shelf-by-shelf, item-by-item clean-up.
  28. 28. Environment • A related environmental concern is damage and inconveniences of noise. • Pavement breakers, jack hammers, and circular saws can not only disrupt patrons and staff, but also create vibrations that can cause materials to move off of shelves and allow dust, plaster, and sawdust to fall onto collections.
  29. 29. Environment • Institutions need to compensate for extremes in temperature that might occur during construction projects. Contracts should stipulate requirements for temporary heat if working in subzero climates to keep space a few degrees above freezing; if painting, the temperature should be increased to 60-65 degrees F. Temporary heat must be created to prevent freezing of building materials that contain moisture, such as concrete, mortar, plaster, and adhesives, as well as to reduce the chance that pipes will freeze.
  30. 30. Environment • Other ways to compensate against the cold include using insulating blankets and space heaters, although you will have to be careful that the latter will not start fires. • Covering exposed areas can help compensate against both hot and cold temperatures.
  31. 31. Environment • Some problems can be reduced by stipulating requirements in your contract to minimize their effect on people and collections. Be aware that you do not want specifications so tight that the contract is too expensive. – For example, it may be better to clean a few thousand books than stipulate a dust-free environment that requires a much higher bid; just make sure you budget for the cleaning. Or budget to protect the books in the first place, by removing them or placing them in protective enclosures.
  32. 32. Insects and Pests • It is especially important that you practice integrated pest management during construction and renovation. Doors will be open more than usual; there may be temporary walls and holes providing pests with easy route into the building. Therefore, regular monitoring is needed so that you can contain a problem before it gets out of control. Peat strips should be placed at all entry points and monitored weekly. – Regular housekeeping is an essential component of integrated pest management.
  33. 33. Insects and Pests • Make sure that food containers are disposed of promptly and not left overnight in construction areas. Trash may fill up and need to be emptied more often. • Openings should be screened with mesh fine enough to keep out small rodents. • Consider exterior building treatments. They may be slightly hazardous within the outside environment, but it may also reduce the need for inside treatments, which could harm collections and people.
  34. 34. Mold: the Three Main Components • High Temperature • High Humidity • Poor Air Circulation You never want to see this in your collection!!
  35. 35. Mold • Construction projects can leave collections vulnerable to mold, especially when an institution suffers from water damage. Mold thrives in areas with sustained high temperatures, high humidity, and poor air circulation. Although you may not be able to control the temperature or humidity during renovation, you may be able to stop mold growth by ensuring that the collections areas have good air circulation.
  36. 36. Mold • If the HVAC system is shut off during construction, as long as you have electricity in the area you set up fans to help circulate air. This will prevent mold spores from settling and growing on your collections.
  37. 37. Unit 3 Quiz What Have You Learned?
  38. 38. Unit 3 • Question 1: What is a popular and most cost effective method of protecting books during transport? – A: Custom Enclosures – B: Shrink Wrap – C: Security Guards – D: Moving Truck
  39. 39. Unit 3 • Question 1: What is a popular and most cost effective method of protecting books during transport? – Answer: B: Shrink Wrap • Shrink wrapping material is a low-expense method of protecting books, and thus, quite popular! Just be sure there are some vents in the shrink wrap to prevent off-gassing build up.
  40. 40. Unit 3 • Question 2: What’s wrong with this picture?
  41. 41. Unit 3 • Question 2: What’s wrong with this picture? – Answer: Overloaded outlet • As much as 25% of fires at cultural institutions are caused by construction or renovation. Bad wiring, welding or cutting torches, temporary electrical connections, or even the smoking habits of contractors are common sources of construction-related fires. Other sources include heaters, mechanical equipment, installation of HVAC systems, roof replacement, plumbing, paint removal, masonry removal, and duct work. Smoke and soot can chemically damage collections – often it is impossible to remove all residual soot, so working to prevent the fires from happening in the first place is an important activity in safeguarding your collections.
  42. 42. Unit 3 • Question 3: Water leaks are the most common occurrence during construction, resulting in damage and even fire. – True or False?
  43. 43. Unit 3 • Question 3: Water leaks are the most common occurrence during construction, resulting in damage and even fire. – Answer: True • Risk of water damage is high during construction. Look to take preventative steps and remain alert of the risks during the project.
  44. 44. Thank You! To continue Under Construction, View Unit 4 Contact us if you have any questions. LYRASIS Preservation Services preservation@lyrasis.org
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