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Grant number: PF-50269-12

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Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg, VA 23185-4138)
Patricia Anne Silence (Project Director: December 2011 to present)

Evaluation of Mechanical and Control Systems Serving the Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg

A planning project to evaluate climate control and lighting systems in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which house collections of fine and decorative art objects made or used in America or Great Britain between 1680 and 1830, and folk art holdings of paintings, sculpture, carvings, textiles, and pottery crafted by minimally trained and untrained American artists between the early 18th century and the present. The aim of the project is to identify the best methods to meet preservation goals, while doing so in energy-efficient and cost-effective ways.

This NEH planning grant would be used to evaluate mechanical and control systems serving the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, with the goals of a) developing a plan to replace and upgrade systems and thereby improve reliability, performance and efficiency, and b) creating and sustaining a safer environment for the Colonial Williamsburg collections. Targeted areas include evaluation of: 1) the condition and performance of mechanical equipment, especially the 1984 air handlers and heating plant; 2) the condition and performance of the chiller plant, including assessment of plate heat exchanger fouling of modular chillers used with open tower condensing loop; 3) optimum control strategies and BAS programming to maintain museum environmental conditions with minimal energy use; 4) existing BAS operations and maintenance support; 5) lighting upgrade options to reduce energy usage and light exposure to the collections.

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Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2012 – 2/28/2014