MAAM Building Museums™ Symposium 2021

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Our speakers, Adam, Kristen, and Sara, were joined by Atelier Ten’s Larry Jones, for a presentation on Healthy Buildings: What You Need to Know About Indoor Air Quality and Your Building Systems.

The session covered the ABCs of building mechanical systems, the role that temperature and humidity play in the spread of airborne pathogens, commercially available treatments that can mitigate transmission of airborne viruses through building mechanical systems, and short- and long-term options for creating a healthier indoor building environment.

One of the key takeaways from their session is that commercially available treatment options—including ventilation, filtration, and air treatments—can reduce the spread of the virus and help facilitate safe reopening and building operations; (although, this does not replace protocols such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing one’s hands).

Their conversation also touched upon the first cost ranges, different degrees of complexity for implementation, and energy impacts of the various options. Solutions should include a layered approach and be based on what is right for your building.

In conclusion, they discussed that museums are uniquely positioned to provide healthy and safe indoor environments; a building environment designed to suit conservation needs also reduces infectivity.

“Really nice job of conveying industry specific technical knowledge to lay groups via HVAC system 3-D diagrams in Adam’s talk, as well as all the various options available. Excellent healthy buildings seminar for an owner/operator of any type of building” —Attendee

“For a new ground-up museum, please explain a best practices procedure for an owner to find a HVAC engineer that has the experience of this panel.” —Attendee

Altieri and Atelier Ten collaborated on the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Building systems included a significant energy-responsible MEP design that uses collected storm water as cooling tower make-up water, saving thousands of gallons of water on a daily basis by recycling as much as 18,000 gallons a day. Other energy-saving measures include a green roof covering 50% of the building, more than 80% LED lighting, and approximately 70% of the electric power from green energy. The Museum received LEED Gold certification in 2018.