HARVARD UNIVERSITY DIVINITY SCHOOL RARE BOOKS ARCHIVE

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI), a world leader of sustainable practices for preserving images and archival documents through rigorous evaluation and algorithms based on real-time measurements to estimate risk of specific potential damage, recommended that Harvard improve the dehumidification of the air handling system serving the rare books archive space. B2Q studied the HVAC systems and presented recommended improvements along with their financial impact to operating costs, and was then hired to design these changes, work with the contractors during installation, and commission the new work.

Changes included replacing an existing chilled water coil to increase dehumidification capability, re-balancing the air delivery system, installing a new humidifier for improved winter conditions, and new sequences of operation for system control. B2Q improved the preservation environment for the rare book and special collections on-site, while optimizing mechanical operation for long-term sustainability.

  • 26% increase in the overall preservation quality of the space

  • Improved Time-Weighted Preservation Index from 50 to 72

  • Eliminated winter dryness risks by installing humidification capability into AHU #2

  • Mitigated mold risk throughout by improving dehumidification and maintaining safe RH conditions

  • 35% reduction in total energy consumption and a cost savings of $25,000

Market:

Colleges and Universities

Services:

Energy Efficiency and Analysis
Building Systems
Implementation Services
Building Commissioning