Historic New England has used the Lang Building as its collections and conservation facility since 1989; the building is a circa 1909, eight-story, site-cast reinforced concrete frame and slab structure. Space heating for the entire building is provided by a two-pipe steam system, fed from a central steam boiler, with humidification and cooling/heat pumps in the collection spaces. The current conditions maintained in the building are nowhere near the ideal conditions for storage of the collection. The goals of this project were to improve control of temperature and relative humidity conditions, to address water leakage issues that threaten the collection, to control the occurrence of mold growth on cold interior surfaces due to humidification, and to reduce energy consumption. Based on the review of the building, collected energy use information. as well as a site water test, BSC presented a number of retrofit solutions to address the ongoing issues in the building.
This work positively identified water leakage paths (resulting in remediation recommendations), and recommended assemblies for creating a conditioned collection space interior to the building's outer shell.