Museum National Historic Site

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Well-know historic museum purchases state-of-the-art vertical storage solutions and saves on real estate expenses.

The price of commercial and industrial real estate is always on the rise, and facilities managers often face the challenge of finding additional storage capacity on a limited budget. Many times the solution can be a vertical expansion, instead of costlier horizontal growth.

One Washington, the D.C.-based museum took the upward path when its archival storage capacity began to be strained by continued growth. Its collection of more than 18,000 artifacts, 89,000 historical photographs, and images, and 76 million pages of archives, and also film, video, and oral histories was housed in a substantial facility, but the collection received an average of five to six new artifacts every day.

A heavy duty shelving system supplied by National Office Systems doubled the height of the museum’s previous storage system, allowing the museum to continue collecting artifacts for scholarly research and ongoing educational exhibits on the National Mall.

CHALLENGE: The storage capacity of a national museum in Washington, D.C. would soon be overrun by the growth of its collection if additional storage was not created. Its facilities manager hoped to take advantage of the vacant vertical space above the museum’s then-current storage shelving, requiring a stronger, more robust shelving system with enhanced accessibility, as well as additional climate and humidity controls.

SOLUTION: Using Heavy Duty Industrial Shelving sections, National Office Systems was able to provide 20’high shelving units, along with a steel grate mezzanine to provide two levels of accessible storage.

Stairs and safety railings were also provided and installed.

The installation was particularly challenging as it had to be coordinated in six dierent phases, each dependent upon the other and requiring other vendors to provide changes to the existing electrical, lighting, HVAC and re safety. Old storage systems had to remove, and their contents also had to be relocated and safely stored.

With storage capacity for years to come, this museum can continue its mission of research and education, without additional real estate expenditures for storage.