Library's Special Collection Gets a Cool Connection
"The thing that's nice about the dual-circuited refrigerant coil is that it solved the emergency power issue, "Fierko says. "It prevented us from putting the whole chiller plant on emergency power."
The upside to all this attention is that the book boxes and their rare collections will be maintained at the critical 68˚F and 40% relative humidity they need. Even in an emergency, the collections will be protected at 72˚ and 45% relative humidity. "We also provided a humidifier for the winter to boost humidity," Fierko says.
But the new system also will accommodate the students and faculty using the rest of Luce as well as the new library. To that end, five other air-handling units will be placed in the fourth floor to handle heat and air.
Martinez says this kind of system was not doable in the old Speer Library, which initial plans had called for renovating. Speer's floor-to-ceiling height of 12 ft "was inadequate for today's heating and cooling system needs. It had no seismic bracing components and it was a depository, the shape of which wasn't conducive to what we wanted," Martinez says.
PTS also wanted a structure that would have a better connection to Luce and one that would bring in more light, "so that is when we said goodbye to Speer and went through the process to get a new building," he adds.
That process took several years and a lot of negotiation because PTS is located in Princeton's historical Mercer Hill district. Any demolition or construction must be approved by the town's historical preservation entity, which initially viewed Speer as a historical structure because it was in their district. However, Speer was not registered as historical, and so PTS was able to gain the necessary permissions to demolish it.
With all of that behind them, the project team is going for LEED-Silver certification on the building. Some 60 to 80 workers are currently building the structure's interior, which is expected to be completed in December. After that, the remaining exterior work will be wrapped up by March 2013, Martinez says. Renovation is set to begin on Luce immediately thereafter.
Students and faculty will use the new library as Luce construction is under way, he adds, so their connection to the world-renowned PTS library network will be unbroken.
PROJECT TEAM Owner - Princeton Theological Seminary; CM – Barr & Barr; Sturctural, MechanicaL & Electrical Engineer– Ewing Cole; Civil Engineer – Van Note Harvey Associates; Architect of Record – Ewing Cole; Design Architect: Einhorn Yaffee Prescott; Landscape Architect: Andropogon Associates Ltd.