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Archives and Record Storage Buildings are facilities that provide a proper environment for the
purpose of storing records and materials that require permanent protection for historic and
lifetime storage, upkeep, and preservation. Archives and Record Storage Buildings must be highperformance buildings whose systems must be designed to operate permanently at a very high
level with zero tolerance for failure. The often irreplaceable nature of the materials to be
permanently stored and preserved in this type of building requires a life-cycle analysis and
approach to its design and construction, with extensive redundancy in its building systems.
This building type must be designed to accommodate the loads of the materials to be stored; the
sensitive environmental needs of different materials to be permanently stored and preserved;
the functional efficiency, safety, security, and comfort of the visiting public and operating
personnel; and the protection of the archived materials from fire, water, and man-made threat.
2.Regardless of the type of construction and the size of the building, the site chosen for an
archives repository should always be reasonably level, with good drainage so that water flows
away quickly. The repository should not be located next to watercourses that are likely to flood,
nor should it be located near stormwater drains.
If the repository is to be located on or near a coastal site, it should be placed as far from the
shoreline as possible. In such locations, elevating the building will provide some protection
against a king tide, a storm surge that can follow in the aftermath of a cyclone, or a tsunami that
could follow an earthquake offshore.
3. The site should be thoroughly inspected for any evidence of pests (particularly termites) and
should be treated appropriately before construction begins.
Any vegetation, including tree stumps, should be removed and the site should be kept free of
vegetation at all times. Ideally, the area immediately surrounding the building should be paved
Avoid the use of pest control chemicals that are harmful to records or staff. Do not spray any
chemicals directly onto records containers. Sprays should be used with extreme caution and
only for localized outbreaks. Glueboard trays can be used for small outbreaks. Major
infestations may require expert treatment.
Baits and blunder traps should be placed throughout the building in order to eliminate insects
and other pests. They are cheap to purchase and are quite effective. They should be checked
regularly and replaced when necessary. The building’s exterior, including the roof and gutters,
and the grounds, should be inspected regularly to ensure there are no pest infestations.
It is preferable to use steel shelving, which has been treated to prevent corrosion. Wooden
shelving should not be used as it may be susceptible to attack by termites, or damage by fire.
Foodstuffs and empty food and drink containers should be promptly removed from the site. Food
and drink should never be permitted inside the repository, or the reading room.
4. building should be located on an east west axis and the smallest possible surface area should
face the western afternoon sun. The building should have good quality fluorescent lighting and
emergency lighting. All light fittings should be covered with diffusers (plastic
covers) that reduce the glare and help to spread the light more evenly. To guard
against the effects of ultraviolet light, which can damage records, lighting in the repository
should be of the low ultraviolet type, or the fittings covered with ultraviolet filters. No windows,
skylights, roof penetrations, or rooftop mounted equipment should occur within/above the
compartmented archive spaces.
5. The floors should be covered, preferably with vinyl sheeting or vinyl tiles. Carpet should only
be used in public and staffing areas. It is not recommended in the storage area as it generally
cannot sustain the wear and tear that vinyl can. Carpet also collects dust and can release small
fibres. Bare concrete floors should also be avoided as they can give off contaminants that affect
both records and people. \
Floors may be designed for 150 pounds per square foot (psf) live load to allow the arrangement
of standard full-height shelving anywhere in the library. Since future growth may require shelving
horizontally. perimeter barriers and blast resistance. physical composition of archived material.e. the latter having better insulation properties. They should be of a weight and size that allows all personnel to handle them. easily accessible. air pollution. and is resistant to corrosion and hail. Flat roofs should be avoided as they may allow water to collect in pools and subsequently enter the building. The roof cavity should be sealedwith good insulation rating If the building is located in a cyclone zone. 6.. Structural loading should consider wet weight of stored materials in the event of sprinkler activation. Sealing reduces air filtration. 7. Compact shelving houses a greater quantity of media than standard shelving. it should be constructed to withstand potential wind of more than 300 kilometres (180 miles) per hour. at least 12° or more. The roof should be pitched. entrance screening. However. The roof should be steel. and if the person handling them has been trained in their use. 9. and the amount of particulates in the air. access control and intrusion detection. The building should be well insulated for protection against rapid fluctuation of temperature and humidity. i. It is generally less expensive to increase building height than footprint area for the same amount of volume of stored materials. The eaves should overhang the walls by at least 600–900 mm (2–3 feet) to aid water run-off and reduce the impact of heat on the walls during summer. Utilize site barriers and setback distance. Do not rely on small plastic fire extinguishers such as those suitable for home use. Extinguishers should be high-pressure water or dry powder with a minimum classification of II A:10B:C. 150 psf design loads will allow the standard full-height shelving to be placed anywhere without being concerned about potential structural damage from excessive point loads caused by overloaded shelves.to be relocated. Secured visitor/researcher office(s) to view archival materials: consider several "eyes-on" security vantage points. and minimized exposed glazing. the heating and cooling load. The exterior walls should be rendered and painted with a light colour paint to help reflect heat and improve water resistance. as opposed to standard shelving. open areas that allow for easy visual detection by occupants. and frequency of use/access to stored materials. for rapid rainwater run-off. compartmentalization of storage areas to limit involved area of catastrophic loss in case of fire or system failure Configuration of storage spaces will be dependent on size and nature of objects to be stored: flat or volumetric. Wall-mounted fire hoses Ability for fire fighters to access fires and adequately ventilate heat and smoke. viewing glass from office reception and from nearby administrative office areas and/or CCTV cameras The number of doors should be kept to a minimum. Insulation is best achieved by sealing the building with caulk and weatherstripping to make it weatherresistant. pest access. Doors should not be recessed so that they cannot be directly observed. or for largest objects being stored . This is especially true in consideration of planning for future expansion of storage space. In tropical areas a mould inhibitor should be added to the paint. to be placed anywhere. lightweight and strong. Fire doors should open only from the inside and external doors in the storage area should be limited to emergency exits. The walls should be built with bricks (if available) or concrete blocks. increasing the design load to 300 psf allows highdensity compact shelving. 10. They should be reinforced with a steel plate and have pick resistant dead-bolt locks. the proper type for the fire. Corridor and door widths sufficient for two carts to pass each other. Fire extinguishers are the first weapon against small fires. package screening and control. 8. They can only be effective if they are: in working order. provision for archives expansion—vertically.
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