Although modern technologies may provide upgrades for services and life-safety needs, their integration can create unique challenges in the preservation of decorative interior finishes and features in historic buildings. Unlike some other technological upgrades, fire alarm system components have strict limitations on placement, device colors, and coverage zones. Selecting the most appropriate device types and placement are important considerations not often evaluated when planning for infrastructure upgrades of historic properties. Fire alarm devices, in their short history, have come to be seen as matter-of-fact additions with little flexibility. If a conscious effort is made to evaluate planned interior modifications and needs, the following can be achieved;
• Provide code specified system upgrades • Place devices that consider visual impact and existing rhythms • Allow for long term restoration of existing finishes • Provide creative modifications or additions to allow for minimal disruption of existing finishes
Despite the necessity of these devices, there can be something architecturally limiting to the colors red, white, and black. Occasionally, just red. Perhaps not what John Carrère and Thomas Hastings would have had in mind when selecting Danby marble, wood paneling, and gilded plaster ornament as part of the sumptuous interior of The New York Public Library.
This presentation will detail the approach, limitations, and creativity involved in the incorporation of Fire Safety upgrades within architecturally sensitive interiors, such as that of The New York Public Library.
The following evaluation questions are asked:
• Which finishes are the most significant within the spaces (Identify and Retain)? • Were there any prior modern upgrades to finishes (potential routes to be re-used)? • Where is the applicable wiring (power and/or communication) going to enter the space? • Which surfaces could be used for the devices (coverage zones of devices, spacing)? • Which of the available surfaces would be damaged the least by penetrations and associated wiring access paths? • Which surfaces can be repaired with minimal loss of historic fabric when devices require replacement, upgrade, or removal in the future? • Could supplemental housing such as a newly constructed panel or device box be provided, limiting damage to existing finishes?
Where possible, components with customized mounting plates, boxes, or bollards should be considered. Although newly constructed, careful selection can allow for the installation of upgrades with materiality that complimented their space and situation. This presentation will demonstrate how planned interior modifications and needs can be incorporated into a historic interior and building structure as part of a rehabilitative program.
Upon completion, participants will be able to conduct thoughtful assessments of interior finishes when considering the placement of modern devices such as Fire Alarm system elements.
Upon completion, participants will be able to identify alternative strategies for the incorporation of modern devices, such as the creation of new device housings.
Upon completion, participants will be able to consider the coordination of device incorporation strategies that minimize damage to historically significant interior finishes.
Upon completion, participants will be able to place modern devices that complement the existing architectural finishes and rhythms