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Subject: Halon replacements

Halon replacements

From: Karen Potje <kpotje<-a>
Date: Monday, April 21, 2008
At the Canadian Centre for Architecture we are making plans to
replace our Halon fire suppression system. Our collection is
primarily paper-based (drawings, documents, architectural plans,
books, photographs).  Most collections materials  are stored in
folders on shelves or in map drawers, or in paper-based boxes, but
our huge collection of books is stored on compact library shelving .

At the moment our top two candidates for replacing our Halon system

    Water mist (chief advantage.  It has no negative environmental

    1230 Novec (claims to have no negative environmental impact and
    it may be possible to plug it into our existing deployment
    system with only moderate retrofitting.)

Water mist:

    Has there been a full evaluation of the use of water mist in an
    institution with a collection similar to ours.

    Which type would be best:  a flood space or water mist sprinkler

    If the water mist  should ever discharge in our vaults how humid
    (or wet?) would collections get?   Might it be necessary to
    freeze and dry collections after a disaster as with sprinklers?

    After deployment of the system would relative humidity in the
    vault be so high that we'd be at risk of mould  growth in

    Can the system be installed safely while collections remain in
    the vaults or would we need to move our collections temporarily
    during the installation?


    Is it possible that 10 years down the road it could be deemed an
    environmental hazard, leaving us needing to find yet another

    Is it really so people-friendly that we could put t in areas
    that have work stations?

Both systems: cost effectiveness:  The cost of installing the water
mist system would be higher than plugging Novotec into our existing
system. What are the long-term maintenance costs of these systems?
Are there any other future costs to be considered?

I would appreciate hearing from others about these two options:

Can  anyone site studies, tests,  or examples of either of these
systems being installed or deployed in collecting institutions,
(especially in institutions  with paper-based collections)?

Is there anyone who feels strongly in favour of yet another
alternative that is now on the market.

Karen Potje
Chef, Service de la conservation/restauration
Centre Canadien d'Architecture

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:59
                   Distributed: Saturday, May 3, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-59-023
Received on Monday, 21 April, 2008

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