Hall of Americas Renovation
The Hall of Americas is our most used and most popular area. Structure renovation was the most important element in completing this room. Large beams needed support along with bringing back the original stone work.
1. Original Floors – The floors from the original structure were restored and brought back to life. Of course a floor over 100 years old would need some work. The flooring does have some patch work completed to create a safe environment where old service elevators and stair cases once where to access the basement. By using the original wood floors, we didn’t have to create deforestation to provide floor covering.
2. Sand Blasting – After viewing some of the pictures below, you may notice that some of the walls in the facility were white to reflect light in the room. Sand blasting brought back the original look and texture to the stonework and the pillars and beams.
3. Geo-thermal Heating and Cooling – Our system is located in the basement of our Hall of Americas. We heat and cool our facility with the water vein hundreds of feet below the ground. The average temperature of the water pulled from the earth is 56 degrees. The system acts in the opposite of an air conditioner when heating the facility. It rejects the cold water and creates a reaction of heat. The coolness of the water provides the cold air which is transferred into the building during the summer.
4. LED gallery lighting – With natural lighting during the day from the sky lights and windows, at night the museum is lit up with very low wattage LED gallery lighting. The lighting that the MOVM use to use was a 35 watt halogen based bulb which took around 4,600 watts every time the lights were activated with the motion sensors. after replacing the lighting with the LED bulbs we went from 35 watts to 1.8 watts per light and a total of 240 watts. This is an energy savings of almost 2,000%.
5. Fire Doors – Old restored fire doors are on display in the Hall of Americas. These doors became very popular after the Chicago fire in the early 1800′s when almost the entire city burned to the ground. These large doors are attached to a rope and weight system so if a fire started in the building, the rope would burn releasing the weight and letting the door close shut to prevent the spreading of fire to the rest of the city.
6. Skylights – The three large skylights and large high efficient windows provide ample sunlight to help us cut down on electricity costs.
7. Pillars – The large pillars which support our trusses in our building were brought here from within a 400 mile radius. These pillars where saved from an church in Minnesota which was going through demolition.
8. Cork Flooring – The sewing and craft area flooring brings an exotic looking flooring called cork. Many people know that cork is used for many different products, but what about flooring? Cork is a fast renewable resource which is harvested about every nine years. Cork is great for bathrooms and especially kitchens. Not only is it durable against water but if you drop a pot or pan, the shock will be absorbed by the floor. It is very comfortable on your back if you are standing for long periods of time. Cork also stays warm in the winter time and cool in the summer to help with energy savings. Cork was very popular in the days of Thomas Jefferson and is now becoming popular again.
9. Birch Book Shelves – Birch book shelves provide a strong structure to house our books and displays. This product is a hard fast growing wood and naturally beautiful.
10. Soy-based Insulation – Soy-base insulation provides a great barrier from the outside elements. This sprayed in product expands sealing cracks and gaps more efficiently than fiber insulation. Spray insulation contains a very high “R” value which is the rating system for insulation efficiency.
11. Shower – Okay, why the shower at a museum? We encourage individuals to use alternative transportation for commuting. Biking to work is a great way to get exercise as well as cutting back on emissions from automotive transportation. The shower allows downtown commuters to freshen up before going into the office.
12. Pallet Flooring – Pallet flooring creates a stable raised floor in our shower and laundry area. These pallets were found in the building when it was taken over in 2005 and were reused in the renovation process.
13. Low VOC Paint – The paint used to add color to these walls is a low VOC paint. This reduces the harmful chemical given off by most of your other paints.