This month we wrap up our look at what makes the Museum of Visual Materials green by exploring the Faithe Gallery and the outside of the museum.
The renovation process for the Faithe Gallery, the smaller hall off of our Main Hall, started by taking out a drop ceiling and ripping out the old floors. The walls or wood paneling were taken down to expose the north quartzite wall. An office was removed, opening up the room and creating more space for displays and a classroom area. By removing the false ceiling, the exposed beams now create a similar feel as the rest of the building. The large open windows bring in great natural light from the south.
Bamboo Flooring – The flooring in the Faithe Gallery is probably the most dominant feature in this hall. The bamboo flooring in this room is attractive along with being very durable. Bamboo is a very fast renewable resource which some species of bamboo can grow up to 48 inches in 24 hours. Bamboo can grow and be replaced much quicker than trees. Bamboo shoots can also re-grow where tree stumps are left behind from deforestation.
Solar Panels– Not visible from the inside of the room but on top of the roof of the Faithe Gallery is our photovoltaic panels or solar panels. These panels provide us with up to 13 percent of the energy required for our facility.
Before the renovation, the empty building stood inside a chain-link and barbwire fence. Rolls of piping and storage bins sat on a large run of concrete. This building was one of the many in the area that welcomed visitors to the Falls Park area, but it was a terrible eye soar for the city.
Exterior Cleanup– The concrete was removed from around the building.
Contaminated Soil Removal– The site previously hosted an old gas station and oil storage facility, the soil smelled like petroleum and was found to be contaminated. New, clean soil was brought in to fill in the landscape area and deep-rooted native grasses were selected to help rejuvenate the soil.
Quartzite– The building, made from pink quartzite, was constructed from the same stone found at Falls Park just a few blocks away. The technique used to stack the rough edged quartzite can only be found in a few buildings in Sioux Falls. Pink quartzite runs abundant in this area and is a great material for buildings due to its durability.
Brickwork– Thanks to the City of Sioux Falls, the Museum received a grant to give the building a much needed face lift including rebuilding some of the window openings and new windows. Also among the repairs is a technique called tuck-pointing which stabilized the exterior stonework and protects the building from weather. The cracked and damaged mortar joints between the stones were chipped away and new mortar was applied to all of the joints with the top edge ‘raked’ back to create deeper shadow lines which accentuates the stone.
White Concrete– The concrete in front of our building has a white pigmentation which reflects sunlight. This allows us to save on cooling costs in the hot summer days. On a 90+ degree day, the concrete still remains comfortably cool.
Roofing Membrane– The roof was restored with insulation and a white roofing membrane. The color (white) helps create reflection instead of absorption from the sun’s rays.
Geothermal– Geothermal is currently one of the most efficient means of heating and cooling. In our renovation photos, you can view the process of drilling our well. The depth of our geothermal well is nearly two hundred feet. The water from the well is pulled from the ground at 56 degrees. As the water is transported into the Museum, a heat exchanger borrows the waters heat or coolness to heat or cool the museum depending on the need.
Foundation Restoration– Dirt was pulled away from the foundation so a waterproof membrane could be added. This helps to prevent water from entering the building below grade.
Landscape Design– The water drainage from our roof provides ample water for our landscaping. The water is directed from the roof into a rain garden (planter with a pond liner and drain tile) and allowed to drain out into the landscaping to allow natural watering. This process allows us to conserve water. The placement of the plants is also very important as well. Scouring Rush needs large amounts of water to survive with little sunlight. You can find this plant right below our down spout by the front entry. Black eyed Susan and other native grasses are in dryer, sunnier areas of the garden since they are accustomed to this type of environment.
Hardscape Design– Since the original structure of the building was pink quartzite, which is abundant in the Sioux Falls area, it was an easy choice that our edging and landscaping would be completed with the rock as well. Water paths are created in a unique design within the quartzite.