Hurricane Sandy HVAC Shutdown Study – We Need Your Help

Hurricane SandyFor several years IPI has been investigating whether controlled and monitored shutdowns of HVAC systems in cultural institutions could lead to significant energy savings without causing undue risks to collections. Though many institutions use shutdowns as a means of energy savings, their use in collection storage or display environments is often limited because of preservation concerns. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the US at the end of October, many cultural institutions experienced power outages that led to several (if not all) HVAC systems shutting down including those that service collection storage and display areas. These outages provide IPI with a unique opportunity to obtain both anecdotal and quantified data on how these shutdowns affected the internal climates of a variety of cultural institutions. IPI is currently conducting shutdown research in five major public and university libraries across the US. This gives us the opportunity to gain more insight into how similarly sized or smaller preservation environments respond to shutdowns. We are hoping it will provide some useful comparisons for our research data and expand our knowledge in this area.

IPI is seeking assistance in distributing a short survey to those cultural institutions on the East Coast who experienced HVAC shutdowns caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The survey can be found at:

We encourage you to repost it where applicable. IPI’s interest in this study is primarily shutoff periods and climate data rather than collection holdings. Responses to the survey will be kept anonymous in the event that any findings are published or used for educational purposes.