The massive amount of materials for archival storage in this building encompass 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers; 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records; 23,000 audiovisual items; 13,000 collections of photographs; and, 3.5 million patriarchal blessings.
There are 12 concrete vaults with 10 main storage rooms that are maintained at 55 degrees with 35 percent relative humidity. Its Salt Lake City location adds to the ability to manage humidity because the area’s relatively low humidity, adds Dave Amidon, account manager, Spacesaver Intermountain. “There are two rooms kept at -4 degrees for color motion picture films, photographs and records of special significance,” he says.
The low temperature created a unique challenge for Spacesaver not experienced before. To prevent the High-Density Shelving units from locking up due to the extreme cold, the system was re-engineered with a continuous auto-cycle system.
A fascinating aspect of the Church History Building is its lack of interior vertical support beams in the concrete vaults. This presented another unique opportunity for Spacesaver: wall-to-wall shelving units without having to design around support columns. This design feature required a lot of planning and engineering by ARW Engineers, the structural engineers of the project.
Because the area didn’t have support beams, the floor had to be engineered a certain way so it wouldn’t sag once items were placed on it—such as the archival high-density shelving units. “The upper floors above-grade were pre-stressed in both directions, crowning in the center 3 ½ in. above level, allowing for settling after the mobile systems were completely loaded,” Amidon says.