Whitewater, Wisconsin is located a few miles down the road from Spacesaver's headquarters. If you ask any local, or student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, about the legend of the Whitewater Witches, they will be able to tell you something about the topic, whether they believe it or not. There are many myths buzzing around the area, especially at this time of year. The story supposedly started back in 1888 when the Morris Pratt Institute of spiritualistic studies purchased property in the area, but even before this institute was built, rumors grew wild and one newspaper reported that Whitewater was the "second biggest center for witchcraft in the country." The Morris Pratt Institute was rumored as a school of the black arts, and was said to have an all white room for conducting seances. Whether these rumors are true or false, here are some of the myths I have heard since being in Whitewater:
1. Whitewater's three cemetaries make a perfect isoceles triangle which is known as the witches triangle because all of the structures on the sides of the triangle have reported different paranormal activity.
Picture taken from http://mattrock.net/witches-whitewater
2. The watertower in Starin Park (which is on campus) is haunted and the iron fence around it has spikes tilted inward as to keep something inside rather than outside! It has been said that witches used to hold rituals around the watertower and to this day evil forces are said to be lured to it.
Picture taken from http://www.concertlivewire.com/witchesofww.htm
3. A book...in the basement of Anderson Library is held in a locked room, and anyone who has ever opened it's pages and read the contents has been killed.
Picture taken from http://www.concertlivewire.com/witchesofww.htm
According to a source on http://www.concertlivewire.com/witchesofww.htm, Deronica Goldsmith, Archives Assistant for the Anderson Library said, "The Witches Book" doesn't exist and as far as I know there are or never were witches here in Whitewater." A reliable source, who was once a library assistant at Anderson Library, told the website that as part of the hiring process they are instructed to deny the existence of "The Witches Book."
4. The last rumor I have heard is the one about the area's underground tunnels. Now, I have only been in the area for a couple of years, but everyone has been telling me that this area is very well known for being a hub for the underground railroad. According to http://mattrock.net/witches-whitewater, Whitewater does have tunnels. This source confirms his personal testimony to the existence of underground tunnels. The building next to the old library is the Hamilton House, once a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Picture taken from http://mattrock.net/witches-whitewater
The source says, many of the homes that served as safe houses along the network did have secret underground rooms. This would include the nearest stops to the north and south of Whitewater. The Milton House has a secret passage to a cabin behind the main house, and a house at 323 Merchants Ave. in Fort Atkinson also has an underground room and tunnel. It is rumored that some of the previous city workers verified the tunnels. The tunnel connecting the Hamilton House to the First English Lutheran Church across Main St. is still there, but it is all bricked up on each end. The tunnel system apparently also connected to a bunch of the churches and homes all in the Church St. area. These pictures of a tunnel section under a parking lot were taken on the other side of the church.
Whether these rumors are TRUE or FALSE, I thought you would enjoy a good spook for Halloween! Boo!
Check out this trailer for a movie about the Witches of Whitewater:
A month after IIDEX, I still can’t get Jeremy Rifkin’s Environmental keynote out of my head. Not that I haven’t heard others speak on the same topics, or watched 101 documentaries on how we are destroying the planet, but his speech stuck with me because he was smart enough to present solutions to these dire circumstances that resonated with our design community.
The Third Industrial Revolution, the title of his address, must begin with us!
With Space. With buildings. With design.
He envisioned every building as a mini power plant, equipped with solar panels and wind turbines. These buildings could become collection points, generators, so-to-speak, for the distribution of energy throughout a household, vehicle and even your local community. He believes we need to: create 20% Renewable Energy by 2020, develop Hydrogen Storage, create Internet Technology for sharing energy, and implement Fuel Cell Technology. All these concepts, goals…whatever, must work together to create a single living environment.
No, not Biodome (though a classic film, that is an entirely different blog post).
“Each city becomes a node” he said, “Each community is responsible for its part of the biosphere, but dependant on each other.”
We in the design, manufacturing and construction industries really hold the keys to a greener future. We must incorporate smart, sustainable solutions into our product and building designs.
Spacesaver is trying to look towards a sustainable future by becoming a member of the Wisconsin Green Masters Program, starting an internal green team, and helping you save space with our mobile storage solutions.
If you're interested in learning more about how Storage can contribute to sustainable building design or LEED Certification, we have an AIA registered CEU program on that very topic!
CLICK HERE to download a program summary and request more information from a local storage specialist.
And tell us, how are you and your colleagues contributing to the third Industrial Revolution?
Julie Weber - Green Queen
A couple months back, I posted a simple review of the findings detailed in a McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report on the business process called “BIM” (Building Information Modeling). To my surprise, as well as to the astonishment of some of my colleagues, the blog post with the catchy title garnished several hundred views from the general public. (In case you missed it … BIM Boosts the Bottom Line with Bankable Benefits!) Serendipitously, I touched on a subject that brought forth a bit of traffic to our growing web-site! Mission accomplished!
As a result of the success of that post, I’ve decided to spot-light the BIM process yet again, only this time pass over it from a higher perspective. I wish to tell the BIM-tale to a larger audience, one that may not know anything about BIM and or its benefits. I aim to answer a few basic questions:
- What is BIM?
- Who is using BIM?
- Why are they using BIM?
If I can answer these questions successfully, new readers may have a better idea of what BIM can do for them, as well as create a bit of traffic to our growing web-site! Again, mission accomplished! So, on to the lessons:
What is BIM?
BIM is an acronym for “Building Information Modeling.” Our friends at Wikipedia start off their definition by describing BIM as a “process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle. Typically using three-dimensional real-time, dynamic building modeling software.”
Let’s break Wiki’s account down into three key points:
- Building data
First of all, BIM is described as a “process.” It is not something you can hold in your hands; rather it is a step-by-step, sequential, series of tasks that allow for the “generation and management” of a building. It is not a tool used to erect the building, rather it is the process used by those in the construction field to go about creating and using a building. Let me go further.
The second point references “building data.” What is this? Let’s take a moment to think about the building you are sitting in right now. There are walls, ceilings, and floors. There are carpets, windows, and furniture. There are electrical wires, heating/ventilating ducts, and pipes. Get the picture? All these things are elements of a typical building. This is basic building data.
And as a final point, “three-dimensional software” is the tool used to bring about the BIM process.
Hence, to paraphrase, by reversing the order of the above points, BIM begins with a three-dimensional software package, that utilizes all the building data, in order to communicate the process of erecting and managing a building.
Who is using BIM?
With the initial lesson out of the way, the next question is much easier to answer.
Identifying the individuals that are using the BIM process is simple; they are the ones that are involved in the design, erection, and managing of a building project. This typically starts with the owner, architect and/or designer, those responsible for the creative spirit behind most buildings. They can use the BIM three-dimensional software (tool) to express their ideas, and put them down for others to see. They are the individuals that are involved in the design phases of a construction project.
The process continues with those individuals that handle the building “data”; remember the walls, windows, doors, ceiling, etc. These individuals are typically the contractors (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) and their respective suppliers (bricks, wires, and pipes). The same BIM three-dimensional software (tool) is used to identify, estimate, track, and schedule the building phases of our construction project.
Why are they using BIM?
“And now the answer to the million dollar question!” (And believe me; it’s all about the dollars!)
BIM is being used by the individuals identified above because … It saves them money!
All the architectural renderings, construction documents, estimating, material order forms, schedules, etc. can all be combined into one package. All used to improve collaboration between stakeholders.
This brings us full circle, returning to my blog posting a couple months ago! Take another peek! BIM Boosts the Bottom Line with Bankable Benefits!
Ronald Chisholm, P.E. - Storage Specialist
Spacesaver has embraced this BIM movement, and has created Revit models for the BIM process. (Revit is the software tool.) If you are active in this process, you can download and take advantage of the Spacesaver Revit families for several of our products. Visit the Spacesaver Design Center, for your Revit family needs!
McGraw Hill Contruction, 2010: www.bim.construction.com "Who's using BIM, and Where Are They Getting the Real Business Value?"
Over the years, the increasing popularity in golf as a family activity, combined with the growth in services provided at golf clubs, has resulted in a shortage of space; especially in those clubs that have a level of history in their current location.
Take one such example, the Ozaukee Country Club, located in Mequon, Wisconsin. At the time the club was built, (over 80 years ago) golf bag storage was not a service typically offered to club members, and as a result, the club was built without accommodations for it. Over time, the club began offering limited bag storage service and a small portion of the building was designated for this; however, as popularity of the storage service grew, the area quickly became overcrowded.
“We didn’t have enough room for bags in the past,” said Rich Tock, golf pro at Ozaukee Country Club. “Bags were stacked on top of each other and we had a difficult time locating their whereabouts. When we renovated, I felt that it was an opportunity to expand our storage to hold everything we need well into the future.”
Then, 15-20 years ago, a family may have stored one bag, but by the early to mid-2000’s, an average family could have three or four bags to store. As a result, when the club expanded their facility; building a new golf shop, locker rooms and golf bag storage room; Tock required that the bag storage room hold at least 1,000 bags for the club’s 300 members.
In order to minimize the footprint of the new golf bag storage room, and maintain increasing the club’s storage capacity to the 1,000-bag bogey, Spacesaver and our local area storage specialist, John Butler of Storage Systems Midwest, designed a large mobile storage system that would accommodate the club’s storage needs for up to 30 years.
The Ozaukee Country Club chose powered controls for their new system; so, at the touch of a button, the storage system effortlessly moves the carriages’ heavy weight loads, and speeds retrieval of bags. During the summer season especially, efficient storage and quick retrieval is critical, with bag storage being accessed up to 200 times a day.
Spacesaver’s 4-post steel shelving, with specialty metal dividers, facilitates storage of the bulky, heavy bags, making it both convenient and secure. Bags are simply set onto either the lower or upper shelf, and then lean against a divider. Up to eight bags can be stored in a single 42” shelf range, top to bottom.
Tock uses a systematic approach to organizing bags. Golfer’s names are listed alphabetically on a reference board, with each name assigned a location within the mobile system. For example, a member could be assigned A32 - aisle A, shelf position 32. Once a member is assigned a storage location, their name is also put onto a label and placed on the shelf above their bag. This ensures that bags are returned accurately and facilitates quick retrieval.
“I’ve been a club pro for 26 years and I think that the mobile system concept for golf bag storage is terrific,” said Tock. “In fact, I can’t imagine any system to be any better than what we have now.”
Shelley Smith - Storage Specialist
Looking for a skilled golf storage specialist in your area of the world? Give us a call at 1-800-255-8170 or contact us here and we'll hook you up.
When most people think of the fall season there are a few, great American past-times that come to mind; taking a walk and looking at the beautiful colors on the trees, getting out your favorite sweatshirt, Grandma’s homemade chili, warm apple cider, and THE PIGSKIN! Last Sunday, NBC reported that 11.27 million American’s watched Sunday Night Football; a manly, scream at the TV, exchange high fives with your bro's, beer drinking, tough guy sport. So why are the 300 pound offensive linemen wearing the historically dubbed, most non-manly color ever….pink? Because REAL men wear pink!
October has become widely known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With pink tagged as its color, Breast Cancer Awareness has jumped into the spotlight, carrying crafty sayings that are getting people’s attention worldwide. Various organizations are creating blunt, to the point slogans that have been used to get everyone talking and relate to different age groups about the impact breast cancer has on so many lives. According to BreastCancer.org, so far in 2010, a little over 207,000 new cases of breast cancer have been reported. It is the number one cancer in women and it seems everyone is supporting the cause in one form or another these days. From chin straps and cleats to hand towels and sweatbands, NFL players have been proving every weekend in October that pink is a manly color, and what better of a way to create awareness than use a sport that generates over 11 million viewers.
Something as simple as the color pink is easy to incorporate into almost every business. People are changing their website colors to pink for the month, wearing pink shirts; magazines are making their covers pink; bakeries are baking pink cupcakes and cookies; America is wrapping itself up in pink! And it’s AWESOME to see an entire nation jump on board!
Healthcare facilities across the country have initiatives in place to facilitate preventative care and stop breast cancer in its tracks. Mammograms and informational classes have been made readily available to anyone in America so we can continue the campaign for the fight against breast cancer. The pink ribbon is plastered everywhere you go and the national coverage breast cancer is receiving has only helped spread the word about the cause. Now everyone knows it is cool to wear pink in October, no matter who you are.
There are many ways to get involved in the fight against breast cancer. Here are some beneficial resources to get started:
CLICK HERE to Find a Mammography Center near you for screenings.
Visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website to learn more about breast cancer and the resources available to you.
Check out the American Cancer Society's website to learn how you can join fight against breast cancer.
Kacia Gillette - Storage Specialist
Innovation is the latest buzz word. It’s popping up everywhere. We use it to describe out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to new product development, new processes and procedures, advances in technology or in the way we use interior space. The same word is used to describe almost everything new, exciting and progressive within our industry (and many others). We use the term. You use the term.
When I sat down to listen to the Innovation Keynote speaker, Avi Flombaum, the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Designer Pages, at IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Innovation. It’s just another buzz word… right?
Flombaum, a Gen Y like myself, spoke passionately about Interior Design and Architecture as an industry and how we, in the community of professionals associated with this field, can start to create excitement about our products and designs. How we can work together to create an awareness of products and specialties that could possibly rival that of the fashion industry. He predicted a future in which the Eames Lounge will be found in your 6 year old daughter’s Barbie house and people will care just as much about the designer who designed their couch as the designer who designed their shoes.
Woah. Those are some lofty goals.
Flombaum said, “Our environment affects our experience.” At Spacesaver we have been designing products around this concept for years, and in the design community we know this to be the absolute truth. So, how did Mr. Flombaum think we could spread this concept to our communities… through harnessing the internet. He spoke briefly about several new web sites that are being created to interface and create a cohesive online community of designers, architects, product developers, and project resources: Designerpages, Openbuildings and Archinect.
Information will be shared freely and easily between these web sources. An architect at any given firm can highlight their expertise, link to a building they designed and then a product designer (say, perhaps…Spacesaver) could tag their products within that building. Other architects and designers could then see that Spacesaver was used in that building and ask their colleagues for a reference on the product. This would create a complete 360 view of the design process. This was Innovation in my mind… completely.
He spoke briefly about social media and how as a tool to spread the word about design, the sky really is the limit. His best example dated back to NeoCon Chicago, 2009. His company started a campaign called #NeoCon09. Anyone who mentioned #NeoCon09 in their tweets was featured on large screens set up throughout the Merchandise Mart. This feature allowed all attendees to read about other people’s favorite products and showrooms, or even find the best food and cocktails. He broke it down like this: 735 people tweeted, creating a total of 8,234 tweets. This amount of text could fill a book the length of Moby Dick. The amount of pictures uploaded to twitter equaled that of 60 rolls of film. That really is massive. In 2010 the numbers doubled and they will continue to double.
We have started using these web tools... have you? Let us know if you are searching for products on Designerpages or researching buildings on Openbuildings. Do you tweet or blog?
Can we band together as an industry and use the internet to create awareness? If so, then that, my friends, is innovation.
Julie Weber - Storage Enthusiast
The common rule of thought if you want to preserve something, say; perishable food, your cell phone after it fell in the toilet, a dead body (just saying), is to store it at cool temperatures or put it in a plastic baggy filled with rice or bread (sucks up the moisture). That is because the higher the temperature the faster materials deteriorate and vice versa, the lower, the longer they last. So that means if you take all of the rare collections libraries in the U.S. and set the temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit problem solved, right? Not so much, personally I think it’s way too hard to turn the pages of a century-old book wearing mittens....
(darn things never allow your fingers to be useful, it’s like hello? Why don’t you just tape my fingers together? But they’re cute right?)
....and I don’t know about your experiences but filling an entire library with rice and bread doesn’t seem logical either. So, with archived materials, how do you ensure the systems heat and ventilate correctly to preserve artifacts, especially in cases where the existing library is in an ancient, 19th century building?
Older buildings usually have many obstacles to take into consideration including: temperature, humidity, light, and pollutant problems. HVAC systems or heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems are the MVP's for preserving library and archival materials and attacking the “old building” problems head on.
They control the climate and protect documents from all the ravages of time. For example, the Declaration of Independence has experienced extreme fading over the years because of the poor preserving techniques during the 19th century. It is safe to say TJ and B. Franklin weren’t too worried about humidity and ventilation; they had to focus on all that other stuff like the invention of Facebook and the Snuggie. Oh, if they only knew what we know now!
Many times libraries do not have the option to build a brand new modern facility to correct their out of date storage solutions and most libraries want to keep their existing facility because of the history involved with them throughout the years. They do however have a couple different options to solve storage issues; one, they can build off-site to store less frequently used documents and gain on-site space or two they can renovate their current space and create a better HVAC process. The latter of the two options allows them to still use the same buildings these rare documents are stored in, yet the way they are preserving and housing them has changed. Specifically, with Spacesaver’s storage solutions there are a few distinguishing characteristics that enable products to have the most efficient HVAC process.
A common question surrounding HVAC is, “why would we need a better system when I can control the temperature of the building manually by opening windows, or turning the humidifier on and off?” The problem with doing that is there is no consistency when there are changes in climate at night or early in the morning when the facility is empty, or better yet on holidays.
Modern HVAC systems have a consistent, and continuous monitoring aspect that includes regular readings of temperature and humidity levels. While the structure of an old building alone cannot always defeat nature’s elements, modern designs are better equipped to handle them. Spacesaver’s HDMS or high density mobile system has features that compliment HVAC systems and create an ideal environment for libraries and archiving.
Some of the key features that aide in best HVAC practice include, compact shelving and uprights which can be perforated to facilitate maximum airflow supporting climate control, and the Eclipse System® that powers the HDMS schedules automatic aisle moves to optimize airflow if the system has not been used within a certain amount of time. The success rate for spending a little extra money on proven technology for storage solutions is proving its worth through sustainable facilities, lower utility bills and cream of the crop preserving techniques for one-of-a-kind pieces of history.
On Another Note…..Old is the New Green
By preserving archives in an existing library building, you are maintaining the historic value and ambiance of the time in which the documents were created and addressing sustainability. In an article from The National Trust for Historic Preservation, old has been deemed the new “green.” The website explains the importance of conserving original, historic buildings and the role it has in reducing the United States’ carbon footprint. “New construction, operation and demolition of buildings accounts for 48% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.”
Is your library taking the best steps to preserve and protect the collections it houses?
It’s something to think about….
Kacia Gillette – Storage Specialist
See how other libraries are making the change...
Download Spacesaver's case study featuring the State Library of Pennsylvania's Rare Collections Library.
Visit Spacesaver's Education/Library website to find out if your library needs a little Botox to preserve what’s left…..Don’t worry, everyone’s doing it!
CLICK HERE to learn more about restoring existing buildings and reducing your carbon footprint.