Short On Time, With No Room For Error, The High Museum Calls On Trane
The High Museum had just completed a major expansion that added five buildings and doubled the museum’s size, and in doing
so had attracted an exhibition of world masterpieces from legendary museums like France’s Musee du Louvre. But as Marjory Harvey, Director
of Architectural Planning and Design, can tell you, attracting world-class shows is not as simple as just having an amazing space. "Proper
climate control is essential to a museum’s ability to attract important gifts, loans and exhibitions. We are often required to demonstrate
our ability to meet and maintain environmental standards for the preservation of works of art." Certainly Trane was up to that challenge,
but the High Museum needed their new system fast-tracked so the museum could provide a record of gallery temperature and humidity
conditions to finalize an agreement with the Louvre and bring the show to Atlanta.
The High Museum already had two existing Trane chillers installed in 1982 and they were still running smoothly, so it was
decided to supplement them with a new chiller plant. The new chillers include a Trane 450-ton heat recovery centrifugal chiller (for
winter heating needs) and a 500-ton high efficiency chiller. The pièce de résistance however, was Trane’s sophisticated Climate Changer™
air handlers, and 101 VAV units all orchestrated by a Tracer Summit building automation system.
Trane’s Tracer Summit™ system allows the museum precision control of their climate. It maintains temperature and humidity
at 72 degrees Farenheit, plus or minus 2 degrees, and 50 percent humidity, plus or minus five percent. This degree of control assures that
priceless paint and other materials do not become too dry and chip, or too damp, as excess humidity can cause mold, fading, chemical
reactions and myriad other disasters. Since installing their new Trane system the High Museum’s collection has nearly doubled in size and
membership is among the top 10 in the U.S. And Trane is happy to report, the museum got the Louvre show—for a three-year engagement.
High Museum attendance is nearly 450,000 visitors a year, the collection has nearly doubled and
membership is among the top 10 of any art museum in the U.S. The museum played a key role in
transforming Midtown into one of Atlanta’s most robust areas. During the next three years, "Louvre
Atlanta" at The High will highlight the history of the Louvre from the 17th Century to present. Three
exhibitions during the first year will focus on the establishment of the royal art collection in "Kings As
Collectors" and feature works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Vaelazquez, Murillo and Poussin, and a group of
sculptures that interpret King Louis XIV’s role as collector and arts patron.