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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Gsa Alteration Guidelines For Interiors

Procedure code:

0109120S

Source:

Maint, Rpr And Alteration Of Historic Bldgs - Gsa/Pbs

Division:

General Requirements

Section:

Reference Standards

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Gsa Alteration Guidelines For Interiors



GSA ALTERATION GUIDELINES FOR INTERIORS


This standard was extracted from GSA's Maintenance, Repair and
Alteration of Historic Buildings reference document from 1981.  The
following information includes general GSA guidelines to consider
when planning interior alterations to historic buildings.  

Standard alteration techniques and solutions often will not
preserve the architectural character of significant interiors.  In
general, alterations to such spaces should conceal necessary work,
particularly electrical and mechanical equipment, behind the
original finishes and within the original structure of the
building.

The following design considerations will be helpful.

-    Preserve all original finishes, trim and ornament of the room,
    and remove any existing later alterations or non-original
    elements.

-    Repair or replace any missing original features to exact
    original design and appearance, budget permitting.

-    Ensure that custodial work and routine maintenance are carried
    out with care and with only mild, dilute chemical cleaners, if
    any.

-    Locate tenants in appropriate spaces.  Organize heavy traffic
    to avoid damaging sensitive areas.

-    Do not crowd rooms with furnishings that cover architectural
    detail.

-    Carefully design and place any necessary electrical outlets or
    HVAC grilles to be unobtrusive and paint them to match
    adjacent finishes.

-    Remove fluorescent lighting and use concealed uplighting for
    general illumination and individual task lights at work
    surfaces.  Restore original fixtures, if possible, for general
    illumination.

-    Alterations should be compatible with the original space and
    materials.  Use materials and installations that are visually
    related to finishes and materials in the remainder of the
    building.

-    Permit only changes or alterations to materials or finishes
    necessary for restoration.

-    Investigate opportunities to conceal all electrical and
    mechanical equipment when budget permits.  Exposed
    installations of mechanical systems must be laid out as
    unobtrusively as possible, and should not cover or obscure
    original elements.

-    Do not make alterations that attach permanently to original
    elements of the room.  When it is necessary to cover or
    obscure original elements with alterations, alterations should
    be easily removable without damage to permanent finishes.

-    Retain original blinds whenever possible. [The large slat
    venetian blinds closely matching the period ones, are again
    being marketed and are regaining favor as a contemporary
    window treatment.]  If an accurate restoration of sun control
    devices is infeasible, use an unobtrusive contemporary
    treatment (e.g., thin-line, horizontal blinds).  DO NOT:
    paint over window glass; change clear glass to frosted or
    translucent glass; replace glass with solid filler panel; use
    vertical blinds of wall-to-wall drapery; cover decorative
    window surrounds with shades or blinds; use roller shades.

-    Test ceiling for original colors and details and restore to
    exact original condition.

-    Preserve, maintain and repair and match flooring where
    possible.  If intensive use is damaging the flooring, install
    high quality carpeting or new protective coatings, but do not
    use adhesives or tacks in a way that will damage original
    floor.

CONTACT YOUR REGIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER (RHPO) FOR
FURTHER GUIDANCE.

                         END OF SECTION