Tag Archives: cold storage

How to Plan for Cold Storage Preservation

How to Plan for Cold Storage Preservation

Coolers and freezers provide the best possible preservation environment for film and a variety of other materials, so they’re essential components of most museum risk management strategies. Cold storage is expensive to build and operate, though, so it’s important to understand the needs of various materials in your collection and carefully plan for the move to cold storage.

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How to Plan & Implement a Move to Cold Storage

Cold storage is expensive storage. You can keep building costs and operating costs down by planning carefully and making the most of every square inch. Here’s how to plan your cold storage space.

  • Assess Collection
    • Identify materials that need cold storage and sort by items that need cold storage, frozen storage, or typical archival storage. Measure the amount of space required to store items that currently need to be maintained in cold storage and frozen storage, and add curators’ estimates for future space needs.
  • Develop a Usage Policy/Procedure
    • Describe how researchers and others will request access to stored materials, who will be entrusted with access to cold storage areas, where and how materials will be acclimated as they are brought into and out of cold storage, and where and how researchers will be allowed to study materials after they’re brought out of storage.
vapor proof cold storage packaging in freezer room
Cold storage freezer room optimized with high-density mobile shelving systems for twice the amount of storage.
  • Determine Where Items Will Be Stored
    • Smaller collections can be stored in refrigerators or freezers, but be sure to use models that maintain a constant temperature. Medium-sized collections can be stored on shelving or museum cabinets housed in small walk-in coolers. Larger collections are generally stored in compactors housed in purpose-built cold rooms and walk-in freezers.
  • Create a Plan for Moving to Cold Storage
    • Work with vendors to coordinate delivery and installation dates, and determine who will be responsible for scanning (if desired), cataloging, acclimatizing, and moving items. Determine procedures to monitor temperature and relative humidity, and prominently post contact information for vendors in case of equipment malfunction.
  • Optimize Space Within the Cold Room or Freezer
    • Adjust shelving to avoid wasting space between shelves, and use compactors (high-density mobile shelving) to consolidate materials. The more items you can store, the more you’ll save, both in initial building costs (due to a smaller footprint) and in ongoing energy costs (a full cooler or freezer operates more efficiently).
Compact cold storage in museum temperature controlled room
Managing space in your cold storage room is essential to cut costs and store more essential supplies

See how Spacesaver products helped Denver Museum of Nature and Science optimize their cold storage space.

Contact Us for Your Cold Storage Needs

Learn how we can optimize your cold storage space and freezer rooms, contact us online today or call us at 1-800-696-3453.

Optimizing Cold Storage in Labs

Optimizing Cold Storage in Labs

Cold Room Shelving Improved

A Los Angeles-area diagnostic laboratory conducts medical testing for hundreds of thousands of southern California residents. In response to an urgent need to process more COVID-19 tests, a new lab was constructed in only two months by building out 30,000 square feet of shelled space inside the existing 150,000-square-foot facility. When looking for help with optimizing cold storage in their facility, Spacesaver’s mobile shelving was the go-to choice.

The existing lab was processing 7500 tests daily, and its capacity will increase by approximately 50,000 more tests per day when the addition is fully operational in early 2021.

cold storage vaccines in refrigeration room
The company doubled their cold room storage by using high-density mobile systems

From Static to Mobile Storage

To support all the supplies and materials required to maintain a six-fold increase in capacity, the lab needed three compact shelving systems from Spacesaver: one system for materials management and two lab cold room shelving systems for storing test kits in refrigerated rooms. With these systems in place, optimizing cold storage was made simple and easy.

The Spacesaver high-density shelving systems in the refrigerated rooms feature aluminum tread flooring on a “false floor” that is easy to clean and will allow the system to be moved in the future if needed. To improve visibility into the specially treated wire shelving, staff opted for half-height end panels with clear plexiglass extending to full height. The plexiglass ensures that items won’t fall off the ends while also allowing quick visual inspection.

Due to this project’s extremely tight deadlines, our partner Spacesaver shipped the rails to the construction site while factory workers were still manufacturing the rest of the order. This allowed the local installation crew to keep pace with the lab’s rapid build-out.

Mechanical-Assist Mobile System in Cold Storage Room
Mechanical-Assist Mobile System in Cold Storage Room

The resulting layout of mobile shelving on rails optimizes every cubic foot of space in the lab’s walk-in cold rooms. Staff can easily open and close aisles using hand cranks, and the system is clean and safe. Most importantly, area residents are able to get their COVID tests & results more quickly due to the lab’s increased capacity.

Contact Us for All Your Cold Storage Needs

If you want to learn how we can get more out of your existing cold storage and lab space, contact us online today or call us at 1-800-696-3453.