Johns Hopkins University

Spring 2008
Vol. 5, No.2

NEWS

William R. Brody to Retire from Presidency

Lattman to Lead Hauptman-Woodward Institute

A Learning Lab for Conservation

A Super Bowl He Won't Soon Forget

Student Standouts

Mellon Foundation Boosts Support for Humanities

The Financial Side of Economics

Writin' About a Revolution

Conversation in Bloom

Admissions by the Numbers

>Moving a Mummy, Going Green

Faculty News

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Moving a Mummy, Going Green


The three-year effort to transform Gilman Hall advanced steadily through the fall and spring semesters, with crews working overnight shifts to avoid disrupting the classes, seminars, and other academic goings-on in the Homewood campus’ flagship building.

Led by New York-based R.M. Kliment and Frances Halsband Architects, the Gilman renovation seeks to restore the historic building—now in its tenth decade of use—to its former grandeur while bringing it squarely into the 21st century, and to reestablish it as a national model for teaching and scholarship in the humanities.

By December, the project’s construction crews, from Bovis Lend Lease, had made quick work of dismantling the old library stacks in the core of the building and gutting the former location of the university bookstore, on the ground floor of Gilman, in preparation for a basement to house new mechanical systems. Early in the spring semester, the Gilman Hall tunnel was closed to allow for the basement excavation. The building itself will remain occupied through the end of the spring semester and then will close for two years.

Before the excavation, students and faculty completed a painstaking, piece-by-piece relocation of the approximately 8,500 artifacts that make up the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Collection, including the move of an Egyptian coffin and a mummy to temporary holding rooms elsewhere on the Homewood campus.

The process will pay off in 2010, when the renovated Gilman opens with a new home for the collection, with more expansive and flexible space for the exhibition and study of its objects.

As the renovated Gilman highlights ancient art and artifacts, it will employ modern technology to make it the Homewood campus’ first “green” building—LEED-certified as promoting a whole-building approach to sustainability. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance “green” buildings.

The certification process, based on a numerical scoring system, recognizes performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The Gilman project will receive the basic level of certification, and early projections show a potential for it to reach a higher tier, called silver certification.

The work to renovate Gilman in an environmentally responsible manner is important, says James B. Knapp Dean Adam Falk, “because of its actual environmental impact and the larger message it sends about the university’s values.

“The new Gilman Hall should speak to the future, both in terms of the teaching and scholarship that it will support and what the building itself will come to signify,” he says.