Other Threats: Termites & Terrorism
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Apart from what are traditionally considered natural disasters, threats including terrorism and Formosan termites continue to pose problems for historic buildings. This document is designed to help owners and stewards of historic resources understand the nature of these threats and how to prepare for, treat, or mitigate them.
Although acts of terrorism are not generally associated with natural disasters, their sudden and bewildering impact--and propensity for precipitating immense damage to and disruption of critical infrastructure and property--warrant mention alongside conventional disasters. The resources listed below provide guidance for making safety and security improvements in historic buildings.
- Perimeter Security for Historic Buildings: Technical Pilot (GSA). A 31-page document illustrated with photos and drawings, this guide is intended for federal buildings but provides general guidance for integrating security features into architecturally sensitive environments.
- Perimeter Security Retrofitting for Historic Buildings (APT Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2004), pp. 37-47).
- Guidance For Security Enhancements to Historic Buildings (APT Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2004), pp. 3-12).
- GSA Security Engineering. GSA's Building Security Technology Program (BSTP) team is responsible for developing the policy and requirements for building security used in the design and construction of GSA buildings, and provides technical assistance to project managers.
- Accomodate Life Safety And Security Needs (Whole Building Design Guide, National Institute of Building Sciences). A thorough online article addressing code, life safety, and security upgrades to historically significant properties.
- Safety And Security in Historic Buildings: A Guideline (Queensland Government, Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland, Australia). Although written for Queensland, Australia, this 23-page guide written in 2006 offers helpful perspective for organizations wishing to make security enhancements to heritage properties.
Introduced to the United States from east Asia in the 1940s, Formosan termites have thrived in warmer climates in the southeast, causing damage to the built and natural environments. Long expensive and difficult to treat, newer research is helping to uncover ways to combat these invasive pests. The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, a unit of the National Park Service, has worked extensively on this problem and produced helpful literature, listed below.
- Operation Full Stop, the USDA's program to combat Formosan termites.
- Historic Buildings Infested With Formosan Termites: National Trust 11-Most Endangered listing, 1997.
- Park Science: New Termite Baiting Techniques For The Preservation Of Cultural Resources (2002-09)(NCPTT, Updated February 2009).
- Control Of Formosan Subterranean Termite Infestations Using Baits Containing An Insect Growth Regulator (2002-21)(NCPTT, Updated February 2009).
- Elimination Of Subterranean Termite Populations From The Statue Of Liberty (1999-11)(NCPTT, Updated February 2009).
- Control Of Subterranean Termite Populations At San Cristobal And El Morro, San Juan National Historic Site (2003-01)(NCPTT, Updated February 2009).
- Formosan Subterranean Termites (LSU Ag Center). A page containing links to articles on how to identify termites, inspect for termites, prevent their spread, etc.
- Louisiana Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan (National Park Service, Heritage Preservation Services, 2001). Available only in print, this document contains a section on the threat of Formosan termites to historic wooden buildings.
- Technology For Wood Preservation in Historic Preservation (Archives and Museum Informatics, Volume 13, Numbers 3-4/September 1999. Fee for purchase.). Information on understanding and preventing the mechanisms of wood deterioration in historic buildings.