The Realistic Preservation Environment, Ernest A Conrad, PE, March 1999
Source: NAtional Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
There is a popular misconception that a realistic environmental criteria to preserve artifacts is that which is a compromise between opposed needs of the building, the occupant, and the collection at a cost which an institution is willing to pay. This philosophy completely misses the mark. Too much of our history has been lost using this rationale.
A realistic environment is not a compromise where two extremes are averaged into one, such that neither is appropriate. But rather, it is a balance in which the different needs can all be satisfied through a realistic analysis of factual data followed by cost conscious design choices to achieve that end, both in first cost and operating cost.