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Active Preservation Site, Church of Latter-Day Saints
Kansas City, MO
Church of Latter Day Saints, Data Center, HED
Keeping history alive.
Building a home for the world's largest genealogy archive.
Preservation. Forever.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints maintains the largest archive of genealogical data in the world. The Salt Lake City-based organization chose HED to design its new digital data preservation facility with the mission of creating a building in which the stored genealogical data could withstand a nuclear winter. The completed design is for a highly secure site, holding electronic images and genealogical histories in redundant digital storage devices backed up by systems both passive and active.

To ensure preservation, the digital media cannot be exposed to extreme temperature or humidity. With this in mind, as well as the unique societal value of the information, HED developed strategies to maintain proscribed environmental conditions even without the power to run HVAC or electrical systems. By placing the archives underground, the earth’s moderating temperature is leveraged to maintain 45 °F and, by harvesting the sun through a photovoltaic array, dehumidifiers are powered. These systems keep the materials stored in a safe atmosphere to prevent degradation of the media if the grid and generator power is unavailable for a prolonged period.
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The site plan located the building on the rise of a hill, which allowed the building to sink into the ground. The building location was cleared out of existing woods, which were pushed back to enable clear sight lines to secure fencing 150 feet from the building.
The two-story, 62,000 SF building houses a 5,000 SF data hall and two 8,000 SF redundant data preservation libraries.
Onsite generation from PV cells reduced energy costs and aided in the preservation process.
IT Capacity: 1.60 MW
The preservation site can continue its work archiving the largest collection of genealogical data in the world, with a sense of both physical and operational security.
Project Data
Active Preservation Site IDG-0961002
Church of Latter-Day Saints
Kansas City, MO
PROJECT SCOPE
Study, New Construction
HED ROLE
Full Service A/E
RSF/GSF
62,000
CONSTRUCTION COST
WND
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
HED Standard
YEAR COMPLETED
2011
Project Team
  • Stephen McNeice
    PE
    Principal
    Project Management Leader
    PROJECT MANAGER
  • Robert Stein
    AIA, LEED AP
    Principal
    Architecture + Design
    PRINCIPAL
  • Peter Norris
    AIA, LEED AP
    Associate Principal
    Architecture + Design Leader

  • Thomas Macleod
    AIA
    Associate
    Architecture + Design

  • Robert Buchetto
    Associate AIA
    Associate
    Architecture + Design

  • Martin Herbert
    PE, LEED AP BD+C
    Associate Principal
    Mechanical Engineering Leader

  • Eric Speenburgh
    PE
    Associate Principal
    Electrical Engineering Leader

  • John (Jack) McCarthy
    PE, DCEP
    Principal
    Sector Leader

Building a home for the world's largest genealogy archive.
Active Preservation Site, Church of Latter-Day Saints
Kansas City, MO
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Keeping history alive.