Priceless Collection of Books and Manuscripts at New World-Class Library at Lambeth Palace to be Carrier Protected
Precious books and manuscripts dating back nearly 1,000 years will be protected in controlled environmental conditions courtesy of high efficiency Carrier AquaSnap® chillers and heat pumps in a new world-class library at Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies.
The new building, currently under construction within the grounds of Lambeth Palace on the South Bank of the River Thames, will house the priceless collection comprising over 4,600 manuscripts and 200,000 printed books stretching back to the 9th Century. They document over 1,000 years of ecclesiastical and cultural life of the Church of England and Great Britain, including the Gutenberg Bible with English illumination, which is believed to be the first printed book to arrive to England, as well as Elizabeth I’s own prayer book.
The current storage conditions for the archive are considered less than ideal, and the new purpose-built library has been designed to the highest architectural and environmental standards to ensure the fragile collection is conserved for future generations.
The building and its services are designed to protect the archives from changes in humidity, temperature, air pollution and flood risk. The design for the environmental control solution, produced by engineering firm Max Fordham, had to address the needs of two principal zones within the building – archive storage facilities and areas occupied by people on a daily basis.
Conditions for archive storage areas follow the recommendations of PD 5454, Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Materials, which requires a temperature of 8 degrees C during winter and 18 degrees in summer, with a Relative Humidity (RH) of 45%. These conditions will be maintained as far as possible using a passive approach, with high levels of insulation and thermal inertia provided by the building fabric. Conditions will be constantly monitored and if they begin to drift outside pre-set limits, the HVAC equipment will be used to maintain temperatures and humidity levels.
Occupied areas including offices, seminar and reading rooms, a conservation suite and exhibition areas, are served by fan coil units with fresh air ducted into the spaces with humidity control. This solution maintains a high quality environment 24/7 for visitors and staff.
The highly efficient heating and cooling solution, specified by Max Fordham and installed by East West Connect, includes four Carrier chillers, two of which are cooling-only units and the others heat pump-based chillers. Equipment is sited in two plant rooms located on the ground and first floor. The heat pumps provide heating by default, but can also be operated in reverse cycle mode to augment cooling when summer conditions require additional capacity.
“It is a highly efficient solution, and instead of requiring six chillers with four on cooling duties and two on heating, the heat pumps enable just four chillers to cover all requirements,” said Max Fordham’s Lidia Guerra, who led the environmental control design team. “The Carrier plant provides this through intelligent communication between the cooling and heating sides of the system. If the cooling system is unable to deliver the required capacity – due to either extreme weather conditions or in the unlikely event of mechanical breakdown – the heat pump units can be operated in reverse to provide additional cooling to bridge the gap.”
“Given the sensitivity of the application, resilience was also a key requirement,” said sales engineer Danny Lear, who led the project for Carrier. “The Carrier AquaSnap® 30RBSY060 cooling-only chiller and 30RQSY060 air-to-water heat pump are proven designs with an impeccable track record. Noise was also important in order to maintain a quiet and reverential environment within the building where scholars may often be at work. The high performance Carrier units deliver on both counts.”
The Church Commissioners for England commissioned architect Wright & Wright to design the new library, with main contractor Knight Harwood. The Library at Lambeth Palace is due to be completed in Spring 2020.