Sustainable Collections Management by Kostas Ntanos


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Kostas Ntanos used the outcomes of research carried out at The National Archives to explore key challenges and opportunities in developing more environmentally sustainable approaches to Collections Management

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  • Good afternoon, Thank you for coming. I hope it proves worth rushing your lunch. My name is Kostas Ntanos, I’m the Head of Conservation Research and Development and I work in the Collection Care Department, here at The National Archives. About 2 years ago we initiated a research project we called ‘Building Environment Simulation’ in order to provide the evidence to support decisions in relation to the future of this site and the sustainability of the collection of The National Archives, which is… well, what makes this organisation what it is. The outcomes of the project were very interesting and encouraging and we will discuss them a bit later, but first I’ll attempt to give you a brief description of a highly technical and complex research project, so I will keep it as simple as possible and if anyone would like to go into more details, they can always talk to me afterwards. So what we decided to do – and I will stress again that this was a research project, so nobody knew if this would work and to what extend – was to explore the potential of computer modelling to inform decision-making in the context of collection management. To cut to the chase, the problem we wanted to investigate was: CLICK
  • I will give you a few figures and facts about our repositories, so that you get an appreciation of the complexity of the question we set out to answer. This is The National Archives, CLICK with the older part of the building on the left, known as Q1 and built in 1978 and the new part of the building on the right, known as Q2, built in 1996. The Building Environment Simulation Project focused only on Q1 CLICK, because: a) It contains 3 of our biggest repositories b) Its air conditioning system is over 30 years old, which makes it less reliable. Let me show you CLICK
  • The aim of the project was to create a computer simulation model in order to examine different options in maintaining a sustainable and appropriate preservation environment for the records, whist at the same time achieving reduction in energy consumption Built resilience for the future And ultimately inform ongoing capital investment on the estate. Here is where we called in the expertise of our colleagues at the Centre for Sustainable Heritage at UCL, who have considerable experience in computer simulation of building environments, but never before in that scale or in the context of an archival storage unit And you’ll see in a minute why this is a crucial aspect of the specific model. CLICK
  • The modelling software that was used is called EnergyPlus, which is free to download on the internet. It’s a very sophisticated and complex model that can simulate relative humidity and temperature inside a given space, by taking into account all the different variables that contribute to and influence the indoor environment. Very important in our case is that it can also simulate the energy requirement for a given environment when that is achieved through mechanical means, that is by an air-conditioning system. It doesn’t have a pretty interface and it’s not very user friendly for someone without a lot of technical knowledge. In effect, the model is a series of algorithms running simultaneously to cross-calculate and combine all the different parameters before spitting out a lots and lots of relative humidity and temperature data. Let me show you what I mean. CLICK Building envelope CLICK Outdoor environment CLICK Air-conditioning CLICK People CLICK Lights (internal load) CLICK And now it becomes interesting that in our case we also have all this enormous mass of hygroscopic material, that is the paper and parchment, maps and photographs and so on. Hygroscopic materials like paper will absorb moisture from the air when the air is humid and give off moisture into the surrounding air, if it’s dry. This perhaps would be negligible in some other context when a model like this would be used, but because we have so much of paper, it really has the capacity to alter the environment indoors, by acting as a buffer against changes in environmental conditions cause by other factors. UCL has developed an additional module that calculates and simulates this moisture and heat transfer between paper and its surrounding environment, which has been added to EnergyPlus. So the model is capable of taking into account the heat and moisture transfer from the content of the repositories CLICK The influence of the outdoor environment CLICK And the operation of the air-conditioning system CLICK And of course as I said the building envelope, the people element and the internal load in order to simulate the conditions inside the space. CLICK CLICK
  • Sustainable Collections Management by Kostas Ntanos

    1. 2. Kostas Ntanos Head of Conservation Research and Development The National Archives Sustainable Collections Management
    2. 3. Key Challenges Evidence Sustainability targets Expectations
    3. 4. The National Archives
    4. 5. Evidence - Monitoring Q1 second floor Q1 third floor Q1 fourth floor 128 RH/T Hanwell radiotelemetry monitoring sensors, logging every 15 min. Mapping Max %ΔRH
    5. 6. Evidence - Investigating 21 days 31 days Sensor on top of paper pile Sensor in the centre of paper pile
    6. 7. January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 Evidence - Interpreting Permanence 3 rd floor repository – Q1
    7. 8. <ul><li>Energy is a building energy simulation program for modelling building heating, cooling, lighting, ventilating and other energy flows. Developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and trademark of the US Department of Energy. </li></ul>Outdoor environment Air/Con HAMT Relative humidity Temperature Evidence - Modeling Building envelope Centre for Sustainable Heritage The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies University College London
    8. 9. Evidence - Modeling Centre for Sustainable Heritage The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies University College London
    9. 10. Sustainability Targets TNA Carbon Management Plan commitment: 25% reduction in carbon from energy use, waste, water and business travel by April 2015 (baseline 2009-10). Proposed pan-government target: 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in buildings and business travel by April 2015 (baseline 2009-10).
    10. 11. Expectations What do we value? How long is long? 5 years? 100 years? Forever? 5% loss 10% loss 20% loss 40% loss
    11. 12. Key Opportunities Standards and Guidelines Conservation Research Transform thinking and practice
    12. 13. CEN/TC 346 (Standard under development, estimated publication date is 2013/14) PD 5454 Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials PD5454:2010 by merging BS5454:2000 and PD0024 40%-60% RH, less than 10%/24h 16-25ºC 40%-60% RH 16-25ºC 45%-60% RH ±5% 16-19ºC ±1ºC Standards and Guidelines
    13. 14. Conservation Science Research Momentum started by the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme Conservation Research in progress National Conservation Research Strategy
    14. 15. Transform thinking and practice Shape policy National Heritage Science Forum Behaviour change
    15. 16. Next steps - Implementation Seasonally adjusted set points and tolerances.