Even if a building is secure and well constructed, the internal environment must be right for the objects stored inside or there is risk of damage from damp, mould, pests or dryness and excessive heat.
The floor inside each shelter is un-insulated concrete which, together with the walls, provides massive thermal stability across the year with the additional conversion measures specified by NCS. These include a hygroscopic paint on the steel lining inside, an acrylic seal on the floor slab and additional sealing around the 14 ton doors. Back-up cooling, heating and humidity control equipment is installed in those shelters for which the environmental specification would require additional control at demanding times of the year.
The environment for archives, books and other relevant organic material objects needs to meet the humidity and temperature specifications in BS 4971:2017 (supercedes PD5454:2012) all year round and must be free of pests that might cause damage to the collections. NCS has specified the appropriate environments in different shelters depending on their contents, and NCS staff monitor these to ensure compliance.
Shelters 1 and 3, NCS's fully fitted stores inside the QRA enclosure, have been designed to meet PD5454 and now BS 4971:2017 climate c.13° C to 23° C and 35% to 60% RH - providing an annual average of less than 18°C. Environmental monitoring records are published for all NCS members to view, in the Members' Area of this website, along with pest monitoring reports and data.
We are committed to minimising the carbon footprint at the site and to the use of non-renewable energy. The NCS shelters at Heyford can maintain internal conditions with the lowest possible input of energy, making them green solutions for long term care of heritage.
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