Ultra Radio data loggers monitor on two floors, with data accessed from a central office, to help manage the environment to aid the conservation of historic items.
The Weald & Downland Living Museum near Chichester, West
Sussex is home to 50 rescued traditional rural buildings set in a
beautiful landscape, and tells the stories of the people who lived
and worked in them over a 950 year period. The Museum holds a
comprehensive range of artefacts - estimated at some 15,000 pieces
- which cover a diverse range of subject matter, including building
parts and trades tools; agriculture and land management; transport
and vehicles and many other rural trades and crafts.
The artefact collection is housed in the lower level of the
award-winning Downland Gridshell building, the first timber
gridshell to be constructed in the UK. The collection is located in
one end of the lower level, while the other end is home to offices
and an archive store. The upper level is used as a conservation
workshop, training and exhibition space.
The collections area has a limited through flow of air, and this
coupled with the building's wooden structure, means that humidity
levels can lead to problems including mould growth. In the winter
the under floor heating can reduce the impact, but in the summer it
can become an issue. Curator Julian Bell needed accurate
information about the environmental conditions throughout the
building in order to take informed steps to protect the items in
storage and on display. Temperature and relative humidity
monitoring was needed on both levels of the Gridshell including in
the small archive store within the office area.
Due to the building's size, and the fact there is no internal
access from one floor to the other - a radio
data logging system which collects data automatically and
presents it at a central location was an ideal solution. Two
data loggers are located on the upper level, two in the lower
level collections area, and one in the archive store. The receiver
is located in the office near the PC running the Tinytag Explorer
Julian comments, "The museum previously purchased other
commercially available data loggers and found the peculiar nature
of our museum store, exhibition space and data system meant they
just wouldn't work. The Tinytag temperature/humidity
loggers now installed throughout the building all work very
successfully, with no fuss and produce clear, easy to read
Cathy Clark from Gemini Data Loggers points out that the Radio
System is an effective solution for a building of this type. "The
layout makes manually downloading individual data loggers time
consuming and inconvenient - with data sent via wireless
communications for direct viewing by the curatorial team,
conditions can be monitored easily and constantly, and appropriate
action taken promptly if required."
The image shows an Ultra Radio data logger positioned on one
of the timber laths of the Gridshell structure, upper level.
Further photographs can be found in the pdf link.