Emilio Goeldi Museum

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The storage facility for the Amazonian Ethnographic collection of the Emilio Goeldi Museum is located on a research campus outside of Belém, in the state of Pará, Brazil. The facility is at the south end of a contemporary single-story brick building designed for multiple uses of offices and storages. It is an open rectangular space—approximately 271 square meters with a 3.5-meter high ceiling—set on a concrete slab floor. The space was used for offices prior to this project. The Amazonian Ethnographic collection consists of woods, feathers, animal skins and bones, vegetal seeds and fibers, textiles, and some metals.

A new compact shelving system, funded by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, was installed once architectural modifications had been completed. Rosa Arraes, the conservator of the collection, made the layout and component selection of the shelving. The shelves have perforated side panels and drawers have open slots in order to eliminate the creation of microclimate.

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The climate control system consists of two large supply fans, four exhaust fans, six oscillating (recirculation) fans, and three dehumidifiers that are controlled by two humidistats—one inside and the other outside. The supplies, placed outside of the building, bring filtered outside air though ducts and distribute it along the center of the room near its ceiling. The exhaust air is collected near the floor along both east and west walls and ducted to the exhaust fans, also placed outside. Four portable dehumidifiers, connected to room's drains, are distributed along the walls. Presently the climate in the storage is controlled at 55–65% RH at 32–33°C, where the typical outside dew point temperature ranges between 25°C and 27°C throughout the year. The system has been operating flawlessly since its installation in October 2003 with less than one quarter the average energy use per square meter when compared with other campus buildings.

The project concept and the design, installation, and performance of the climate control system were presented at the 12th Annual Congress of the Associação Brasileira de Conservadores e Restauradores de Bens Culturais (ABRACOR) in Fortaleza, Brazil, September 2006, and the Annual Winter Meeting of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Orlando, Florida, January 2010 and published in 2010 ASHRAE Transactions.

Page updated: December 2010