Carrier cools important art collection at UAE
Nearly 20 years on since its opening, the Sainsbury for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia has had its air conditioning renewed using Carrier equipment.
The refurbishment and remodelling of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia makes extensive use of equipment from Carrier. Six chillers ranging in size from 33 kW Aquasnaps to 250 kW units are coupled with 45 modular air-handling units. Opened in 1978, this was Norman Foster’s first public building and has a vast multi-storey open exhibition space for the main collection. Below this, new galleries and lecture theatres have been added, and the two elements of the centre have been neatly bridged by a new gallery building and entrance areas. The buildings were designed for expansion. However, the original air-conditioning requirements envisaged far less stringent requirements for the preservation of the collection, which includes objects from the cultures of the South Pacific and famous works by Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and Giacometti. All the new equipment had to fit into spaces occupied by the previous generation of equipment. Two 30 series air-cooled chillers provide 244 kW of cooling for the new gallery extension joining the two earlier buildings. They are installed in the existing basement plant room. It could only be accessed through landscaped lawns, with equipment craned through a grille space in pieces and reassembled in the plant room. Two Aquasnap mini-chillers supply chilled water to the new Carrier Holland Heating AHUs serving the School of World Art Studies & Museology and public restaurants. These units had to be compact and slim and are only 478 cm deep. Upstairs in the main gallery, the AHUs had to be fitted inside the 3 m skin outer walling, replacing the more basic original units. Fortunately, the 39HQ units are modular. Air is delivered to the main gallery space via huge nozzles in the original Italian louver-blind system that covers the walls and ceiling.