Priva helps protect Scottish screen heritage

Scottish history recorded by Thames & Clyde Films is among material that Priva control equipment is helping to preserve in the Scottish Screen Archive in Glasgow.
A building-management system designed and installed by Campbell Control Services using equipment from Priva Building Intelligence is providing precise control of temperature and humidity to help protect 100 years of screen history at the Scottish Screen Archive in Glasgow. This archive includes over 32 000 items of documentary, newsreel and short films, together with education, advertising, promotional material and amateur footage. To ensure its longevity, this material is stored in three environmentally controlled vaults — one for colour film, one for magnetic tape and a freezer. The vaults are controlled to ±0.5 K and ±0.5% RH — an exacting task, as Alan Russell, preservation officer for Scottish Screen Archives, explains. ‘I have worked for the archives for over 20 years, and during that time I have discovered that providing the exact conditions required for the archive storage of film and video is very difficult to achieve. The conditions we asked for are set by The International Federation of Film Archives. Archives around the world have found the close tolerance required very difficult to maintain.’ Campbell Control Services recommended a Priva Compri HX8E for direct connection to the TCP/IP network. The HX8E has a built-in web server and can be controlled and monitored using a web browser. The archive monitors dry- and wet-bulb temperatures, dew point, relative humidity, absolute humidity and enthalpy — allowing staff to accurately confirm that environmental conditions are being maintained. To assist maintenance staff, Campbell Control Services installed a touchscreen that gives access to all measurements, 24-hour graphs and override facilities on all items of plant via a simple to use, password protected, interface, without requiring access to a PC. As the building is unmanned Campbell Control Services has programmed two levels of alarm: pre-alarm and critical. At the pre-alarm stage, the BMS contacts site staff using SMS text messaging and email. The second stage of protection (critical) isolates the faulty plant to prevent damage to the archives until staff can rectify the situation. The BMS can be remotely monitored via a modem or over the intranet/internet, allowing both a mobile service engineer with a laptop and mobile phone or the Archive’s staff instant access to the system and conditions within the vaults.
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