The upcoming papal visit to the Philippines has generated renewed interest in the Vatican City—including its precious works of art. The walled city within the enclave of Rome receives up to 20,000 visitors a day. These huge crowds bring in a mix of dust, body sweat, and carbon dioxide, which end up on the surface of the paintings and can harm them over time.
Earlier this year, the Vatican partnered with Carrier Corporation to install top-end HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) units in the Sistine Chapel in an effort to properly preserve Michelangelo’s frescoes.
According to Concepcion Building & Industrial Solutions, proper ventilation and heating plays a critical role in preserving works of art.
“In light of the oncoming papal visit, our brand is proud to have played a role in helping protect the Vatican’s art pieces,” said Rajan Komarasu, Group Director of Concepcion Building & Industrial Solutions.
Jointly developed by museum experts and the Carrier Air Conditioning Company, the Vatican’s new air-conditioning system regulates humidity and temperature to help preserve some of the most famous art pieces in history.
High-tech cooling for the Sistine Chapel
Carrier installed and designed the Sistine Chapel’s first air-conditioning units in 1993. At the time, the HVAC system was engineered to accommodate a maximum load of 700 visitors.
Over the last two decades, however, the foot traffic in the renowned chapel has significantly increased. In fact, visits are estimated to have grown by over 300 percent from the 1980s.
To address these changes, Carrier has installed a new system using two AquaForce 30XWV water-cooled chillers–an enhanced HVAC system that enables optimum temperature control which prevents climate fluctuations in the process. It also comes with air-filtration technologies that prevent the proliferation of airborne contaminants.
“Foot traffic is a major consideration for buildings in general when installing a HVAC system,” said Komarasu. “Cooling solutions need to be able to manage temperature and energy consumption in wide variances of traffic.”
In the Philippines, Carrier commercial air-conditioning is part of Concepcion Building & Industrial Solutions, which provides local companies and establishments with an end-to-end integrated business solutions portfolio, ranging from HVAC to escalators and elevators.
The outfit, which was established earlier this year, anchors its product values on energy efficiency, reliability, and operational stability.