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Applying cooling to four archive store rooms

Protecting our heritage at IWM Duxford

Proud to be responsible for the design, supply and installation of the cooling system in four insulated chambers at one of our most popular national museums.

IWM Duxford is Europe’s largest air museum and as well as showcasing the history of aviation, it conserves memorabilia including film and documents. A precision-controlled cooling system with a common plant room was required for store rooms housed within a listed building in order to preserve these valuable items in optimal condition.

Key challenges:

  • Maintaining a constant temperature with minimal heat swings to protect the film and other materials
  • Designing an emergency backup solution so materials would not need to be removed from the room if systems failed
  • Lowest possible energy consumption


  • Installed two small independent HFC systems per store allowing for one to be replaced in the event of catastrophic failure
  • 200mm insulation and extensive vapour sealing ensures the integrity of the store and minimises heat loads
  • A separate dehumidifier feeds pre-conditioned air to ensure a positive pressure
  • Each condensation unit has its own power supply and electrical isolation and all elements of the system may be isolated in the plant room distribution board

Products Supplied: TBA


Project Info

Client: Imperial War Museums (IWM)
Value: £500,000

Our further expertise

Design and Planning

Installation and
Maintenance Support

Energy Management

Project Management

Specialist Knowledge

“The working environment of CERN on occasion imposes sudden changes to the detailed planning, but Arcade dealt with these well, showing excellent flexibility… the engineers were able to use their good design skills to define the technical solution and meet CERN’s requirements.”

Michele Battistin, Section Leader in the Cooling and Ventilation Group at CERN.

“Conamar Building Services have worked with Arcade over several years on some fast paced high prestige projects mainly in the commercial building sector. Arcade are a reliable company and provide an exceptional service from design to installation

John O’Donnell, Contracts Director at Conamar Building Services Ltd.

"Airblast has worked with Arcade for over four years delivering high quality Spray Booth and Shot-blast cells with precise environmental conditioning requirements. We find Arcade to be a very reliable and trustworthy company to partner with. Arcade is able to deliver all aspects of a project from concept and design through to commissioning and maintenance"

Jonathan Cook, Managing Director at Airblast Ltd

"NCS asked Arcade-UK to become a business partner to help deliver successful, working archive and museum stores that provide genuinely protective environments for heritage collections by avoiding unnecessary and potentially damaging air conditioning and poor quality construction. Arcade's expertise in designing, modeling and constructing passive climate structures along with a deep understanding of mechanical systems makes them an ideal partner for NCS in developing modern, forward-thinking approaches to sustainable conservation storage, reducing institutions' energy and maintenance costs and contributing to a lower carbon footprint for the heritage sector."

Chris Woods, Director at National Conservation Service.

"At Wenlock Spring, we have worked with Arcade to undertake major upgrades to our bottling facility. The installation of a Biomass Boiler and ancillary services provides effective heating for our processes and Arcade's expertise on Process Engineering has allowed us to fully automate our Dosing, CIP cleaning and Tank control"

Bruce Orme, Director at Wenlock Spring.

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