VATICAN CITY — Carrier and the Governate of the Vatican City State have announced the start of the installation of a new HVAC system for the Sistine Chapel, specially designed to address the challenges of protecting Michelangelo’s masterpieces against deterioration. Carrier’s system, developed by the company’s AdvanTE3C engineers and backed by its research and development resources, is expected to be installed and commissioned by the third quarter of 2014.

The new system, which replaces a Carrier system installed in the early 1990s, is designed to deliver high performance with twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the previous system. The company said the custom-engineered solution uses first-of-its-kind energy-saving technologies, as well as advanced approaches to minimize noise and limit air motion around the frescoes. In order to ensure highly controlled temperature and humidity levels, optimal airflow management, and reliability, the design team completed extensive modeling using a specially developed application. Once installed, the system is designed to be virtually unnoticeable to visitors.

In addition, the Governate of the Vatican City State and Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies Corp. (UTC), have entered into an agreement to ensure the protection and safety of the Vatican Museums’ artwork, spaces, and visitors through the deployment of building technologies from UTC companies. According to the terms of the agreement, the parties will work together on integrated solutions spanning HVAC, elevators and escalators, fire detection and alarm, fire suppression and safety, electronic security, access control, video surveillance services, and related software solutions, from brands such as Carrier, Otis, Lenel, Kidde, Chubb, and Marioff.

Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, said, “We are confident that Carrier’s HVAC system will enable us to realize our goal of ensuring the preservation of Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel while allowing visitors to continue to behold the frescoes for years to come.”

Rev. Rafael Garcia de la Serrana Villalobos, director of the Vatican Technical Services, said, ‘The Carrier solution is the right response to our urgent need to establish a highly controlled microclimate as well as an effective reduction of pollutants. Our fruitful collaboration with Carrier has brought us to request a larger technical agreement with UTC and its other building solution brands.”

Geraud Darnis, president and CEO of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, said, “This exceptional project, integrating systems and resources from across our lines of business, demonstrates not only UTC’s commitment to preserving the world’s cultural heritage, but also our ability to provide world-class levels of engineering and design expertise. These same values and capabilities provide the foundation for our new technology and innovation relationship with the Vatican Museums.”

Work will begin immediately with disassembly of the existing system; in the interim, a temporary system will provide cooling to the chapel throughout the summer.

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Publication date: 6/23/2014

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