VATICAN CITY, Rome — The Governate of the Vatican City State and Carrier announced the start of the installation of a landmark heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system for the Sistine Chapel, specially designed to address the challenges of protecting Michelangelo’s masterpieces against deterioration. Carrier’s groundbreaking system, developed by the company’s global team of AdvanTE3C engineers and backed by its research and development resources, is expected to be installed and commissioned by the third quarter of 2014. Carrier is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
The new system, which replaces a Carrier system installed in the early 1990s, is designed to deliver exceptional performance with twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the previous system. The custom-engineered solution uses first-of-its-kind energy-saving technologies, as well as industry-leading approaches to minimize noise and limit air motion around the frescoes. In order to ensure outstanding reliability, highly controlled temperature and humidity levels and optimal airflow management, 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 United Technologies Corp. 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 stated, “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.”
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.