AHI Carrier – Helping the Steenberg Gallery Master the Art of Internal Environmental Management

AHI Carrier - Helping the Steenberg Gallery Master the Art of Internal Environmental Management

Art is a universal expression of culture, and it’s incredibly important to preserve significant works for future generations. This means ensuring important paintings, photographs, sculptures and other artworks are housed and displayed in a way that protects them from harmful environmental elements, while still allowing people to view and appreciate them.

The Steenberg Gallery is part of the Norval Foundation – an exciting new centre specifically designed and built for the research and exhibition of 20th and 21st Century visual art – both from South Africa and internationally. At AHi Carriers, we’re extremely proud to have supplied Toshiba SMMS-e Heat Pump VRF and SHRM-e Heat Recovery VRF systems for most of the first floor of this project – including a private apartment, the library, an open plan office area with multiple meeting rooms, and the owner’s office.

These systems were seamlessly integrated into the building management system, and can now be monitored and controlled either by local wired remote controls or by the BMS operator.

Toshiba’s range of heat recovery units helps ensure that the Gallery’s ventilation systems are energy efficient, while still providing air quality inside the gallery that is ideal for the preservation of the artworks it houses.

How Do These Systems Work?

Essentially, Toshiba’s heat recovery units extract and capture most of the heat in the exhaust air. The resultant cooler air is then transferred to the incoming air supply. Thus ensures an energy efficient supply of cool, fresh air. The system can also expel air that’s too warm and bring in cooler air from outside. This clever air-exchange capability means the load on the building’s air conditioning system is greatly reduced. This makes a huge difference to overall energy consumption, which in turn helps to bring buildings in line with building regulations and environmental guidelines.

The system is so effective it was judged the industry’s top commercial HVAC product at the H&V News Awards in London in 2017. Judges described it as setting “a new industry standard for energy efficiency and continuous heating performance. It represents a leap forward for heat recovery VRF technology, and that’s why it is a worthy winner.”

The system is undoubtedly Toshiba’s latest and most advanced heat recovery VRF system yet, using ground-breaking technology when it comes to its compressors, wireless communication and controls. It offers a wide range of benefits for both end users and installers.

Why Is This Important For Artwork?

When there are frequent changes in temperature, it follows that there are also changes in humidity levels. This is not only uncomfortable for people visiting the Gallery, but it can also damage the art itself.

Organic materials, such as wood and cotton, lose moisture when the surrounding air is very dry. This means that painting canvases and frames could warp, shrink, crack or split. If the air is too moist on the other hand, these same materials will absorb moisture, meaning they could swell, warp or change shape. High humidity can also increase the growth of mould.

The Norvel Foundation, which houses the Steenberg Gallery, has been specifically designed so as to minimise its environmental impact while maximising the preservation of the art it contains. Since it opened in April, the Gallery has proven hugely popular with visitors, and Toshiba Airconditioning are proud to be associated with this amazing initiative.

Why Choose Us?

AHI Carrier is the largest Carrier Joint Venture HVAC Distribution Company outside the United States. Since our formation in 2008, we’ve established ourselves as a leader in the development and provision of efficient, comprehensive building systems solutions. Some of our more noteworthy projects include hospitals, airports, hotel and office complexes and, of course, the Steenberg Gallery.

We have an extensive dealer network through which we distribute our range of Toshiba home comfort products and light commercial and VRF systems. We’re passionate about innovation and quality, and pride ourselves on always being at the cutting edge of technology and customer requirements.

We’re thrilled with our work at the Norvel Foundation, and we look forward to partnering with you on your next project. To find out how you can benefit from our expert knowledge and a wide range of energy efficient offerings, contact us today on +27 11 878 6320, or complete this form, and we’ll contact you.


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