Temperature and humidity controls ensure that stored materials are protected for future generations. For the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, it has become more difficult over the years, especially since the building was built in 1960, which means maintenance is much more difficult. Polygon was tasked with controlling the internal temperature levels without compromising the building structure.
One of the largest buildings in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, the library has room in the central tower for 180,000 volumes and in the underground book stacks for more than a million volumes. The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library contains the principal rare books and literary manuscripts of Yale University and serves as a center for research by students, faculty, and other scholars, whether affiliated with Yale or not.
The Polygon team faced the challenge of designing and installing a system that would maintain temperature at 72 degrees and humidity at 50% RH with less than a 5% tolerance. The system had to maintain these conditions in all seasons and replace the permanent system while it was being rebuilt. All equipment was to be placed on the plaza outside avoiding any damage to the granite panels.
Combinations of chilled water air handlers, desiccant dehumidifiers, heating, and humidification equipment were set up to react to any expected environment. Our ExactAire control unit and remote monitor orchestrated a combination of different technologies. Conditions have been consistently maintained with only brief instances where the 5% tolerance has been breached all while complete renovation of the interior spaces was accomplished.