The Science Museum, Wroughton. Wiltshire

Project: The Science Museum, Wroughton. Wiltshire

Lime Technology’s Hemclad® pre-fabricated wall panels are being used for the construction of a new climate-controlled storage facility at The Science Museum at Wroughton in Wiltshire – set to house archives and objects from the NMSI family of museums. NMSI comprises of the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the National Media Museum.

Housing more than 500,000 items from the fields of science, medicine, engineering, media and industry, NMSI required a new archive facility to store a wide range of sensitive items – from horse-drawn carriages to fine art drawings. The decision was taken to procure a building made from low-carbon, natural materials that required minimal energy to run and to be powered by a new on-site renewable energy scheme.

To achieve the project’s strict 16 week timeframe, thermal performance and humidity control targets, an environmentally friendly and quick build solution was required. Combining Tradical® Hemcrete® and a timber cassette, the purpose-designed pre-fabricated Hemclad® panels proved the natural choice to regulate humidity and help maintain a stable internal temperature.

Offering the cost effective and fast track credentials associated with offsite construction, Hemclad® provides high levels of insulation, thermal inertia and negative embodied carbon. Utilising the environmental credentials of Tradical® Hemcrete®, the cladding system reduces energy load and regulates the humidity within the building in line with BS 5454 – the British Standard Recommendation for Storage and Exhibition of Archive Documents.

Hemclad® can be supplied in a range of U-values from 0.10 to 0.25 W/m2K to help provide a thermally efficient building envelope. Its unique combination of thermal inertia and insulation prevents fluctuations in temperature to create a stable environment and greatly reduce energy usage.

In 2009, the museum joined the 10:10 project – a global warming mitigation campaign – in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. With the specification of Hemclad®, the Science Museum will continue to improve its environmental performance whilst also ensuring its valuable and historical archives remain in optimum condition for many years to come.

Construction began in January 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of April.