Enviart COST Action D42 Final Conference 2010

Well Alessandro and I have just returned from a two-day conference in Dublin outlining the research carried out as a result of the EnviArt COST Action D42. The Action took place over three years with 26 countries participating in the research. Its aim was to explore the chemical interactions between cultural artifacts and indoor environmental conditions, and to provide results that would inform preventive conservation practice.

Over the course of two days some 28 papers were presented describing the research and experiments carried out as a result of this action. One of the projects I found interesting was the design and implementation of an environmental monitoring system at the V&A called OCEAN (Object Centred Environmental Analysis Network).

One of the main aims of the system was to achieve a user-friendly interface that would give a customized view of the conditions. Rather than producing a huge amount of numbers the system takes a graphical approach by showing the user an AutoCAD drawing of the space including the sensor locations. The drawing color-codes the sensors using a red/yellow/green system where red represents an alarm condition, yellow a historic alarm condition as yet not handled and green as no problem. Given the enormous amount of space the V&A covers this system allows the user a quick overview of the conditions, but also enables the user to investigate conditions further through generation of reports if required. I was very impressed with the system presentation and see it as a valuable tool for monitoring conditions in large spaces.

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