Damage Prevented To
Natural History Museum

Sylomer prevents damage to Natural history from construction vibration at Auckland Museum

Tāmaki Paenga Hira – Auckland War Memorial Museum completed heritage restoration work to the iconic Domain building recently with further work for new cultural galleries to be launched in 2019.

The resident scientists quickly began to notice the storage cabinets containing delicate insects were vibrating under the movement of the concrete core drilling due to the addition of services such as water, power and data. Urgent protection measures were required to protect the fragile collections against damage and minimise effect from vibration during construction work.

The impact to nearby storage areas were critical – and construction work ceased until a solution could be identified and installed. With the importance of the artefacts in this facility, if left unaddressed these delicate collections would be exposed to reverberation and vibration impact – with a large collection potentially 4.5 million treasures would be compromised for future generations.

The services manager of the Auckland War Memorial Museum made initial contact with Potter Interior Systems to address transmission of vibration, as a quick and simple solution was needed. High performance isolation acoustic material on the floor and between surfaces was needed to reduce vibration for each fragile, irreplaceable piece. Potter Interior Systems along with Pyrotek immediately responded to the call and attended the site in order to identify the issues and offer a solution.

To solve the issue, Sylomer was supplied in a large roll for install in pieces below the storage cabinetry and underneath individual artefacts. Pads were made to bespoke sizes for each cabinet; then gently lifted and lowered on to the pads to provide isolation between the hard concrete floor and the rigid wooden sample cabinets. Sylomer is a lightweight, mixed cellular polyurethane foam and has excellent vibration absorption with the ability to effectively isolate vibration energy, preventing it from transferring through. Working together with museum staff the final design included the installation of the absorbing panels to address reverberation in the space.

Including Sylomer SR-55, reduced transfer of vibration. The staff were very pleased, mentioning they “could no longer see the glass on the cabinets vibrating during construction.” After an extensive study, no damage could be found to the displays ensuring these rare subjects were safe.

© Potter Interior Systems 2024

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