Case study – Museum: Musée des Confluences

Located at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers, the Musée des Confluences tells the story of humans and living things. It is housed in a modern building inaugurated in December 2014. The building unveils its assets over a surface area of 22,000m2, of which 5,000m2 is dedicated to exhibitions. In a place of this size, good air quality is required, not only for visitors but also for employees and for the preservation of works of art.

Boris Apkarian, SPIE team leader for the maintenance of the Musée des Confluences, describes his role within the site: “We have a HVAC contract with the Musée des Confluences, which means that we take care of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing and fire safety system parts. To sum up, all the maintenance of the building is in our hands. The team’s role is also to manage humidity and ensure that humidity in the air is balanced, which also involves filtration and air treatment.”

photo musée des Confluences

Quentin Lafont – musée des Confluences

Indoor air quality for visitors, employees and works of art

Boris Apkarian, team leader for the maintenance of the Musée des Confluences, gives a full explanation of his objective for the site: “Managing air quality and ensuring a healthy environment for employees, visitors and works of art are our main objectives on site. With an annual influx of nearly 1 million admissions, the Musée des Confluences has large air treatment facilities. Indeed, there are about thirty air handling units (AHUs) on the site to provide a healthy indoor environment.”

Did you know?

The air around us is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% miscellaneous gases. This 1% is composed of carbon dioxide, particulate matter, salts and gases from cars and industry.

Pierre Henry Martin, AFPRO Filters Sales Manager in the South East region, adds: “Although 1% seems very low, this small concentration of gas is no less dangerous for the works. Indeed, the gases have corrosive effects on the works and cause their premature ageing as well as their yellowing and tarnishing.”

Strict constraints for air treatment

Concerning the maintenance of the site’s molecular filtration, Mr. Apkarian mentioned a restrictive environment: “The main site constraint concerns humidity, in fact we have an obligation to maintain the temperature of the exhibitions rooms at a certain threshold. The temperature must not fall below 20 degrees nor exceed 24 degrees. We must achieve the right air flows so as not to humidify the rooms and jeopardise the storage, conservation and display conditions of the works of art. Under these conditions, air treatment is an issue because activated carbon must work in different environments.”

An inappropriate environment can cause severe damage to art works and objects stored in the museum. Mr. Apkarian made mention of the conditions for conserving the works: “To ensure proper conservation of the works, several parameters must be taken into account: temperature, humidity, lighting, and pollution. It is necessary to balance the temperature and humidity level of the building, which is possible thanks to filtration. The works are not our only concern, the human presence within the building requires air that is perfectly breathable.”

Air Filtration: A solution against air pollution

Poor air quality and poor regulation cause damage to the quality of the works. A site such as the Musée des Confluences requires constant monitoring. A poorly monitored filter, a decrease in air flow, a large influx of people and extreme conditions can affect the quality of the air. Outside air contaminating inside air, the filtration of the air and its treatment, make it possible to avoid any risk of damage to the works. Pierre Henry Martin, AFPRO Filters Sales Manager in the South East, stresses the importance of healthy indoor air: “With SPIE, at the Musée des Confluences, our common objective is to ensure everyone’s comfort and provide high-quality air. Air filtration also helps to fight against indoor air pollution and to avoid all types of damage. Filtration takes place at different levels, first by means of ISO Coarse pre-filters that remove the largest particles present in the air, then by means of ePM1 filters, the glass fibre composition of which allows greater efficiency against fine particles.”

A collaboration based on exchange

Boris Apkarian discusses his relationship with AFPRO Filters : “The site opened in 2014, and we started working with AFPRO Filters from the very beginning of the museum’s life. In parallel, we are working with the Fine Arts Museum, which also uses the AFPRO Filters brand for air filtration. Between external pollution, museum attendance, maintenance of AHUs, as well as pressure drops and clogging rate, the filters require recurring changes. I have regularly exchanges with Pierre Henry, in order to optimise the air treatment installations.”

Découvrez notre étude de cas sur le musée des Confluences à Lyon

Quentin Lafont – musée des Confluences

Do you know about the filtration simulator?

To go further, AFPRO Filters has developed an intelligent and innovative tool that allows you to calculate how much you can save with AFPRO Filters filtration devices. The filtration simulator allows you to evaluate the overall cost of filtration (purchase, maintenance, energy cost). The filtration simulator determines the areas of improvement on your filtration lines in terms of indoor air quality and energy consumption.

Filtration has a fundamental role in a museum. With regard to the Musée des Confluences, Mr. Apkarian said: “Filter replacementdepends on the  AHUs, some of which can allow higher air pressure and flow than others. For example, compact AHUs have a smaller capacity. Some AHUs work on an ad hoc basis, others are new and operate all the time. Filters in air treatment units dedicated to exhibitions rooms are changed between 3 and 4 times a year, and the F7 filters are changed once a year. We had to find a way to optimise orders. Along with Mr. Martin, we set up a clogging table so as we know the supply frequencies and the quantity of filters to order, and we can determine a maximum pressure so as not to push the filters too hard and damage air flow.”

Did you know?

AFPRO Filters offers energy audits that aim to identify areas for improvement in terms of energy costs, maintenance and return on investment and to implement progress plans. Please do not hesitate to contact our regional sales manager to carry out an audit of your plants or send an email to: [email protected]

Closing words

Boris Apkarian, who is satisfied with his collaboration with AFPRO Filters, asserted: “I arrived in the building in 2014. Right from the start, we have trusted AFPRO Filters, we are working together on other sites and I am very satisfied with this. On a daily basis, logistics remains a major challenge for the smooth running of operations. AFPRO Filters is reliable and very responsive, which means we have reliable and easy product receipts. I like it when situations are resolved quickly and AFPRO Filters has been able to respond to my requests efficiently and quickly. This is a partner you can count on.”