UCL News


Air pollution assessment tool launched

15 December 2003

UCL's Centre for Sustainable Heritage have launched an innovative web-based tool for assessing air pollution in buildings.

The application is the end result of a three-year European Commission-funded research project, led by UCL, which included partners from the university, industry and museum sectors.

The 'Innovative Modelling of Museum Pollution and Conservation Thresholds' (IMPACT) tool enables museums, galleries, archives and libraries to assess their collection's susceptibility to pollution.

The end-user simply enters relevant data - such as the size of a room, whether it is made of brick or glass or if it is carpeted or uses a hardwood floor - and then factors in the environmental conditions such as ambient temperature and humidity. Once these details have been analysed the programme calculates the extent to which artefacts are at risk from air pollution. For example, traditional building materials are more effective at combating pollution than the likes of steel and glass.

The programme is free to use and offers conservators a cost-effective and immediate way of carrying out risk assessments on their collections. Once an analysis has been given online a series of case studies can be accessed which offer a number of possible solutions and scenarios to remedy particular pollution problems.

To find out more about IMPACT or the Centre for Sustainable Heritage use the links below.

Centre for Sustainable Heritage