The BFI National Archives go back to the birth of film and are the most significant film and television collection in the world. Without proper storage conditions, fragile and unstable nitrate and acetate film risked being lost forever.
The entire master film collection - over 450,000 canisters - is now safely stored in the BFI Master Film Store in closely controlled environmental conditions.
The vaults keep the film at minus 5 degrees C and at 35 per cent relative humidity. The fabric and services enable this environment to be maintained in an energy efficient way.
The Master Film Store has achieved a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating both for its passive energy saving design and the ecological features that enhance its rural site.
The Store will save over £330,000 in annual energy costs and over 1,500 tonnes of carbon compared with initial options for refurbishing the BFI's existing archive buildings to the same environmental conditions; and over £78,000 and 386 tonnes of carbon compared to a 2006 Building Regulations compliant building.
Sedum and 21 species of wild flowers cover the roof, a wild flower meadow has been planted and linear swales built in the landscape provide a sustainable drainage system.
The building performs its function in an elegantly composed structure. The long elevations are articulated with large stainless steel over-pressure panels and concrete fire shrouds to the 30 cells for nitrate film. The stainless steel panels open in the unlikely event of fire to allow a clean burn. The pre-cast shrouds prevent heat spreading to adjacent cells.
RIBA Regional Building of the Year Award
AIA UK Excellence in Design Awards - Commendation
Sustain' Magazine Award for Design & Architecture
BCI Awards Building Project of the Year (£3m to £50m) - Highly Commended
Ventilation + Heat recovery
Innovative cooling system
High efficient façade
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
Green or brown roofs
No light pollution
All detailing, specification and construction methods were developed based on achieving an air permeability of 0.3m3/hr/m2 at 50Pa. The actual result is 0.28m3/hr/m2 at 50Pa.
The building incorporated a high thermal mass construction method which inherently assisted with achieving the targeted air permeability, whilst providing a very stable internal environment.
The insulation provides a ‘U’ value of 0.1W/m2k to all external walls, roof and exposed floors with the insulation layer generally either sandwiched between concrete or protected by high mass building elements.
The M&E systems were optimised to minimise energy consumption by utilising efficient processes including, variable speed demand controlled pumping to chilled water and heating systems, recirculation of corridor air to dehumidification plant to reduce conditioning energy demand from fresh air supply, and recirculation AHU’s with fans mounted out of air stream to prevent unnecessary heat gain.
42.40 KW/m² (13.441 KBtu/ft²)
Annual carbon footprint:
186.00 KgCO2m² (2002.087 KgCO2/ft²)
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British Film Institute (BFI)
Building services engineer:
Couch Perry & Wilkes LLP
Buro Four , WH Stephens
Gilbert Ash (NI)
BREEAM 2008 UK Industrial Excellent