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To plan the long term conservation of your collections, you need to understand their nature (format, materials, scope) and the nature of the building in which they are or are to be housed. NCS has nationally recognised expertise in developing specifications for the environmental protection of a range of heritage collections (Director Chris Woods led the recent reviews of BS 4971:2017 and BS PD5454 and led the creation of the new European standard EN 16893:2018 that replaces 5454) and we have a successful track record of overseeing major improvement projects for storage facilities. We can reduce your reliance on energy-hungry air conditioning while still meeting environmental standards, even in listed historic buildings.

We can inspect and monitor your current premises, do compliance assessments against the standards, carry out site risk assessments for proposed new or refurbished locations, and develop specifications for you as custodian to advise and direct architects, engineers and others in planning change.

To establish which environmental standards to meet in storing and using your collections, we can carry out or train your staff to do a collection survey, identifying the range of materials, their relative vulnerability and environmental needs. We will take in such issues as energy use policy (as advised by EN 16893:2018) and the frequency of use and potential for surrogacy through digitisation, and advise on cold storage for special material such as plastics and magnetic media.

To find out how we can help you with your building and collection needs contact NCS, or to receive these services as part of an annual support plan, join the National Conservation Service.