Carrier brings air conditioning to Vatican Raphael Rooms for first time

An innovative air conditioning solution from Carrier is helping to ensure optimal ventilation and comfort in the historic Raphael Rooms. During a typical summer, the temperature in Rome can soar as high as 104°F/40°C, making the decision to install air conditioning in the Raphael Rooms for the first time ever an easy one. To meet the unique needs of the historic space, Carrier engineers developed and installed a custom solution utilizing a new system design that delivers heating and cooling in one-quarter of the traditional footprint, all without altering the existing historic infrastructure.

Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable and intelligent building and cold chain solutions.

“The Vatican Museums have the mission to ensure the protection and safety of the artwork, spaces and visitors. Carrier was extraordinary because, like its prior work at the Sistine Chapel, the team knew how to work with our technical divisions and how to update these rooms that were not conceived as a museum,” Barbara Jatta, director, Vatican Museums, said. “The result not only helps us in our preservation mission for the future generations but also helps in the enjoyment of this heritage frequented daily by numerous visitors, more than 6 million every year.”

The right solution for the space had to be installed without impacting any of the historic elements within the rooms but would still function to deliver proper ventilation and maintain comfortable temperatures. The Vatican Museums again turned to Carrier, who in 2014 installed an innovative HVAC system at the Sistine Chapel. Carrier engineers specifically designed small, yet high-capacity, fan coils to circulate the air, which were installed underneath the windows in the Raphael Rooms, remaining invisible to visitors. Energy-efficient Carrier AquaSnap 30RQV chillers were also installed in a location unnoticeable to visitors, and an iVu building automation system is now in place to help optimize the HVAC systems to deliver a healthier, safer, and more efficient indoor environment for visitors.

“The space available for equipment inside the Raphael Rooms was very reduced. We had to design a small 2.5 kW fan coil but with 10 kW of capacity, a powerful piece of equipment,” Michel Grabon, director, Carrier AdvanTEC/Building Solutions Group Europe, said. “This solution is unique because this type of product did not exist. We had to imagine and develop a product that would fit this function in a reduced space.”

Adorned with frescoes painted between 1508 and 1524 by Renaissance artist Raphael, the Raphael Rooms are universally known as one of the greatest works of art ever created and a video highlighting the project can be found here.

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