Gilberts brings museum back to life with recent refurbishment

  • 14 Aug 2017

Gilberts recently helped the Natural History Museum to replace its famous ‘Dippy’ the diplodocus exhibit with a real-life skeleton of a blue whale.

The refurbishment of the Hintze Hall involved the space being redesigned to incorporate additional galleries at ground, first and second floor levels. The original ventilation openings needed restoring and new building services had to be integrated alongside to deliver a balanced internal temperature.

Hintze Hall 2017Consulting engineers, SVM specified Gilberts to manufacture and supply 24no of a bespoke version of its Mistrale Model A natural ventilation units, with a further 24no standard WHF50 high performance louvres to provide the required levels of fresh air intake and exhaust.

Gilberts’ WHF50 cassette and VN75 ultra low leakage air volume control damper were used to fit within existing window apertures and frames, and bolt together into specially-designed subframes.

The bespoke units also provide a flow of fresh air into Hintze Hall, without allowing any natural light to permeate through, whilst looking aesthetically pleasing; Gilberts thus devised a bespoke combination of internal K40 fixed bar grilles and non vision cores mounted on the rear of the units.

The original glass of the atrium window frames was replaced with Gilberts’ WHF50 louvres to provide high level exhaust of the ‘used’ internal air.

SVM Director Paul Rushmer explained, “Conditions in Hintze Hall are crucial to the exhibits, and of course important to the visitors. We had to find a non-invasive solution for the historic space, which stabilised the temperature and humidity. The original building drawings used passive solutions.”

Gilberts’ core Mistrale 50 Model A cassette is deliberately lightweight and slimline to allow it to be beaded discreetly into windows and walls. The insulated motorised volume control damper offers automatic, accurate and stable airflow, with one of the lowest air leakage rates (<5m3/hr/m2) and U values (<1W/m2/K) on the market.

The patented design of the WHF50 louvres offer a simple single bank louvre assembly with 99% weather protection. The blade delivers a good free area ratio with minimal pressure resistance. 

Gilberts has the ability, in-house, to design, manufacture, and test bespoke solutions to meet specific project requirements. It also has one of the most technically-advanced in-house test centres in the country at its 90,000sq ft Blackpool headquarters.


Gilberts of Blackpool,
Gilair Works,
Clifton Road,
FY4 40T

Phone: 01253 766911
Fax: 01253 767941

Visit Gilberts of Blackpool's website

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