Helping to protect historic artefacts and valuable art work


Posted on: 15 February 2017 in Consultancy


Acoustic Research Unit case study

The Acoustics Research Unit (ARU) was approached by the Museum of Liverpool for advice on potential vibrations from a pop concert in the atrium.

Challenge

Vibrations, from machinery or loud noise, can have harmful effects on the objects inside museums and art galleries. Following a successful project for the National Conservation Centre looking at the effect of construction work on the Walker Art Gallery and World Museum Liverpool, the Acoustics Research Unit (ARU) was approached by the Museum of Liverpool for advice on potential vibrations from a pop concert in the atrium.

Solution

The ARU carried out a noise and vibration survey to relate the sound pressure level outside display cases to the vibration of the supporting surfaces inside the case. By establishing this relationship, the team could estimate vibration in display cases when exposed to the noise levels of a pop concert and set appropriate sound level limits for the event.

The ARU carried out detailed measurements and analysis before and during the concert. This was a successful outcome and we could not have gone ahead with the event without the skill, expertise and judgement of the Acoustics Research Unit.

Paul Gallagher, Acting Senior Curator of Urban History,
Museum of Liverpool.

Impact

Understanding how artefacts respond to environmental noise and vibrations is vital for the protection of artefacts across the world. The ARU’s knowledge and expertise in this important area has led to approaches by Museums Trusts in other cities concerned about the effects of vibrations on historical objects.