Monitoring building moisture and room climate in the Historical Archive in Cologne

Archive Cologne
© Historisches Archiv Köln, Lars Klemm
View of the interior of the Historical Archive in Cologne.

In the project, building moisture and room climate in the archive rooms of the new Historical Archive building are being monitored. The Historical Archive in Cologne houses more than 50 shelf kilometers of documents, making it the largest municipal archive in Germany. In addition to current documents, it also contains certificates, manuscripts and bequests of particular historical value which date back to the Middle Ages. Documents belonging to the city’s administration department as well as to companies and individuals of the City of Cologne are archived. Monitoring is being carried out to verify and ensure that the high requirements regarding the room climate and, in particular, relative humidity are met.

Project goals

Room climate plays a crucial role when it comes to storing documents. What is needed is a stable room climate with only minor fluctuations. Even more important than the ambient temperature is the humidity of the air in the room. For this reason, the drying behavior of the building shell was monitored during the construction phase. After completion and installation of the archive material, the room climate as well as the HVAC systems will continue to be permanently monitored. This also includes support during commissioning of the technology as well as identifying potential to optimize the technical systems, and the representation of current and historical values in line with user requirements.

Current project status

Now that the building has been completed and the archive material has moved in, the archive rooms will be monitored in the long term.

Project partners

  • City of Cologne
  • Historical Archive of the City of Cologne
  • kurecon container for rescuing and storing cultural assets