J & E Hall cold room supports key climate change research

A project to design and build a dual-compartment cold room at Plymouth University to support cutting-edge research into climate change has been completed by J & E Hall. The cold room requires specialist lighting, ventilation and close temperature control and features the work of Professor Camille Parmesan, a Nobel Prize winner and world-renowned conservation biologist.

She is carrying out research into the effects that climate change has on plant and insect life. The commission proved to be one of the most unusual projects tackled by J & E Hall’s team of design and build specialists and needed an innovative approach to meet the needs of the university.

J & E Hall’s Sales and Application Engineer says, “Strictly speaking, rather than cool the compartments, we decided to take the heat out of them. Our task was to maintain a temperature of between 4°C to 12°C in one chamber and 15°C to 25°C in the other. At times the lighting needed to simulate brilliant sunshine. Together with the temperature reduction, to maintain the right conditions for the plants the system had to imitate the 24-hour cycle and seasonal variations. It was a challenging job.”
Professor Parmesan’s work forms part of a prestigious research project for the university, as technical manager Peter Russell explains: “We are delighted that Professor Parmesan can conduct some of her research here in Plymouth as well as continuing her work in Texas. She has a fine reputation for her research on the effects that climate change has on plants and insects. J & E Hall’s work in designing and building the cold room will make a significant contribution to supporting this.”