Otago Museum Planetarium

Air Conditioning System

Atmos were delighted to provide the air conditioning solution for the Otago Museum’s unique Planetarium facility in Dunedin.

The internal domed shape of the complex was challenging from an air conditioning design and construction perspective.

It required some out-of-the box thinking to provide stable and comfortable temperatures without excessive air movement or background sound that could detract from the audience’s viewing experience.

A ducted air conditioning system was employed with ‘hidden’ diffusers, and variable speed compressors controlled by the museum’s Building Management System (BMS).  The BMS is programmed months in advance with the time schedules for the various Planetarium performances, to ensure that the space conditions are optimal when guests arrive for each show. 

Shortly after the end of each performance the system goes through a ventilation purge period to remove any stale air, and prepare the space for the next group of occupants.  The system is fully automatic allowing the staff to concentrate on the show rather than the air conditions.        

This was an exciting project for the Museum and for Dunedin, and it was a pleasure for Atmos to be involved.

Next time you visit the facility and lie back in soft, comfortable chairs to travel the solar system, if you are unable to hear or feel the air conditioning system operating, then it is working exactly as intended!

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