Filmarchive Austria

Setting-up of a nitrofilm depot with optimized use of renewable energies

Short Description



Initial situation

The nitrofilm collection is the historically oldest and therefore most valuable stock of the Filmarchive Austria. Nitrofilm is an easily inflammable and chemically unstable substance, which is exposed to continual autocatalytic processes of decomposition - at the final stage only a brown powder remains of the filmroles. This development can only be stopped through controlled air-conditioned storage.

For the purpose of the nitrofilm archiving a special nitrofilm shelter was erected at Laxenburg in 1968 - so far these special storing facilities are unique of their kind in Austria. The technical infrastructure of this shelter has become obsolete in the mean time, especially in the last months there have been frequent problems with the air-condition.

Due to the intensified efforts of repatriation of the Filmarchive Austria, the repurchase of Austrian films from international archives the capacity of the nitrofilm shelter has been completely exhausted.

Contents, aims, method

As an essential structure improving measure to protect the Austrian film heritage a new special building for the up-to-date storage of nitrofilm will be erected at the Filmarchive location Laxenburg. The basis for the planning is the long-range use of renewable and forward-looking energy systems. The planned erection of a new nitrofilm shelter at Laxenburg shall in this context be promoted to a presentable ecological project with more than just regional radiance. In this way technically and architectonically completely new ground will be broken: the archive building shall be erected in massive wood construction.

The heart of the forward-looking and for the most part self-sufficient energy concept is a solar cooling, which is being used for the first time in connection with an in all parameters fully adjustable air-conditioning.

The air exchange rate in the building to be erected must be 1 a day to be able to deliver the transpirations of the films which are harmful for the rest of the material and also for health to the outside air. Through this air exchange there is a considerable entering of humidity via fresh air. Actually the storage of the films at 6°C and a relative air humidity of 40% are necessary and therefore an appropriate sensitive air-conditioning. In comparison to a conventional air-conditioning the consumption of not-renewable energy shall be efficiently reduced.

Expected results

By putting this project into reality the use of solar energy for air-conditioning is demonstrated and proved in an exemplary way at the example of a building for the archiving of cultural possessions. In the same way the advantages of wood construction for the erection of an archive building respectively a store are pointed out. It is the aims of the project to realize a building which is exemplary at the erection as well as the use through lasting technologies which are carefully matched to each other, thus setting ecological and economical standards in the field of archive, storage respectively depot buildings. For the first time the full air-conditioning of a building with the technology of solar cooling is put into practice in Austria.

In this way an optimum conditioning of the cinematic cultural possessions at the lowest possible operating costs can be achieved simultaneously.

Project Partners

Project manager

Dr. Nikolaus Wostry
Filmarchiv Austria

Contact Address

Filmarchiv Austria
Obere AugartenstraƟe 1, 1020 Wien

Dr. Nikolaus Wostry
Tel.: +43 (2236) 71440