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  1. #1
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    Cold room construction



    Hi,

    We have a site which is a care home with rooms which are used for storing corpses. The room is kept at 5 degrees but has a standard room construction with plasterboard, bricks, normal roof space, etc. There is extra fibreglass insulation in the loft but I don't think the walls are insulated. The room is designed like this as people view the bodies in the rooms. It has been in use for 3 years but use is sporadic (1 week here, 2 weeks there, etc.).

    Lately water staining has shown up on walls, ceilings, light fittings and certain metal items like lamps are showing signs of rust. We have had a summer of sustained warm weather, and I believe that moisture is being drawn in from outside and is remaining in the fabric of the room, has anyone got any ideas, similar cases or ideas of how to remedy the situation or a way of having an aesthetically acceptable environment but with a cold room purpose.

    Thanks



  2. #2
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    Re: Cold room construction

    If I understand you correctly, you have dead bodies on display.

    I suggest you coat the rooms with insulation panels, 75 mm polutethene will do. seal perfectly all the joints, it is possible to paint the interior, maybe do one wall with double or triple glass so the corps can be seen from the outside of the room.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cold room construction

    what sort of care home is this,get them to buy a proper room fit for purpuse! have they no respect if this is not a wind up its disgracefull if its a wind up your sick!

  4. #4
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    Re: Cold room construction

    The store should have been vapour sealed on the warm face, modern system panels achieve this via the steel sandwich construction but existing structures converted for refrigerated storage need vapour sealing.
    Vapour pressure differential will cause the ingress of moist air which will condense on the cold surfaces like the inner lining of your room, in addition loose insulation like that used for loft insulation will prove very ineffectual in preventing the passage of moist air.
    Location, United Kingdom

  5. #5
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    Re: Cold room construction

    In all the homes I've worked in I've never heard of or seen such a room for that purpose. I thought when residents died they left them in their rooms with the doors closed and their bodies covered up, until the doctor certified them and then the morgue staff collected them?
    50 hertz but 100s worse

  6. #6
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    Re: Cold room construction

    Thanks for the replies, all except cadwaladr who I find offensive to suggest the care home is acting improperly and for questioning my integrity, people like this should not be allowed to use this forum. The care home is a major charity and provides end of life care for poorly children including support for their families. The room was designed by consultants during a multi million pound building project a few years back and has been without problems up to now. Even before the re-fit, a simple refrigeration system was in place with a blower hidden behind a curtain and that ran for years. I am interested in helping them solve their problem with minimum disruption. I am of the opinion that recent prolonged levels of hot weather and high humidity has shown a flaw in the design.

  7. #7
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    Re: Cold room construction

    I would guess that the design is sound for when room is in use but during non operation periods the ventilation in the room is insufficient. Still most effective way of combatting moisture is with moving large quantity of air.

    I would just suggest that a natural ventilation system is installed for non cooling periods and this is linked simply to shut down when cooling demand is required. This can be done easily with sanitary ventilation systems.

    Then its get the decorators back in with the paint brush.
    I love the smell of Ammonia in the morning!

  8. #8
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    Re: Cold room construction

    Install in the room a small dehumidifier with a heating wheel, like a Munters one. They can run very well at low temperatures. This is not THE solution, it only helps for the consequences and doesn't solve the cause. You have cold bridges and air infiltration somewhere. You can find those with an IR scan.
    It's better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you're stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cold room construction

    Quote Originally Posted by R1976 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, all except cadwaladr who I find offensive to suggest the care home is acting improperly and for questioning my integrity, people like this should not be allowed to use this forum. The care home is a major charity and provides end of life care for poorly children including support for their families. The room was designed by consultants during a multi million pound building project a few years back and has been without problems up to now. Even before the re-fit, a simple refrigeration system was in place with a blower hidden behind a curtain and that ran for years. I am interested in helping them solve their problem with minimum disruption. I am of the opinion that recent prolonged levels of hot weather and high humidity has shown a flaw in the design.
    I have seen a similar situation.

    The children wing of a local hospital wanted something that could be used so
    the parents of the dead child could sit with their child and say goodbye.

    Sitting in the wing of the morgue was very upsetting and sitting in a refrigerated
    room was uncomfortable.

    One solution was something that resembled a counter fridge that the child was laid
    in and cold air was then passed over the body and returned (just like a servover).

    Your problem is as you described, the moisture is passing through the walls and
    the only real solution is to build a coldroom inside the room with full vapour barriers
    and then fix wood battens inside the room and plasterboard out.
    With the plasterboard on the inside of the vapour barrier moisture should stop being
    an issue.

    Regards

    Rob

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