The Western Australian Museum's Collections and Research Centre (CRC) serves as the institution's central hub for housing various collections and research facilities. Located at 49 Kew Street, Welshpool, Western Australia, the CRC accommodates the Terrestrial Zoology, Aquatic Zoology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, History, and Anthropology and Archaeology departments' staff and collections. It also houses some collection items from the Maritime Archaeology and Maritime History departments, while the remaining staff from these departments are located at the WA Shipwrecks Museum. Additionally, the facility provides space for the Museum's administration and exhibition design staff.
In light of the importance of the CRC as the "beating heart" of the institution and its responsibility to care for approximately 4.5 million artifacts, including the famous Blue Whale skeleton, the WA Museum decided to invest in a $17.5 million upgrade for the Museum laboratories and storage facilities. This renovation was essential to ensure the proper documentation, preservation, and growth of the collections, particularly in preparation for the construction of the new city showcase.
To accommodate the growing collections and provide an efficient and secure storage solution for the priceless artifacts housed at the CRC, the WA Museum sought a reliable and state-of-the-art storage system. The preservation of the artifacts was of paramount importance, and it required a system that could handle the unique demands of storing items in ethanol for preservation.
After thorough consideration and collaboration with the WA Museum, Castledex proposed an optimal world class storage solution that perfectly met the requirements of the project.
Castledex provided four mechanically operated compactus units from Forster, specifically the Foreg 2000 mechanically operated mobile shelving units. These units offered the ideal solution for efficient space utilization while ensuring the utmost care and preservation of the priceless artifacts.
Capacity and Efficiency: The Foreg 2000 mobile shelving units allowed for 252 bays of shelving, providing a total storage capacity of 8,064 lineal meters. This capacity accommodated the current collection's needs while also considering its expected growth over time. Enabling the user to move up to 30 tons of weight with only 6 kgs of pressure on the unique mechanical drive system
Vibration-Free Operation: Given the sensitivity of the artifacts and the use of ethanol for preservation, it was essential that the archival storage system operate without any vibrations. The Foreg 2000 units were carefully designed to ensure a smooth and vibration-free operation during opening and closing. This was easy to demonstrate by balancing a 50c piece on its edge and moving the bays without the coin falling over.
User-Friendly Mechanism: The compactus drive ratio of the Foreg 2000 units was designed to open ten bays with just one small push on the handle. This easy-to-use mechanism made accessing the artifacts quick and convenient for the Museum's staff. The Forster system is also the only system on the market where you are encouraged to move multiple satellite blocks at a time, with other systems in Australia this
By collaborating with the WA Museum and understanding the specific needs of the CRC, Castledex successfully delivered an optimal state of the art storage solution for the WA Museum’s wet collection. The installation of the Foreg 2000 mechanically operated mobile shelving units provided the CRC with the capacity, efficiency, and preservation capabilities required to store and access the priceless artefacts efficiently. The Museum's laboratories and storage facilities received a significant upgrade, reinforcing the CRC's role as the "beating heart" of the Western Australian Museum's operations and its commitment to preserving the State's natural and human history for generations to come.