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Environmental Monitoring Devices Installed at Conference House

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Until now, the environmental conditions at Conference House were monitored by HOBO devices installed by the Historic House Trust’s curator. The data collected by the HOBO devices had to be accessed on-site and forwarded to HHT for their review. These devices were not capable of alerting museum or HHT staff of live or emergency conditions (excessive humidity, low/high temperatures, etc.)that may indicate leaks, burst pipes, etc. and which may pose risks to the house and the collections.

An alternative environmental monitoring system, Monnit, was proposed by HHT’s former curator, Bailey Tichenor. Monnit sensor devices are capable of connecting to telecommunication gateways that report live humidity and temperature data to Monnit’s network available through a paid subscription service. Emergency conditions, such as those previously listed, are immediately reported to the account holder. The Conference House was chosen to be part of a pilot program for devices purchased by HHT and which will be monitored by Danielle Monopoli, HHT Project
Development Coordinator.

The Monnit devices purchased by HHT include gateways, humidity sensors, and temperature sensors. The gateways are connected to a power source and then connect to the Monnit network via AT&T. The sensors are powered by coin cell batteries and can be attached via screws, mounting tape or placed on a surface. Once powered on, the sensors connect to the gateways and begin reporting environmental conditions to the Monnit network. Any emergency conditions, low batteries, or a device disconnecting from the network will be immediately reported to HHT.

On May 18, 2021, Derek Dandurand (HHT Deputy Director of Historic Houses) and Danielle Monopoli visited Conference House on Staten Island to complete the Monnit account set up and device installations. 13 devices were installed throughout the house, including three gateways, three humidity sensors and seven temperature sensors.

derek dandurand and danielle monopoli at conference house to install monnit devices
Derek Dandurand and Danielle Monopoli on-site at Conference House

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