Greener Museums


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Poster for EPOCH - Engaging in the Preservation Of Cultural Heritage conference.

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Greener Museums

  1. 1. Creating Greener Museums -- Helpful ideas Building a new Building Re-using an exisiting Building Have the website function as the visitorʼs center - visitorʼs will inform themselves about the museumʼs collection and a new building will not need to be built. Design multi-functional spaces that can be used for formal parties, classrooms, speakers and lectures, and film screenings, this will keep the footprint small and require space to be used efficiently. Natural light could function as the only light source for work spaces. But for easier climate control windows should be designed surrounded by walls, entire walls of glazing are inefficient. The building materials should function as buffers to maintain temperature and humidity levels. Certain materials have a higher Existing buildings are greener than new construction, and can teach thermal mass and function as better buffers. Consider materials like us about how people lived before energy was abundant. fired or un-fired mud bricks, one of the most effective building materials for buffering temperature and humidity. HVAC systems are disruptive to the building fabric of historic structures, and may not be necessary if the structure was built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) provides maintain natural ventilation. Consider passive systems or standards in the United States, Building Research Establishmentʼs humidistatic controls and smaller air conditioning or heating units Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the United when necessary or allowing buildings to freeze in the winter. Kingdom standard. It is important to make sure buildings are well-sealed, and well- insulated to place less strain on environmental systems, many types of natural cotton fiber or cellulose insulation are available. Fluorescent Lightbulbs with UV filters can be a low-energy alternative in historic buildings. Daily Activities Museums, and museum employees, as stewards of collections and advocates for preservation of collections, can also advocate for the preservation of the environment. They can live and work in ways that use less energy, thus preserving museum collections and the environment. Employees can be personally diligent about energy use, wearing Sources for More Information: heavy clothes during the winter so collections can be maintained at Brophey, S. and E. Whiley. 2009. Saving collections and the planet. accessed online November 2, 2009. cooler temperatures. <> Brown, J.P., and W.B. Rose. 1996. Humidity and moisture in historic buildings: the origins of building and Encouraging carpooling amongst co-workers, and living in a object conservation. APT Bulletin. 17(3): 12-23 walkable distance will use less resources for commuting. Climate change and preserving cultural heritage in the 21st Century. 2008. 90-minute video of panel discussion. climate_change.html Meetings and conferences can be held over the phone, through online video conferencing, or through online chatting, so employee Erhardt, D., C. Tumosa and M.F. Mecklenburg. 2007. Applying Science to the Question of Museum Climate. In Museum Microclimates. T. Padfield and K. Borchensen (eds.). National Museum of Denmark. travel will be minimal. Also available online at From Gray Areas to Green Areas: Developing Sustainable Practices in Preservation Environments Recycling can be instated in the workplace Symposium Proceedings. The buying of disposable products can be limited, especially in employee food preparation and for large events, this limits the Poster written by amount of trash produced. Rose Daly Objects Conservation Fellow, Museum stores and cafes can use locally sources for products and The Winterthur/University of Delaware food. Program in Art Conservation. Images were taken from commons