Energy Efficient Museums

Guidelines for the Design and Retrofitting of Energy Efficient Museums for Antiquities in the Mediterranien Countries

Main objectives:

Based on a thorough research on archealogical museums in five Mediterranean countries (including Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece) that was carried out by the same team of participants within the frame of JOULE programme, it has been estimated that a total energy conservation of about 30-50% could be achieved by using techniques, such as modernisation (and replacement of obsolete) of M/E networks and equipment, use of night ventilation and ceiling fans, application of thermal insulation, external shading devices, advanced artificial lighting, improved HVAC systems and training of the operating staff.

Furthermore, the fact that these buildings mostly depend (and should depend) on natural lighting, which is the most appropriate for the kind of exhibited items (mostly sculptural, whose original place was outdoors) makes even more crucial the establishment of optimising techniques dealing with the contradicting issues of:

As these museums are, but for a few exaples, state owned, application of the proposed retrofitting techniques could be easily implemented as far as "convincing the client" and "budget channelling" is concerned. This will significantly decrease the energy consumption of these buildings, while increasing their revenue influx as the amelioration of the exhibition space conditions will draw more visitors. The result will be beneficial, not only for the involved national economies but for the European Union as well, which in a large extent is subsidising this kind of cultural institutions.

Dissemination activities will include the production and distribution of brochures describing the selected case studies, publications of the results in the professional periodic press, a trans-national one-day seminar, an Internet information page and distribution of a report to museum authorities, state bodies and professionals interested.