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Energy-efficient and economical climate control of museums

13 February 2020

Depending on the type of building and the material to be collected, different parameters must be taken into account in the area of preventive conservation. Room temperature, humidity and air circulation must be adapted to the exhibits. These various demands, which go hand in hand with high energy consumption, require expertise that is often lacking internally. External service providers therefore offer a solution. Renowned museums such as the Paris Louvre, the Dutch Eye Film Museum and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome have already been able to improve their climate control with the support of external service providers. Always in view: The economic efficiency and ecological balance of the energy management system. One way in which museums can reduce their ecological footprint is energy-saving contracting.

Energy-saving contracting for more sustainability in museums

Contracting offers building operators a solution for two major challenges regarding sustainable energy concepts: On the one hand, building technology is becoming increasingly complex and internal know-how is lacking as to how comprehensive concepts for reducing energy consumption can be implemented. On the other hand, the modernization of building services is often associated with high investment costs. Contracting models bring building owners external service providers on board. Such a contractor develops individual solutions for modern, energy-efficient supply systems and bears the entire investment sum. In return, museum owners and operators (contracting authorities) gradually pay back the money via the energy costs saved. Steffen Haller, Head of the Energy Management Region South branch at ENGIE, is convinced: "Especially with buildings as sensitive as a museum, energy-saving contracting is a very interesting solution for the operator. He benefits from the technical expertise and financial strength of the contracting partner and also gets a guaranty from him for the success of the concept."

Brandhorst Museum: More sustainability thanks to contracting

The Museum Brandhorst shows the potential of energy-saving contracting for museums. Since February 2018, the Munich Art Museum is contracting partner of ENGIE Deutschland. The State Painting Collection was opened in 2010 and energy efficiency was already taken into consideration during the construction, but the external expertise identified further significant savings potential. The contracting agreement is intended to reduce the museum's energy consumption by 34 percent over the next 10 years. For the Kunstmuseum this means energy cost savings of over 130,000 euros per year. This objective is to be achieved by means of a specific catalog of measures.

Catalog of measures for efficient energy management

The measures focus on the ventilation systems, the production of heat and cooling, the activation of components and the lighting of the museum. As a contractor, ENGIE will cover the investment costs of 1.3 million euros required to optimize the energy systems. The holistic concept consists of several steps: Installation of thrust fans (fangrids) in the outdoor air heat recovery chamber being used now Retrofitting of air quality sensors for the exhibition and seminar rooms and the foyer Upgrading of all technical and ancillary rooms with LED lights In this way, a considerable energy saving potential is realized. The progress and savings are monitored with the help of the "ennovatis Smartbox" as data logger and an M-Bus network as energy management system.

Modern buildings also have savings potential

In view of the climate objectives of the Federal Government, a good ecological balance is increasingly important for museums. Moreover, an investment in sustainability can pay off economically if it goes hand in hand with more energy-efficient use. There is potential for optimization here not only in old buildings such as the Paris Louvre or the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. As the example of the Museum Brandhorst shows, even modern museums with ecological energy concepts and the detailed analysis and planning of a specialist can still achieve considerable energy savings and thus cost savings. Keywords: Climate control museum, sustainable energy concepts, energy saving contracting, sustainability, energy transition, energy management system Page title: Climate control in the museum – sustainable energy concepts Description: The climate control in the museum requires a lot of energy. But there are resource-saving solutions for this. Find out more!

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Our Expert

Steffen Haller
Steffen Haller is Head of the Energy Efficiency division at ENGIE. As an expert, he deals with the analysis, planning and implementation of energy efficiency measures.

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