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Saturday, June 2 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
(Sustainability) A collaborative web platform for designing green museum storages

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Could the characteristics of small-scale institutions (SSIs) – the necessity of social innovation, the need for cost-effective solutions – help us designing sustainable practices in the preservation field? We compared recent methods for enhancing preservation conditions. Some promote preventive conservation practices (e.g.: RE-ORG (1)), others advocate a transition towards sustainability (e.g.: The Green Museum by Sarah Brophy (2)). The methods were selected for their newness, low price, the existence of case studies and their applicability in the SSIs context. Our aim was to help SSIs professionals to assess their problems of storage in a sustainable way. We created Réserve durable, a collaborative website, to share our analysis.

Cornerstone of the museum’s mission, the storage is a place where preservation requirements justify high financial costs and energy consumption (3). At the same time, cultural institutions worldwide are missing financial, human and time-related resources. SSIs situations are usually even worse. Furthermore, coming EU laws will leave no choice to cultural institutions but to invest in nearly-zero-energy buildings (NZEB) for building or renovating their facilities (6). Despite the fact that several tools for implementing green practices are available, and despite the advantages that “Going green” could offer them, sustainability is often at the bottom of the SSIs priority list.

Thanks to a survey addressed to Belgian SSIs, we defined their characteristics and needs in terms of conservation practices. That led to the creation of Réserve durable (7), which compares the above methods in light of the survey results. We propose a reflexive model of SSIs management combining “Going green” and state-of-the-art preservation methods such as RE-ORG.

(1) RE-ORG – Tools for Museum Storage Reorganization and Documentation Systems, RE-ORG project website (online) (available on: http://www.iccrom.org/section/preventive-conservation/re-org, consulted on July 26, 2017).
(2) BROPHY (Sarah), WYLIE (Elizabeth), The Green museum, a primer on environmental practice, Altamire Press, Danvers, 2008, 226 p.
(3) A recent study led by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), showed that the HVAC system consumption costs by itself 20k$ to 50k$ per year for a 900 m2 museum floor space. IMAGE PERMANENCE INSTITUTE, IPI’s Guide to: Sustainable Preservation Practices for managing storage environments, version 2.0, Image Permanence Institute (IPI), New York, 2012, p. 3.
(4) ICCROM, UNESCO, “ICCROM – UNESCO International Storage Survey 2011, Summary of results”, 2011, on the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) website (online) (available on:  http://www.iccrom.org/sites/default/files/ICCROM-UNESCO%20International%20Storage%20Survey%202011_en.pdf, consulted on July 26, 2017).
(5) According to Gaël de Guichen, expert at ICCROM for 47 years. DE GUICHEN (Gaël), "Reorganizing Museum storage : an 80-year journey… and still a way to go!" in International RE-ORG Seminar, Reconnecting with Collections in Storage, Institut Royal du Patrimoine artistique (KIK/IRPA), Brussels, September 28-29, 2016.
(6) Directive PEB (2010/31/UE), LUE, 2010, art. 9.
(7) Réserve durable (online) (available on: https://reservedurable.miraheze.org/wiki/Accueil, consulted on July 26, 2017).

avatar for Estelle De Bruyn

Estelle De Bruyn

Preservation scientist, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA)
Estelle just completed her master's degree in ENSAV La Cambre (Brussels, Belgium) in paper conservation. She specialized in preservation through internships at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA, Brussels), the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI, Ottawa) and the... Read More →

Saturday June 2, 2018 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston

Attendees (48)