Here is a recap of the PIC Green Events at AAM 2016 Conference and Expo. First, all the events and sessions were an overwhelming success! So, it shows there is a definite growing interest to learn how to make your institution more sustainable.
We had the following sessions:
1. Energy Efficient Cold Storage
2. Future Choices – Best Practices for Profession
3. Environmental Sustainability – Power, Influence and Responsibility
4. Stages of Sustainability
5. Sustainability Sins
Our winners for the SEA (Sustainability Excellence Awards) for the following categories: Facilities, Programs and Exhibits were as follows:
- Large Museums, Facilities: Exploratorium Pier 15/17, San Francisco, CA
- Small Museum, Facilities: The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, MN
- Large Museum, Programs: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago Academy of Sciences, Chicago, IL
- Large Museum, Exhibits: San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA
- Honorable Mentions, Exhibits: DesertSol at Springs Preserve, NV
- Honorable Mentions, Programs: PROBEA, Smart Schools, Baja Peninsula, CA
And the field trip to the US Botanic Garden was educational and bursting with sustainable initiatives, we even received our very own instruction manual for teaching. Check out the Sustainable SITES Initiative!
The Expo had a few highlights, but I have to mention the Virtual Reality Booth by SimWave Consulting in Canada. If you are an interactive museum, then you are going to want to keep an eye on their technology.
And a huge thank you to the Natural History Museum for letting us use their booth and partnering up in many ways moving forward!
Until next year in St. Louis…..keep up the green momentum!
This year GreenBuild took place on the hill in DC. If you wanted to learn the latest about sustainable building it was the place to be! It featured three jam-packed days of top speakers, endless networking opportunities, showcases, LEED workshops and in-depth tours of green buildings in Washington, DC.
Here’s a short recap from BuildingGreen of the best 10 products, technologies and cutting edge ideas. They all can be pretty technical, but I am partial to the last one, USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting. This kind of controllable lighting could be a key option for museum collections requiring a special spectrum of light. Be on the look out for them!
- Johns Manville ENRGY 3.E Halogen-Free Polyiso Insulation
Johns Manville is the first manufacturer to sell a polyisocyanurate roofing insulation not containing TCPP, or Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, the halogenated flame retardant used in polyiso and spray foam.
- Organic Furnishings from Ekla Home
These furnishings are made from natural latex and do not require chemical flame retardants.
- KI Chair with AirCarbon Plastic
The materials that go into the KI Chair come from agriculturally-sourced methane rather than petroleum, which makes the chair carbon-negative.
- FocalPoint Bioretention System
This filtration systems provides the performance of natural storm water filtration on a very small footprint.
- Multistack Magnetic Levitation Chillers with Danfoss Compressors
These chillers cool offices, schools, and large commercial buildings; they are energy-efficient and eliminate the need for mechanical seals, gears, pumps, and many other conventional components.
- Fluid-Applied Cat 5 Air Barrier System from Prosoco
The parts that make up these air barriers are based on the high-performance “hybrid” polymer chemistry, which lacks solvents and isocyanates; in addition, the removal of phthalate plasticizers makes them eligible for use in Living Building Challenge Products.
- Clean Energy Collective
The collective develops locally-sited photovoltaic facilities across the U.S. and engages with local utilities so that local people can purchase and own PV panels within a shared array.
- Cascadia Clip Thermal Spacers
The Cascadia Clip offers support for cladding over insulation, and it decreases thermal bridging more effectively than conventional methods.
- Marvin Windows with U.S. Passive House Certification
Marvin Windows is the first major American window manufacturer to issue a Passive House Institute U.S.-certified window. These windows are available with FSC-certified wood.
- USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting
This product blends the efficacy of LEDs with the ability to provide users complete control over the color and intensity of their interior lighting.
For for information check out the full article at BuildingGreen.
A couple months back I attended a NYSERDA CHP (Combined Heat & Power) Expo in NYC. All the companies were vetted by NYSERDA and able to provide concrete energy management solutions with CHP systems. I, of course, spoke to all the companies and sought out those who had previously worked with museums, one company stood out: ENER-G. Originally a British company with global offices, plus a local office in NYC, they provide organizations across the globe with energy management services, sustainable technologies and renewable energy solutions, to help them intelligently generate, buy and manage energy.
Back in 2010-2011 ENER-G installed four new CHP units for, at the new (at the time) Museum of Liverpool, which guaranteed annual savings of more than $750,0000. “And the ‘trigeneration’ technology, which created highly efficient heat, electricity and cooling, also reduced carbon emissions by 884 tons each year – equivalent to the environmental benefit of taking 295 cars off the road.” Pretty impressive!
What’s even more interesting is that ENER-G was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool, the group responsible for all the diverse museums in Liverpool to design and install the new CHP system at the Mann Island site – part of the famous Pier Head at the core of the World Heritage Site on Liverpool’s famous waterfront. And ENER-G will solely operate and maintain the plant for 17 years. The actual CHP system was split between a faciliteis room in the Museum of Liverpool and the historic Great Western Railwlay (GWR) Goods Shed on Liverpool’s waterfront. “ENER-G converted the Goods Shed into a state-of-the-art energy center with sophisticated remote monitoring and diagnostic facilities. When designing and building GWR ENER-G had to adhere to planning conditions and design the energy center to operate independently of the utility electrical supply.”
Now to explain a little more about how the CHP or cogeneration system works. It generates electricity and recovers and reuses the majority of the heat created in the process. In conventional power stations this heat is simply wasted into the atmosphere through power station cooling towers and along the miles of electrical distribution cables needed to bring the power to site. Instead, by using CHP to generate electricity on site the heat is used to provide heating and hot water for the museum in the winter, and air conditioning and chilled water via the absorption cooling system in the summer months. The utility grid supply will provide additional back up, if required. Using a system like this automatically sets your institution up for major energy and financial savings.
The Museum of Liverpool are also able to use the GWR Building housing the CHP plant for an educational resource in its own right. As it has a small visitor facility where groups can gain an understanding of the technology and its contribution to the museum’s sustainability. Not only was the museum able to drastically reduce their energy consumption, but they also gained a teaching tool for others to learn and follow in their footsteps.
Recently the newly renovated Harvard University Museums earned the LEED Gold Certification from USGBC. The Institution itself has made an impressive commitment to sustainability, so we would expect no less when it comes to their museums. The most innovative and poignant strategy are their super-efficient LED lightbulbs.
As noted by Harvard and numerous other cultural institutions, lighting is one of the toughest sustainability challenges to tackle. Peter Atkinson, the museums’ director of facilities planning and capital management had to work closely with the preservation department to insure that the energy efficient LED’s would provide high-quality, consistent color rendering for displaying the artwork. Not an easy problem to solve, it took months of testing and attentive analysis.
As all museum professionals know light damage to works of art remains a serious concern. “The energy of light not only causes fading and changes the color of pigments, but also catalyzes chemical reactions that lead to deterioration of paper, cloth, leather, and other materials that give works their structural integrity.” Harvard was able to install LED’s to around 2,000 fixtures, lighting the entire collection as well as eliminating the excess heat that incandescent bulbs give off. So all in all by making the switch to LED’s, Harvard has been able to lower energy costs, increase efficiency and reduce physical waste. The University’s vendor has already reported a significant uptick in requests to use them in other museum settings, a great sign for other institutions wanting to take the plunge.