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Greening Government
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TOPIC: Treasuring our history yet securing the future

Treasuring our history yet securing the future 8 months, 1 week ago #1

How are people who manage heritage properties or heritage collections embedding sustainability into their operations and what are the challenges they face?

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 8 months, 1 week ago #2

Obviously our Grade 1 listed status restricts us in terms of adaptions and adjustment we can make to our building. We are working with the Green Tourism Business Scheme as well as initiatives with our local council to constantly review all our practices and procedures with a view to being more sustainable. There are opportunities to make changes in areas that do not permanently alter the fabric of the building for example we have converted all our gallery lighting to LED’s and fitted inverter pumps on our main boilers. We have improved the irrigation systems in our gardens and improved our waste management. It is imperative to foster a culture of sustainability in the organisation and so we have formed a Green Team and have a Green Action Plan. We have a no drive policy at the museum and encourage the use of public transport by both staff and visitors. As a member of Operation Green Museums we are in dialogue with other organisations in the sector with green space to look at the best ways we can utilise our spaces to deliver learning around sustainability and improve our immediate environment.

From a conservation point of view we are keen to enter into a dialogue about the potential for scope around the flexibility of heating and humidification in museum buildings and whether requirements from a collections management perspective can be adjusted given the urgent need to become more sustainable and reduce bills.

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 8 months, 1 week ago #3

Being a conservation practitioner, I am constantly aware of the importance of preservation. Working as a conservation assistant volunteer at Osterley House, I have gained a good insight into the ways the trust is trying to lower costs but still have an efficient operations system, with regards to housekeeping.

I am planning to study MA Museum Studies after completing my PGDip in Paper Conservation because my interests lie in the wider context of how collections are managed and the ways in which the public has access to such heritage sites. The conference will be beneficial in helping me to further understand issues surrounding museum management and it will give me a good insight into the museum and public sector world.

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 7 months, 1 week ago #4

I gave a paper a few years ago on research I carried out into the relationship between the energy usage of public buildings and their age (pre 1900 buildings were by far the most energy efficient). At MoJ we try to make best use of our historic estate since it is so sustainable. The reuse of the Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square as the new Supreme Court is a well known example. Currently I am working on the reuse of a Grade 1 Listed grand late 19th century law court complex in Birmingham, and a Grade 2* Listed group of medieval farm buildings within HMP Durham. Both of these are for our own use. In addition I am producing Conservation and Development plans for 6 closed historic prisons, to enable their conservation to regenerate their localities in a sustainable way.

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 7 months ago #5

Our partnership project with the Friends of St Nicholas' Chapel (FSNC) to revitalise and restore a beautiful Grade I listed building in King's Lynn into a thriving community and events space will see long-lasting environmental benefits delivered as part of the project design. Measures built into the design will improve site sustainability and contribute to an improved visitor experience and include:

Carbon reduction
- Use of low carbon radiant chandeliers to provide localised heat and light to the chapel.

- Installation of Photo Voltaic cells to reduce the carbon footprint and reliance on traditional energy sources.

- Creation of a carbon reduction management plan with strategy and targets to reduce and/or better manage current and projected energy use.

Improved energy management

The Chapel is registered on the sMeasure energy auditing system (developed by Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University). This will enable the CCT and Friends to view consumption patterns over a 12 month period and identify scope for better management.

Resource conservation

The partnership will explore the potential to build into the existing design:

- Rainwater harvesting systems to irrigate the churchyard;

- Greywater recycling for in-house systems (toilets).

Climate Change mitigation

Climate change risk (predicted scenarios of hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters) will be addressed through the installation of green energy, low carbon technologies and water harvesting and recycling systems. The Friends are also exploring the possibility of creating additional habitats in the churchyard.

Green learning hub

The Green learning hub at St Nicholas’ will educate visitors on: sustainable design; carbon reduction; climate change; and nature conservation. Learning will be facilitated through a designated space which houses interpretive displays and through which workshops on energy and environment conservation will operate from.

The green buildings project at St Nicholas’ Chapel will provide an exemplar model on how the environmental performance of historic assets can be improved through sympathetic retrofit. We hope that this encourages other local communities who manage historic assets to explore and undertake similar approaches towards environmental sustainability.

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 7 months ago #6

Monuments, Historical sites and building of historical or artistic interest and value constitutes an irreplaceable cultural capital for which not only the government have the responsibility , but also it is the joint responsility of the government and individuals.

The preservation, protection and rehabilitation of certain sites may raise some problems, however complete integration into the urban and country life is the most effective way of ensuring that these historical sites are protected and rehabilitated.

Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 6 months, 3 weeks ago #7

The below link will provide further information on the green elements of the St Nicholas' Chapel regeneration project. The information is from the March 2103 article featured on eco showcase detailing.


Re: Treasuring our history yet securing the future 6 months, 3 weeks ago #8

Shrinking the Footprint is the Church of England’s national environment campaign. We provide support at a national level to our 16,000 parish churches, 42 cathedrals, 5,200 schools and around 13,000 clergy homes through a network of Dioceses Environment Officers (DEOs) as well as directly to individual parishes in the form of advice, guidance and case studies on our website. Guidance covers issues such as installing renewable technologies and new heating systems to biodiversity and recycling.

The campaign also works with Government departments and others within the heritage building sector such as National Trust and English Heritage to ensure that places of worship are included in a policy context nationally and to share best practice on both mitigation and adaptation to a changing climate.

There is a huge amount of great environmental work quietly taking place across the Church of England. Of 16,000, 12,500 C of E churches are listed and yet over 100 buildings including one cathedral now have solar panels (of which at least 17 grade I listed) and increasingly other renewable technologies including Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps and biomass boilers are being taken up. The Church of England receives no government funding so everything has to be either raised by donation or supported by grant aid, this has resulted in some innovative financing methods such as crowd funding and community share programmes which have been particularly successful for supporting renewable projects.

Each year the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division (of which StF is part) hold popular events to share best practice and offer advice on topical issues, last year covered heating and this year will address lighting. This is of particular relevance as we work with the CofE procurement team to offer discounts on LED lightbulbs in addition to the renewable energy affinity deals which are already available to parishes. Many churches including St Martin’s in the Fields already have LED floodlights but we are keen to increase take up.

We are actively engaged with debates on retrofitting heritage buildings and are continuously looking for solutions to many of the challenges that we are faced with to ensure that the church takes part in the national drive to reduce our emissions and conserve the planets resources for future generations.

There are a number of zero carbon churches around the country, including St Michael and All Angel’s Church in Gloucester Diocese and St Anthony’s church in Canterbury Diocese, setting a great example of what can be done in heritage buildings.

The church is often the last public building in a community and as such many are now open throughout the week for extended use. With post offices, health facilities, shops, libraries, children’s care and lunch clubs all taking place in addition to services the need for increased energy efficiency and comfort for users is essential for long term sustainability.

All this work is starting us on the path to our commitment of an 80% reduction in carbon footprint by 2050 but we need to measure to manage our use which is why for the last year we have run a pilot energy audit of over 400 churches and schools. This included the provision and promotion of a free online tool to enable buildings to monitor energy use and identify where savings can be made. This has allowed many churches to gain a greater understanding of their energy use by visualising it. In addition this data is being used at a national level to enable Shrinking the Footprint to calculate the carbon footprint of energy use. We have plans to extend and continue our energy monitoring to further improve the support we provide including training, bespoke action plans, benchmarking and a more interactive online resource in the coming year.
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