Turn Down The Dial: Sustainable Climate Controls In Museums (Recording + Highlights)

This week on ArtEvolve we were joined by Caitlin Southwick, Founder and Executive Director of Ki Culture. We discussed climate controls, one of the most environmentally destructive aspects of the art and cultural sector.

Greener, more sustainable climate controls already exist but adoption has been slow, or at least there’s little transparency to determine which institutions are already using them in some form.



How much energy can be saved?

In our previous Sustainable Buildings webinar, we talked about how art organizations can save 24-35% on energy costs by making small changes to their temperature and humidity settings. Further studies suggest a maximum saving of 82% might even be achieved in some cases.

With the energy crisis looming, many institutions are expecting a huge rise in gas and electricity costs, meaning there’s more incentive than ever to make savings by adopting sustainable climate controls.



How can we encourage organizations to make a change?

The Getting Climate Control Under Control Project is a three-part venture to help understand, address, and change climate control conditions in the cultural sector.

The first part of the project is a survey to understand the current state of climate control internationally. Caitlin discussed some of the surprising findings received so far, but if you’d like to add your responses, you have until 1st December to do so.


The second part is the first International Climate Control Conference, hosted by Ki Culture in partnership with Gallery Climate Coalition on 1 and 2 December 2022.

The two-day online event aims to tackle the issue of climate control and inspire individual institutions to make changes. It will discuss the issues the sector is facing and highlight the solutions that can be put in place now. Organizations that are considering making changes can hear from others that have relaxed their HVAC controls and see exactly what the results were. A lack of transparency has been a stumbling block for the sector overall, so case studies will be shared to demonstrate how sustainable responsibilities go hand in hand with collection care.

The conference will showcase the latest research and scientific data, highlight best practices, and bring together the views of museum directors, insurance professionals, preventive conservators, and other stakeholders.



What support is available for museums?

Part three is an 18-month pilot project to guide and support museums in addressing and changing their climate control conditions and loan agreements. The pilot will provide 50 institutions with a tailored climate control adjustment plan and the tools and coaching needed to implement it. It includes:

  • Full access to the Ki Futures Program
    -International networks and broader sustainability training
  • Subscription to Articheck Digital Condition Reporting
    -Training and consistent reporting
  • Conserv data loggers
    -Data collection, interpretation and comparison


To register for the International Climate Control Conference, click here. To find out more about the Getting Climate Under Control Pilot, view the information pack here, or email kifutures@kiculture.org.


Thank you to our guest speaker, Caitlin Southwick of Ki Culture, for joining us!