The UK's National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC) represents the leaders of the UK's national collections and major regional museums. Their members have announced new guidelines for environmental conditions in museums in a move towards a more carbon-friendly approach to collections care. Developed in consultation with the National Trust, ICON and UK conservators, the guidelines seek to review policy and practice, especially as regards loans, storage, display conditions, building design and air conditioning systems.
Environmental standards should become more intelligent and better tailored to clearly identified needs. Blanket conditions should no longer apply. Instead conditions should be determined by the requirements of individual objects or groups of objects and the climate in the part of the world in which the museum is located;
Care of collections should be achieved in a way that does not assume air-conditioning or any other current solutions. Passive methods, simple technology that is easy to maintain, and lower energy solutions should be considered;
Natural and sustainable environmental controls should be explored and exploited fully;
When designing and constructing new buildings or renovating old ones, architects and engineers should be guided significantly to reduce the building's carbon footprint as a primary objective.
To read the guidelines in full, click here.