Energy efficient museum storage

Copenhagen, 10 - 11 October 2013


Calculation tools and basic concepts

Lectures (too many!)

Exotic climates for exercises

References and bibliography

Cambridge, 15 October 2013

Lecture and text


Lecture and text

References and bibliography

There are numerous standards specifying suitable environments for museum and archive materials. The most used has been BS5454:2000. This has now been superseded by PD5454:2012 which has major changes - mainly towards relaxing the rules. It relies on a companion document PAS 198 which describes the susceptibilities of various materials. Both are obtainable from the British Standards Institute
They are expensive documents, so they will be summarised in the course.

Summary of PD5454:2012. An annotated summary of the environmental advice in the document. For its advice on storage arrangements the full document must be consulted.

Systematic treatment of environmental influences on artifacts, expressed in the form of a standard. It roughly follows the pattern of PAS 198 2012, being Tim Padfield's contribution to the work of the PAS committee, though the final document is quite different.

The fundamental concepts used for designing museum stores and archives (pdf, 4.6Mb) (September 2013). Introduces the building physics, material properties, and constraints from standards which direct the design of museum storage and archive buildings.

Marie Vest, Ulla Bøgvad Kejser and Christian Bruun, 'Long term storage at The Royal Library - setting up requirements for environment in the storage', ICOM-CC Preventive Conservation, New Delhi 2008 vol 2 pp 808-814. This article describes well the climate specification process and the collaboration between architect, engineer and conservator.

Morten Ryhl-Svendsen, Lars Aasbjerg Jensen, Poul Klenz Larsen, Benny Bøhm and Tim Padfield A museum storage facility controlled by solar energy (submitted to the 'Climate for Conservation' conference, Munich, November 2012).

Morten Ryhl-Svendsen, Lars Aasbjerg Jensen, Poul Klenz Larsen and Tim Padfield Does a standard temperature need to be constant? - Paper delivered at the Going Green conference at the British Museum, April 2009. Published in Meddelelser om konservering nr 1, 2010 pp13-20

Padfield, T., Poul Klenz Larsen, Lars Aasbjerg Jensen and Morten Ryhl-Svendsen 2007. 'The potential and limits for passive air conditioning of museums, stores and archives' in Tim Padfield and Karen Borchersen, Editors, Museum Microclimates. Contributions to the conference in Copenhagen, The National Museum of Denmark, November 2007 pp 191 - 198. This article describes the fundamental physics of building for natural climate stability without air conditioning.

Morten Ryhl-Svendsen. 'Indoor air pollution in museums: a review of prediction models and control strategies'. Reviews in Conservation 7, 2006, pp. 27-41.

Padfield, Tim and Poul Klenz Larsen 2004. 'Designing museums with a naturally stable climate'.Studies in Conservation vol 49 pp 131-137. Extended version at: This article covers much the same ground as the reference above, but using different examples.

Fundamentals of moisture in air. This is a concise summary of the physics of water vapour in air. It is intended as a reference page rather than a tutorial.

The Mollier diagram and the psychrometric chart. An explanation of the derivation of the graphical presentation of water vapour properties.
pdf version

How air conditioning works. This is essential reading. It describes the fundamental processes of air conditioning, from window mounted boxes to whole building ducted air supply.

The process by which absorbent materials buffer the RH of their surrounding space is described in this article which is specifically about the interaction between water vapour and paper. It explains why archives containing abundant cellulosic materials buffer the room climate so well that immediately reactive RH control is unnecessary. Interaction of atmospheric moisture with paper

The disconnection between standards and deterioration studies from: Tim Padfield, 'Simple climate control in archives is hindered by too strict standards', Proceedings of the 8th Symposium on Building Physics in the Nordic Countries. Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, (2008) pp 1429-1436 ISBN 978-87-7877-265-7. See also the associated lecture illustrations on the 'lectures' page. The tyranny of arbitrary standards is a serious hindrance to progress in low energy air conditioning of historic collections and structures. However, since the publication of PD5454:2012 and PAS198 (also in 2012) by the British Standards Institution, the climatic standards have been considerably relaxed.

Humidity buffer capacity of selected building materials by Tim Padfield and Lars Aasbjerg Jensen. A quantitative study of the ability of materials and structures to moderate the indoor relative humidity.

Humidity buffer capacity of selected building materials - postscript by Tim Padfield, Lars Aasbjerg Jensen and Morten Ryhl-Svendsen. This short article follows the article above with measurement and simulation of the climate in a small room buffered with unfired clay brick.

Padfield, T. 'Why keep climate records - and how to keep them' in Tim Padfield and Karen Borchersen, Editors, Museum Microclimates. Contributions to the conference in Copenhagen, The National Museum of Denmark, November 2007 pp 191 - 198.
See also the 'lectures' page. All our records are doomed to early extinction.

Ryhl-Svensen et al 'The indoor climate in historic buildings without mechanical ventilation systems' Healthy Buildings 2003, pp 278-283.'' Argues that we need continuous ventilation rate data before we can interpret the indoor climate and air pollution data.

Museum microclimates, edited by Tim Padfield and Karen Borchersen, Editors, Contributions to the conference in Copenhagen, The National Museum of Denmark, November 2007. The full articles are freely downloadable from: This is the latest state-of-the-art review of preventive conservation and has several articles relevant to this course.

Padfield, T. Requiem for Cologne City Archive'
A comparison of insulation and thermal mass for stabilising the interior climate.

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