Sustainable Passive Climate Control in Developing Countries: A Case Study at the National Museum of Art in Maputo, Mozambique

Lara Broecke

Passive climate control is often considered preferable to active control in developing countries. However, it is not necessarily easier to implement a passive system which will be sustainable. There are few conservators in the developing world and there is a lack of understanding of their work, making it hard to persuade other staff of its importance. Visiting conservation ‘experts’ can encounter problems due to the legacy of colonialism, and implementing solutions which appear to be ‘cheap and cheerful’ compared to those used in the developed world may be seen as demeaning. Time spent working with on-site staff to explain the methods used and get them involved will increase the chances of success in a project; however, winning the support of senior staff is the key, since they will be responsible for delegating tasks and ensuring the continuation of the project. In broader terms, changing approaches to climate control in the developed world, such as moves away from air conditioning towards cheaper and more fuel-efficient methods, will make passive methods more attractive to developing countries and may mean that their implementation will pose fewer problems in the future.