Bolton Museum

Pierrette Squires, 15.10.2014
Building a sustainable museum store
Bolton Museum has been actively working towards sustainable practice since 2010.

The largest example has been the building of a new museum object store, the Chadwick Resource Centre. The whole project was run with environmental sustainability and value for money in mind.

Some key features of the new building are:

  • A re-use and cleaning up of an existing derelict building.
  • The use of secondhand storage furniture.
  • The installation of a large bank of solar panels.
  • Massive insulation resulting in the architects achieving the lowest heat loss of any building they’d worked on.
  • The installation of a Power Perfector unit to maximise voltage.
  • The use of local companies and materials where possible.
  • The decision not to actively control or heat most of the object areas as the insulation allows for stable spaces.
  • Collections zoned in relation to the buildings position relative to the sun.

The site has no gas and the electricity bills are already less than half that of the previous store, which housed fewer objects. Close working with the architects, Bradshaw Gas & Hope, from the early design phase was crucial to the success of this project.

Other projects at Bolton over the past four years include replacing inefficient lighting with LEDs or automatically-switched systems and thermostatic radiator valves.

Pierrette Squires is a conservator at Bolton Museum