National Museum of Wales gets a green retrofit

by admin

The Wales Retrofit Roadshow visited Cardiff this week to hear about how we can improve the energy efficiency of every home and business in the country. Mark Richards from the National Museum of Wales told us all about the ins and outs of their retrofit journey which over the past 5 years has cut their bills significantly.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales runs 7 sites throughout the country with collections from art, library, archaeology, natural sciences and industrial history. Bearing in mind that all of their sites are either listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments retrofitting them wasn’t without its challenges! Furthermore as their galleries require tight environmental controls in order to conserve their valuable collections this was also an added complication.

Following a series of energy assessments and training carried out by the Carbon Trust, a range of energy saving measures was installed. In National Museum Cardiff lighting controls and LEDs were installed and the old boiler was replaced with a combined heat and power unit which runs on gas and produces electricity with heat as a side product. Inverters were installed in the dehumidifier units and fans ventilating the galleries enabling the Museum to control the speed at which they run thereby saving power. In St Fagans, the old heat pump was replaced with an air source heat pump and Big Pit now runs on solar energy as opposed to coal.

National Museum of Wales cut their bills significantly thanks to retrofits

“As an organisation we face energy costs of circa £1m a year, so reducing energy is good for the bottom line, good for the staff as we see our role as contributing to saving the planet, and good for our visitors as it is a story that they can learn from. We funded our retrofit programme from our energy budget and starting seeing returns within a year.  I would strongly recommend others to follow suit – it’s an agenda you cannot ignore.” Mark Richards, Deputy Director General & Director of Operations, National Museum Wales.

National Museum of Wales cut their bills significantly thanks to retrofits 3

They have exciting proposals for the redevelopment of St Fagans, which is about to start with a £26m investment to improve the public facilities, bring together the history collections from other sites and develop a stronger public programme for its 650,000 visitors.

The Retrofit Roadshow’s next stop will be Cambridge on 22nd October and London 6th December 2013. These one day conferences will be packed with presentations and workshops covering issues such as compliance, risks, finance, barriers and technical solutions. Book your tickets now at or call 01743 290001. 

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