• SiC

SEAHA Conference 2018

Author: Julia Wagner


THE CONFERENCE. The 4th International Conference on Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Heritage, University College London (4-6 June 2018, Woburn House) was a great opportunity to share our message and hear from a number of speakers such as Edonis Jesus, Amandine Colson and Maria Baias to name a few. Topics ranged from how Building Information Modelling (BIM or BIM4Heritage) can help with the understanding and preservation of historic environments, how 3D modelling can be used for preventive conservation through a photogrammetry protocol for deformation monitoring and how mobile nuclear magnetic resonance could be used as a tool for cultural heritage research.


Another interesting topic was the contribution of Baroness Margaret Sharp on austerity and conservation, which addressed how very often conservation is overlooked in times of funding scarcity. Her point on the importance of social media in making conservation more attractive particularly resonated with us. Visitors are equally interested in the conservation of objects as seeing the objects themselves and it is a missed opportunity to not communicate conservation processes. Check out the SEAHA 2018 book of abstracts for more information on each of these interesting talks.




Source: Julia Wagner (photos). Zoë Bedford (left) and Julia Wagner presenting the SiC poster about the “Energy Saving Survey - Identifying Ways to Save Energy in Conservation by Understanding User Habits”.


POSTER SESSIONS. The poster sessions were a perfect opportunity to connect with conference visitors and participants in a welcoming environment. Our mission was to raise awareness of energy usage and present the preliminary results of our ongoing energy saving survey.


SiC ENERGY SAVING SURVEY. Finding achievable ways to save energy in our profession is one of the goals that Sustainability in Conservation (SiC) is working towards. Changing habits and raising awareness is feasible and key to reaching this goal. Understanding workplace conditions and habits is also essential to the provision of information that might induce changes towards a greener conservation industry. Hence, our ongoing survey (composed of ten questions, both in open and closed format) investigates the use of appliances, energy consumption habits and energy saving initiatives by country, specialisation and industry sector. Overall, respondents see lighting, climate control and ventilation as the biggest factors in energy consumption.


The survey also exposes areas of uncertainty that we intend to address with a number of projects on our website providing information on building energy efficiency ratings, how energy efficiency can be improved, energy usage guides for appliances typical to the conservation industry, and information on appliances using dead energy.


Our survey suggests that energy saving initiatives are commonplace, which we aim to facilitate by distribution of material and other resources. Check out our energy saving stickers that may help to reduce energy use in your lab or studio.


An interesting contribution was made by one survey respondent who shared an article with us about using infrared thermal imaging to detect weaknesses in storage and exhibition spaces, be they inefficient heaters, drafts from doors or heat emitted from equipment in adjacent rooms. This article, as well as a whole range of current research on sustainable practice can be accessed on our website.


If you would like to help us finding ways of saving energy, please have your say about energy use in your lab, studio or museum.


Our attendance at this conference was part of our ongoing efforts to attract more people to our projects such as the current research initiative and our new forum to aid the spread of ideas regarding sustainable practice among the conservation community.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Many thanks to Rene Peschar (University of Amsterdam) for proofreading our abstract and to the committee and helpful team at SEAHA creating a great atmosphere for sharing ideas.

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Sustainability in Conservation is an online network providing resources and information about environmentally responsible practices  in art conservation and related fields. Within a practice that produces so much waste, we hope to inspire collaboration and awareness to make cultural heritage a more sustainable profession. 

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