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Protecting the climate

We live in challenging times. Climate change is on everyone’s minds and demands to adopt sustainable practices. We will only manage that the environment remains liveable and to maintain our standard of living with the efforts of each and every individual and a shared vision as well as by using appropriate future-oriented technologies. While art and its projects are an essential field of experimentation, our infrastructures, exhibition venues and our behavior has to be realigned in order to be sustainable. A path which has to be taken immediately and in an intelligent manner. It is the only way we can achieve our climate targets and preserve and pass on an environment worth living in.” 

Climate protection measures as public role model

Art and culture have a high status in Austria and enjoy a high level of trust; the cultural programs are accepted with continuous interest. By addressing contemporary issues such as climate change, the arts and culture sector also assumes responsibility for fulfilling an educational mission. In this way, art and culture can make a decisive contribution to creating a greater awareness of climate-friendly living and working. The commitment of the arts and culture sector to play its part in achieving climate targets not only serves as a role model, but also expands the public’s identification with these values. Not only is participation in climate protection values offered, but in the best-case scenario, the public’s desire to contribute something themselves is generated. Many institutions already address climate protection issues in their programs and exhibitions. Increasingly, cultural institutions are also addressing and optimizing their own actions in order to become climate-friendly. Energy efficiency and sustainability in particular are currently at the center of attention. Art and cultural institutions in public spaces can also use an emotional and focused approach to climate awareness to draw particular attention to climate protection and highlight its urgency. The need in the cultural sector to define and address sustainability and energy awareness as central themes is more important than ever. As meeting places, cultural institutions can publicly set exemplary measures for climate protection and act accordingly. These measures are trend-setting changes on the way to a holistic and considerate use of resources, which can be inspiring for both employees and visitors, and represent an opportunity and path to climate neutrality for public institutions. 


Photo: kun​st​-doku​men​ta​tion​.com

Stano Filko, 12 Colors of Reality (Balloons), 1978 – 2011

Installation view, HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, 2022

Courtesy The Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava

LED lighting measure

Exhibition operations at the HALLE FÜR KUNST involve a significant amount of electricity costs in the area of lighting for works of art, as the exhibition halls must be permanently and evenly lit during opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. To reduce electricity costs in the area of lighting, a switch from neon light to a more energy-efficient interior lighting system using LED strip lighting (min. efficiency 120 lm/​W, CE) is being implemented throughout the exhibition area. Lighting accounted for 62% of electricity costs in 2022. Based on the renewal of 144 light points and an annual consumption of 26,409 kWh/​a, the aim is to halve electricity consumption by 47% of KWh/​a to 12,503 kWh/​a from 2024.

Measure external solar shading

The foyer of the HALLE FÜR KUNST houses three workplaces. The foyer consists of glass panels on three sides with mostly opaque glass (wooden frame, double insulating glass, built in 2011, historic building, 1950s) that reach up to the ceiling. In summer, the foyer heats up to over 30 degrees due to the natural sunlight. There are currently two air conditioning units (built in 2013) in the foyer to cool the work areas. External shading will be installed along the glass panels to provide long-term, sustainable and cost-effective cooling. The externally induced cooling requirement is to be reduced from 4.0 kWh/​m3a to 1.3 kWh/​m3a.

Planned findings

Savings in annual CO2 emissions

The saving in electricity consumption by means of sun protection for the large glass windows of the foyer is 1,868 kWh/​a – that is 1,868kWh/a x 0.227kg/kWh CO2 (as of 2022, umweltfö = 424.04 kg CO2/​a. The saving in electricity consumption by switching to LED lighting is 12,503 kWh/​a – that is 12,503 kWh/​a x 0.227kg/kWh CO2 (as of 2022, umweltfö 2,838.18 kg CO2/​a.

Savings in annual final energy consumption in MWh/​year

According to energy consumption data from 2022, 34% of consumption is accounted for by electricity and 66% by district heating. The annual electricity requirement was 83,916 kWh/​a. The annual operating hours of the lighting are on average 2,184 h/​a. The measures lead to savings in electricity as an energy source: sun protection for the large glass windows in the foyer 1,868 kWh/​a and conversion to LED lighting 12,503 kWh/​a.

Jeremy Deller, The Problem with Humans has proven popular (detail), 2017

Courtesy of the artist, The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Galerie Art: Concept, Paris, photo: kun​st​-doku​men​ta​tion​.com