print this page

The museum climate

Research into the risks of an incorrect indoor climate.

Are objects really so sensitive that they deform or break with every fluctuation in relative humidity? This project aimed for an optimal management of the risks arising from an incorrect museum climate. 

Cover of the book 'Climate work, Guidelines for the museum climate',

Cover of the book 'Klimaatwerk', Guidelines for the museum climate, the Dutch version.

Museums spend a significant part of their budget on maintaining a stable climate. After all, the smaller the fluctuations in the climate, the lower the risk of damage. Reinforced by the possibilities of technology the climatic requirements have become increasingly stricter over time. Safer, but very expensive. However in practice, despite the investment, these requirements are usually not achieved. Are many materials and objects less sensitive to fluctuations than we think? Can it be more effective? Strict where necessary, flexible where possible.

Climate work

In 2009 revised climate guidelines appeared in the publication Climate Work. All currently available information on the sensitivity of materials was incorporated in this book. The guidelines strive to achieve a climate that poses an acceptable risk to objects and also a range of fluctuations based on the sensitivity of the materials. The value of objects and building is included in the risk calculation as well as the inherent characteristics of the building itself that can affect indoor climate.


The research focused on alternative methods of climate control. The following were investigated: