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The regulations and reality of indoor environmental standards for objects and visitors in museums

Elkadi, Hisham; Al-Maiyah, Sura; Fielder, Karen; Kenawy, Inji; Martinson, D. Brett


Hisham Elkadi

Sura Al-Maiyah

Karen Fielder

D. Brett Martinson


The management of indoor microclimates is an important function of museum operations, a topic that has recently received growing attention. The way in which museum microclimates are specified is still not well documented universally, particularly in developing countries where a significant part of the global ‘movable’ heritage is situated. Most of the current contributions come from scholars covering climate control practices in developed nations. The bibliography related to museum environmental and climate management in other regions is comparatively limited. Heritage institutions have varying levels of resources, funding mechanisms, management protocols and expertise. In the absence of shared best practices, great variability in the environmental management practice exists across different institutions and countries. This paper brings together 96 studies that were selected and critically evaluated to review publications in the field over the last two decades and trace the variations in climate control practice across regions. The findings of the review confirmed the gaps in research in the field and identified the relevance to the implementation of regulatory frameworks particularly in regions where little or no research of museums' indoor environments is taking place. The paper also shows that the fragmentation of tools and methods to assess the indoor environment in museums has contributed to variations in practices across the sector. Moreover, the paper provides evidence of the struggle to comply with the strict, and in cases exaggerated requirements, that aim at satisfying a varying range of conflicting criteria to provide indoor comfort to visitors while continuing to protect artefacts.


Elkadi, H., Al-Maiyah, S., Fielder, K., Kenawy, I., & Martinson, D. B. (2021). The regulations and reality of indoor environmental standards for objects and visitors in museums. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 152, Article 111653.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 2, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 13, 2021
Publication Date 2021-12
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2022
Journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Print ISSN 1364-0321
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 152
Article Number 111653
Keywords Museums, Indoor environment, Environmental monitoring, Objects conservation, Comfort, Energy efficiency, Standards
Public URL