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Sustainable Microclimates

Ecological and economical care of heritage collections

Are you working with underperforming museum showcases?

We work with museums, galleries and showcase makers to reduce operating costs and environmental impact by improving the performance of exhibit display cases.


Exhibitors are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint to mitigate climate change. Sustainable Microclimates can help by transforming microclimate performance of display cases, thus decreasing environmental impact and allowing capital and operating expenses to be spent elsewhere.


Sustainable Microclimates help manufacturers of display cases create more efficient products that quickly meet quality control requirements and surpass even the most demanding environmental specifications. We provide airtightness testing and control consultancy to showcase makers around the world.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you

How can we help you?

Sustainable Microclimates offer testing, tools and training to museums, galleries, showcase makers, and anyone else with an interest in preserving heritage collections.


We can evaluate your existing display cases and exhibits and implement risk-based environmental control to preserve your collection sustainably.


We have developed our own equipment for airtightness testing, which is 100 times faster than conventional tracer gas methods – which we also offer.


We perform effective leak detection, with a tried-and-tested part-per-million technology that is 1000 times more sensitive than ultrasonic methods.


We can safeguard your display environments, carrying out UKAS accredited analysis of materials and air pollutants to ensure optimum conditions.


We are able to carry out sealing, venting, monitoring and servicing of microclimates for safe and low maintenance exhibition, storage and transport.

  • "James's approach gives his audiences genuinely useful guidance and can provide a greater understanding of what to acquire, and how to test and improve display cases they already use, or are in the process of designing."
    — David Singleton – Preventative Conservator at Bristol Museums, Galleries, and Archives

Why choose Sustainable Microclimates?

We empower more resilient art galleries, museums, libraries, archives, historic houses, churches and castles so historic and artistic works can keep engaging new and returning visitors and inspiring active citizenship for generations to come.


Concern for the planet’s ecologies, societies and economies is driving a sea change in the management of indoor building environments. For energy-intensive organisations like museums and other custodians of artworks and heritage, this means more sustainable ways of collections care must be adopted as a priority.

Increasing the efficiency of microclimates used to safeguard works made from vulnerable materials reduces carbon footprints and energy bills, and limits decay of collections and the costs for indemnity and restorations.


Let’s face it, we live in uniquely challenging times and the future is uncertain. Yet, we also live in a era of exploding growth in things like internet connectivity, materials development, and environmental sensing. The time has come to innovate.

At Sustainable Microclimates we’re reshaping heritage collections care with low-carbon engineering that doesn’t cost the earth. There’s no need for rocket science – we’re not heading to Mars. We’re blending basic science with technologies from better funded fields and creatively putting them to work to benefit our arts and heritage.


The users of passive display cases say there’s room for improvement. Like the beautiful and accessible buildings that house great collections, unpowered showcases with significant and environmentally sensitive exhibits need conscientious design, monitoring, and maintenance.

So why isn’t the protectiveness of these glass boxes systematically checked upon installation, and regularly thereafter? We help organisations maximise the immediate and ongoing effectiveness and efficiency of these significant capital assets for the benefit of the public.


We’re leading the way by shaping new standards in sustainable collections care in the United Kingdom, across continental Europe and beyond, working on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Committees for the British Standards Institution and European Committee for Standardization.

We believe the future of eco-collections care lies with unpowered enclosures of a known and acceptable quality. This way, exhibition and storage environments can be chosen according to protection and energy targets appropriate to the needs of collections and available resources – not limited by outdated thinking and manufacturing.

Without enticing display and study of healthy heritage collections, how can we enjoy and learn from our past to construct a brighter, more inclusive future for all?

Talk to us about how we can solve your microclimate problems


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