The need to preserve the world’s energy reserves and be economical in their use is of paramount importance to the museum. The objective over the next few years is to reduce overall energy use by undertaking the following actions:
- Whenever possible, the museum will buy equipment and plant (mechanical equipment) that are powered by the most sustainable and efficient type of fuel available.
- Renewable energy will always be the first option with electricity second and fossil fuels as a last option.
- Energy use is monitored closely to identify any trends in its use and possible savings, by carrying out regular energy audits.
- Waste is kept to a minimum by ensuring that all equipment is turned off after use. Reducing the heating demand by turning down thermostats and turning heating off during summer and by switching off lights, heating, and other electrical equipment when buildings are not being used.
- New buildings/developments will be energy efficient in accordance with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainabilityof buildings standards).
The museum recognises the value of water as a resource and the need to preserve water stocks. It undertakes the following:
- Staff and volunteers are trained in the correct methods of waste disposal to prevent unnecessary pollution to the water supply and other water sources.
- Monitoring water usage to identify possible savings.
- Low flow toilets and taps will be installed when changing old equipment and building new premises.
- All leechate materials to be stored to prevent contamination of both ground and surface water supplies.
- The water supply system to be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent leakage.
- Foul water systems to be regularly monitored and maintained to ensure that they are fully functional and are not in danger of polluting the local water resource.
We work closely with our waste companies and recycle food, glass, mixed recycling and general waste – Suez, our main waste supplier, has a zero waste to landfill policy, which we are pleased to contribute to. We are currently working towards installing new recycling bins for visitors.
Our catering outlets are using recyclable products and we are continuously working to ensure the products we use are sustainable, working closely with our suppliers.
All new buildings will incorporate sustainable materials whenever possible and will have energy-saving principles designed into the building. They will be well-insulated and be efficient at keeping the building temperature comfortable and stable. They will utilise natural light whenever possible. The use of additional light, heating and air conditioning will be secondary solutions used only to enhance the ability of the building to remain comfortable in extreme conditions and during high usage.
Where possible, new buildings will have a low impact upon the immediate and surrounding environments; utilise energy and resource-saving technology within the structure and the mechanical and engineering of the building; enable the use of renewable energy sources; use recycled and locally-sourced building materials; and use sustainably-produced materials and products.
Beamish is nestled within 400 acres and is an ideal habitat to encourage biodiversity. As such our future plans include:
- Continue to ensure new landscaping is planted with native species.
- Plant approximately 1000m of new hedging which will increase small mammal refuges, bird nesting and feeding sites. We are raising funds to do this by participating in the Terracycle Walkers Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme, and for every £23.50 raised, we can purchase 10m of Hawthorn Plants to create hedging.
- Tree planting – mixed woodland planting to provide boundary areas of the site with an estimated extra 6000 trees.
- Create more drystone walling providing increased small mammal refuges.
- Further development of natural land management techniques.