Possibilities of Creating Net Zero Carbon Emissions Cultural Buildings: A Case Study of the Museum at Eleutherna, Crete, Greece

  • John Vourdoubas Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete, Greece, Tel: +30-28210-35020
Keywords: Carbon emissions, Crete-Greece, Eleutherna, energy efficiency, geothermal heat pumps, museums, solar photovoltaics.


Mitigation of climate change requires the reduction of carbon emissions in all human activities including in energy use in buildings. Creation of low or near zero CO2 emissions buildings due to energy use is currently achievable since the required sustainable energy technologies are mature, reliable and cost-effective. The present work is focused on the creation of zero carbon emissions cultural buildings with reference to the museum in Eleutherna, Crete, Greece. Past research regarding  the increase  of energy efficiency in museum buildings as well as the use of renewable energy technologies  in them has been reviewed. Use of solar photovoltaic energy for electricity generation and ground source heat pumps for air-conditioning in order to cover all the annual energy requirements in the museum has been suggested. The proposed renewable energy technologies are well known and cost-effective. The covered area of the museum is 1,800 m2 and its annual energy requirements have been estimated at 216,000 KWh. The size of the required solar-PV system has been calculated at 144 KWpeak; for the ground source heat pump, it is 123.2 KW. The total cost of the sustainable energy systems has been estimated at 290.58 €/m2 for its covered surface while the annual CO2 emissions savings is 162 tonsCO2. The results of the current work indicate that zeroing carbon emissions due to operational energy use in museum buildings is currently feasible with the use of mature,  reliable and cost-effective renewable energy technologies.


J. Ge, X. Luo, J. Hu & S. Chen. “Life cycle energy analysis of museum buildings: A case study of museums in Hangzhou” ,Energy and Buildings, 109, pp. 127-134, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.09.015

F. Ascione, L. Bellia, A. Capozzoli& F. Minichiello.“Energy saving strategies in air-conditioning for museums”, Applied Thermal Engineering, 29, pp. 676-686, 2009. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2008.03.040

M.J. Chimack, Ch.E. Walker & E. Franconi. “Determining baseline energy consumption and peak cooling loads of a 107-year-old science museum using DOE 2.1E”, Seventh International IBPSA Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 13-15 2001, pp. 191-197.

G. Zannis, M. Santamouris, V. Geros, S. Karatasou, K. Pavlou, & M.N. Assimakopoulos. “Energy efficiency in retrofitted and new museum buildings in Europe” ,International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 25(3-4), pp. 199-213, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1080/14786450600921645

A.N. Tombazis & E.N. Kontomichali. “Energy efficient and sustainable cultural buildings”, in Proceedings of PLEA 2000, Architecture, City, Environment, Cambridge, UK, 2000, pp. 27-31, James & James Science Publishers.

R.P. Kramer, H.L.H. Schellen & A.W.M.J. Van Schijndel. “Impact of ASHRAE’s museum climate classes on energy consumption and indoor climate fluctuations: Full scale measurements in museum Hermitage Amsterdam”, Energy and Buildings, 130, pp. 286-294, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.08.016

A.W.M.J. Van Schijndel, & H.L.H. Schellen. “Mapping future energy demands for European museums”, Journal of Cultural Heritage, 31, pp. 189-201, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2017.11.013

H. Sharif-Askari, & B. Abu-Hijleh. “Review of museums indoor environment condition studies and guidelines and their impact on the museum artifacts and energy consumption”, Building and Environment, 143, pp. 186-195, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.07.012

R.P., Kramer, M.P.E., Maas, M.H.J., Martens, A.W.M. Van Schijndel, & H.L. Schellen. “Energy conservation in museums using different setpoint strategies: A case study for a state-of-the-art museum using building simulation”, Applied Energy, 158, pp. 446-458, 2015.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.08.044

K., Kompatchher, S., Seuren, R., Kramer, J. Van Schijndel, & H. Schellen. “Energy efficient HVAC control in historical buildings: A case study for the Amsterdam museum”, Energy Procedia, 132, pp. 891-896, 2017. 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.09.703

R., Kramer, H. Schellen, & J. Van Schijndel. “Energy impact of ASHRAE’s museum climate classes: A simulation study on four museums with different quality of envelopes”, Energy Procedia, 78, pp. 1317-1322, 2015.doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2015.11.147

L.D. Santoli, F. Mancini, S. Rossetti & B. Nastasi.“Energy and system renovation plan for Galleria Borghese, Rome”, Energy and Buildings, 129, pp. 549-562, 2016.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.08.030

A.Galatioto, G. Ciulla & R. Ricciu. “An overview of energy retrofit actions feasibility on Italian historical buildings”. Energy, 137, pp. 991-1000, 2017.DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2016.12.103

H.F.O. Mueller. “Energy efficient museum buildings”, Renewable Energy, 49, pp. 232-236, 2013.doi:10.1016/j.renene.2012.01.025

L.F. Cabeza, A. De Gracia& A.L. Pisello.“Integration of renewable technologies in historical and heritage buildings: A review”, Energy and Buildings, 177, pp. 96-111, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.07.058

A. Moschella, A. Salemi, A. Lo Faro, G. Sanfilippo, M. Detommaso, & A. Privitera.“Historic buildings in Mediterranean area and solar thermal technologies: architectural integration vs preservation criteria”, Energy Procedia, 42, pp. 416-425, 2013.doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2013.11.042

G. Emmi, A. Zarrella, M. De Carli, S. Moretto, A. Galgaro, M. Cultrera, M. Di Tuccio, & A. Bernardi. “Ground source heat pumps in Historical buildings: Two Italian case studies”, Energy Procedia, 133, pp. 183-194, 2017. 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.09.383

C. Pacchiega, & P. Fausti. “A study on the energy performance of a ground source heat pump utilized in the refurbishment of an historical building: Comparison of different design options”, Energy Procedia, 133, pp. 349-357, 2017. 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.09.360

E. Lucchi. “Simplified assessment method for environmental and energy quality in museum buildings”, Energy and Buildings, 117, pp. 216-229, 2018.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.02.037

A.L., Pisello, A., Petrozzi, V.L. Castaldo, & F. Cotana. “Energy refurbishment of historical buildings with public function: Pilot case study”, Energy Procedia, 61, pp. 660-663, 2014.doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.937

Cr. Polo Lopez & Fr. Frontini. “Energy efficiency and renewable solar energy integration in heritage historic buildings”,Energy Procedia, 48, pp. 1493-1502, 2014.doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.02.169

M. Rota, S.P. Corgnati, & L. Di Corato. “The museum in historical buildings: Energy and systems. The project in Fondazione Musei Senesi”, Energy and Buildings, 95, pp. 138-143, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.11.008

Science museum renewable energy project - Retrieved from http://fliphtml5.com/xdom/qlee at 27/5/2019

J. Vourdoubas. “Energy consumption and carbon emissions in an Academic Institution in Greece: Can it become carbon neutral?”,Studies in Engineering and Technology, 6(1), pp. 16-23, 2019. doi:10.11114/set.v6i1.4013

J. Vourdoubas. “Energy consumption and carbon emissions in Venizelio hospital in Crete, Greece: Can it be carbon neutral?”,Journal of Engineering and Architecture, 6(1), pp. 19-27, 2018. DOI: 10.15640/jea.v6n1a2