Energy Efficiency Action Plan

New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) was originally built in 1983 and the finished building reflected the design and construction technology of the era. Upgrades and extensions since then have been aimed at increasing the exhibition space available as well as completing the visitor experience through additions such as a gallery café, museum store, the Packsaddle art classroom and artist-in-residence studio and the addition of the Museum of Printing.

The Board of NERAM are committed to transforming NERAM into a sustainable building and reducing its annual operating costs. In 2011 NERAM commissioned an energy audit by the Country Energy energy answers unit in response to the increased costs of running the building – especially the cost of air conditioning and lighting. The energy audit made a number of recommendations for potential energy savings including:

  • Increased efficiencies through updating and upgrading existing airconditioning plant;
  • Reducing energy load by replacing obsolescent lighting equipment and fittings;
  • Improve efficiencies through small capital works and upgrades to physical building;
  • Operational changes including working with energy providers to reduce annual costs;
  • Reduce heat loss from building through replacement of glass windows with double glazing and replace temporary ceiling in Richard Lalor Harris Gallery

In response to these findings and its own aims to increase overall efficiency NERAM has developed a list of priorities and a plan to seek funding and support where available to progressively implement the following action plan, as well as implement a number of projects within its own resources.

Priority 1:   Replace airconditioning/climate control  (completed 2015 with support from Australian Government through Building Our Future fund)

Priority 2:   Reduce energy costs  (underway)

Priority 3:   Replace lights with LED light fittings (complete with Arts NSW regional capital grant and matched funding from private benefactors)

Priority 4:  Small building works

  • Tinted windows (offices and shop complete with support from private benefactor)
  • Replace Café awning    (complete with support from benefactor)
  • Insulation upgrade and replace wall panels (underway)
  • Replace skylights/louvres in exhibition spaces (see Building Improvement Fund)

Priority 5:  Double glazing or awnings (being costed)

Priority 6: Generate  own power

Priority 7: Major building works (see Building Improvement Fund)