Our Green Story:
London Canal Museum

12 April 2021









London Canal Museum began the journey to sustainability with some obvious things. Insulating the loft came first, and then they tackled the problem of where to store a recycling bin – more difficult than it sounds! Carpentry completed, they remodelled a cupboard and took advantage of a free recycling scheme for charities run by their local council.

A gradual approach to installing more energy efficient lighting was adopted in a building with a lot of lights. As bulbs failed they were replaced with energysaving bulbs. Now they only ever fit LED and there are very few inefficient lights left. Water-saving taps were fitted to washbasins, and they adopted policies such as buying Fairtrade products, water-based paint, eco-friendly cleaning materials and recycled paper.

These things took London Canal Museum first to Bronze, and then to Silver Award level. But one big issue remained: heating. Old and very inefficient, their gas heating would never have let them strike Gold. After much consideration of the options, they eventually decided to invest serious money into a new environmentally-friendly heating and cooling system powered by an airsourced heat pump on the roof. Getting planning approval took a year of delay.

The Chair of the Planning Committee didn’t know what an airsourced heat pump was, and the Museum team had to appeal against the impossible conditions imposed. With the new heating system now in place, London’s air quality is just that bit better and London Canal Museum’s building is much more efficiently heated in winter.