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The power of art at the new Tate Modern

We get used to seeing big numbers in the art world, but as the new Tate Modern takes shape we hear about some impressive new statistics behind the scenes.

As well as providing 70% more space for displaying art, the new Switch House building will be a model of environmental sustainability, setting new benchmarks for museums and galleries in the UK.

It will draw much of its energy needs from heat emitted by EDF’s transformers in the adjoining operational switch house. With a high thermal mass, frequent use of natural ventilation, and utilisation of daylight, the new building will use 54% less energy and generate 44% less carbon than current building regulations demand.

Together with the plans for heat recovery and natural ventilation in the Switch House building, Tate is exploring a whole range of approaches to reducing energy use across the site. This includes the newly installed array of 338 photovoltaic solar panels on a section of the roof of the Turbine Hall. This 82 kWp system covers an area of 700 m2 and will generate approximately 68,000kwh a year. This is equivalent to powering about 17 homes for a year, reducing Tate’s carbon footprint and electricity consumption.

It all seems very appropriate in the updating of a building that used to be one of London’s major power stations. You can find out more about how the project will deliver a building that minimises energy use and carbon emissions can be found here