PALAZZO FALSON HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM WINS ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
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On the 18th January, 2008, Palazzo Falson was announced winner of the Environmental Award for Industry in Category B, in a presentation ceremony held at the Aula Magna of the Old University in Valletta. This Conservation Award for Sustainable Development was awarded on the basis of the several environmental initiatives which Palazzo Falson has adopted since opening its doors to the public in May 2007.
Despite the antiquity of the building, the equipment and presentation of the house rely on state-of-the-art technology. A new system of membrane (Evalon V- Solar membrane), which incorporates photovoltaic elements, was installed on the large roof areas. This was the first time this system was used in Malta. It is pollution-free and converts solar energy into electricity to supplement the energy needs of the Museum. When the electricity generated exceeds the needs of the Museum, particularly during hours when the Museum is closed, the surplus electricity generated can be fed into the national grid. Another benefit of this new system is that the PV elements are integrated into the membrane and therefore are completely flat with the roof surface. The installation of this membrane was sponsored by HSBC and Bank of Valletta.
Other environmental measures adopted at Palazzo Falson include the installation of blinds which filter out harmful UV rays, primarily to conserve the artworks at the recommended light level, but also to lessen the intensity of heat streaming in through large glazed areas in the summer. This results in reductions in usage of electricity as air conditioners are used for fewer hours. The heavy involvement of staff members of Palazzo Falson further contributes to lowering the museum’s carbon emission. An environmental officer has been appointed from amongst team members to act as environment watchdog, recommending measures to lessen environmental pollution and ensuring that all positive environmental practices continue to be adhered to. Several voluntary schemes are operated by staff such as separation of waste, switching off during visitor lulls and even logging fauna observed at the Palazzo. Palazzo Falson’s deep commitment to the environment is transmitted also to its young visitors as the Children’s Activity books, that are presented to all children visiting Palazzo Falson, are printed on re-cycled paper.