September 16, 2019

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum is the largest museum in the southern hemisphere, covering 70,000 m2. Year-on-year, Melbourne Museum consistently ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in Australia, garnering an annual footfall of almost one million visitors. Located in Carlton Gardens, the museum is a contemporary gallery home to natural and cultural history artefacts, the Sidney Myer Amphitheatre, The Age Theatre and the world’s largest IMAX Theatre screen.

In 2016, the museum invested heavily in a new building management system or BMS, to help meet the ever-evolving demands of managing a complex public asset, especially one that houses sensitive and significant cultural artefacts.

CIM was employed for BMS Commissioning Validation using fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) and data analytics. All too often, the assets and systems that building owners inherit are not to the standard that they paid for. Knowing this, the Melbourne Museum employed CIM to continuously monitor and validate the real-time commissioning of their new BMS.

CIM provides benefits that a BMS cannot provide on its own. These include independent reporting on BMS and contractor performance, root-cause diagnosis of faults, cost-of-asset-failure calculation and data-driven strategies on how to sweat assets whilst remaining compliant.

Throughout the Defects Liability Period (DLP), CIM’s PEAK platform was able to deliver real-time data that assured Melbourne Museum would inherit a fully optimized and defect-free building.

Over the initial nine-month period, the PEAK platform identified 117 BMS and mechanical-asset faults across the estate, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed and been loaded onto the museum post DLP.

By resolving these 117 issues, Melbourne Museum was on track to reduce their annual energy bill by $203,000 – a 20% reduction on electricity and 28% on gas. Additionally, the museum achieved a $35,000 saving from resetting their demand threshold. All of this was achieved for a 4.5 month investment payback, a payback that comes three to four times faster than many other industry practices. Currently, CIM’s main objective within the Melbourne Museum is energy optimization, specifically in gas and electricity usage, as well as maintenance-related FDD. One of the main challenges unique with cultural institutions such as museums is maintaining optimum moisture content.

The materials used to make and conserve artworks and artefacts are often organic (e.g. wood, bone, ivory, leather) and are therefore hygroscopic – they are sensitive to and affected by moisture content in the surrounding air. If the atmosphere is too damp, they will expand as they absorb moisture. Too dry and they will lose moisture and cause the structure of wooden artefacts to undergo detrimental chemical and physical changes.

Temperature and humidity are inextricably linked, making temperature-humidity control essential, especially as room temperature is often established according to the needs of visitors. Melbourne Museum's onsite team was in search of a matrix to determine their HVAC equipment and control systems’ performance in maintaining the optimum humidity levels in the space, as well as use it to streamline their maintenance routine. Unfortunately, humidity control is often very energy-consuming.

In response to these challenges, CIM has been working with the museum team to implement revised energy-efficient control strategies that wouldn’t compromise space conditions.

CIM has designed a simple dashboard to provide easily digestible snapshots of each zone’s humidity KPI and highlights the problem areas that need immediate attention and action.

In the period between October 2017 and September 2018, CIM’s PEAK platform has also allowed Melbourne Museum to achieve $163,890 in energy savings. This is inclusive of a 26% electrical energy saving and 15% gas savings, both lower than the normalized model. The PEAK platform identified and resolved 366 fault tickets, 197 of which were high priority, providing a five-month investment payback and an 11.9% demand reduction, quantifying to $24,090 annually.

In partnering with CIM, Melbourne Museum has been able to ensure that through advanced machine learning and continuous data analytics, they have inherited a building worth its value that can safely protect some of Australia’s most treasured artefacts.


  • 26% Electrical Energy Saving Savings
  • 15% Gas Savings
  • 197 High-Priority Ticket Closure Rate
  • 366 Total Ticket Closure Rate
  • 11.9% Demand Reduction Savings
  • $163,890 Total Energy Savings
  • 5 months Investment Payback
  • $24,090 Demand Reduction

Quick facts:

  • Location: Carlton Gardens, Victoria
  • Building Type: Cultural Institution
  • Building Size: 70, 000 m²
  • Owned By: Museums Victoria
  • CIM Service Type: Managed Service


  • BMS Commissioning Validation
  • Energy Optimisation
  • Gas usage reduction
  • Electricity usage reduction
  • Maintenance-related FDD


  • Humidity control – maintaining optimum moisture content in the Museum Galleries
  • Streamlined maintenance routine – revised energy-efficient control strategies
Download the complete case study