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Moving around living collection in Meise Botanic Garden: the Green Ark project

Research output: Contribution to conferenceC3: Conference - meeting abstract

Meise Botanic Garden houses around 18000 plant taxa of which more than 50% grow under a total surface of 1.5 ha of glasshouses. About 40 smaller conservatories date back from the 1930’s and 150’s and are now being replaced by a modern glasshouse complex named the Green Ark. In contrast to the old
conservatories, where plants were grouped according to taxonomic or geographic units, the new glasshouses are designed to regroup the collections based on their ecological needs, resulting in less but larger climatic zones under one roof. This also enhances the energy efficiency dramatically in comparison
with the old design and curation. To be able to calculate the required surface of the different climate zones, a detailed and thorough analysis of the ecological needs of the collection was performed in advance.
As the Garden lies within a protected landscape, the available spots for building new glasshouses were rather limited. This implicated reuse of a terrain where half of the old houses were located, however still completely filled with plant collections. To cope with this we are building the new complex in two phases
making it possible to start up the first phase, move around the collections on our own site and subsequently remove the emptied old conservatories to continue building the new complex. The short timeframe between both phases where plants could be moved around, necessarily in a period with suitable outdoor
temperatures and multiple delays, implied continuous planning and preparation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5-Jun-2022
EventSociety for the Preservation of Natural History Collections : Annual Meeting 2022 - Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, The University of Edinburgh, Edingburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 6-Jun-202211-Jun-2022


ConferenceSociety for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
Abbreviated titleSPNHC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address




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