Green Theatre

A SUSTAINABLE THEATRE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

 

BACKGROUND

The Theatre’s roof is made from cement and asbestos panels which are not weather proof and afford no insulation. The building is currently heated with obsolete gas heaters which are less than 50% efficient. The heating bills are onerous and a constant drain on resources. The lack of a comfortable clean building prohibits attendance by theatre patrons and in turn means the theatre cannot develop. Despite these drawbacks Titchfield Festival theatre is the most prolific amateur theatre in the UK producing over 20 shows a year.

THE PROJECT

The roof would be replaced with a fully insulated roof. The roof would be load bearing and will then be fitted with aerovoltaic solar panels.

The panels will generate approx 92kw of electricity. This electricity would then be used to supply all the electricity needed for the centre,

A bio mass boiler will be installed to generate enough heat for all sectors of the Theatre . The heat generated would be held in the building because of the insulated roof and re-circulated using de-stratification fans.

Excess energy from the solar panels will be sold back to the national grid on an agreed FIT and generate an income for 20 years. The company would also benefit from a government RHI tariff for the new boiler that would generate  a further income over 20 years.

The roof catches a considerable amount of water. This water is currently lost. The water from the roof will be harvested along with other waste water, screened and filtered and will be reused in our costume store for laundry facilities and to provide water to our increased toilet facilities.

TFT can optimise its future economic resource through shows, energy production and fuel savings so that it is economically sustainable. The use of the sustainable energy resource makes this site a flagship in demonstrating the use of environmentally sustainable products- as a ‘green theatre’ making it  a ‘passive building’  with almost a zero carbon foot print.. It will inspire other theatres and community areas to look at their own carbon footprint.

The proposed project is unique in its field – to ensure a theatre is totally self sufficient in it’s energy needs, whilst recycling water and waste products. Furthermore energy is to be sold back to the main grid and payments received from the governments RHI for bio mass boilers. The scheme ensures that over the next 20 years the theatre will be able to cover rent and mortgage payments giving a firm base to grow from.

The company already recycles sets and uses old sets and equipment where ever possible via SET EXCHANGE.  We are also one of the few theatres in the country that has an effective waste recycling policy via its local council ( where it divides out all its waste and recycles it and asks its patrons to use recycle bins for waste cups bottles  etc) All of these projects reinforce the theatres policy of sustainability where ever possible.

The highest specification has been sought for the solar panels and bio mass boiler. Both sets of equipment have a manufacturers guarantee with maintenance contracts pre arranged to cover the next 20 years.

Our team has worked closely with the bidders to ensure that the specification asked for will be adequate for the next 25 years and since the project will be such high profile, will be a show case for their equipment. By doing this we have put the onus on them to ensure the best equipment and most fit for purpose is installed.

The project is one that enhances the environment in every way.

(a)          It reduces and clears out an asbestos based product

(b)          It uses natural light, sustainable waste timber and recycles grey water

(c)           reduces the dependency of the theatre on fossil fuels

 (d)         Feeds in excess electricity generated from solar energy to the national grid

(e) ensures that areas where bio mass heating cannot be cost effectively installed,areovoltaic solar cells are used ensuring heat production under the solar cells is adequately used to heat hot water and heating in the wardrobe and props area.

(f) By installing a mezzanine we maximise the amount of space in the over building. The new mezzanine adds approximately another 400 sq metres to the internal structure of the building. The new rooms break the overall building into ‘insulated cells’ making the areas easier to heat, cutting down on bio mass fuel and heating costs. the new structure will allow the company to hire out more community space for which it has a waiting list which in turn gives a valuable ongoing revenue stream.

(g) The company will install new LED lights in all locations including all common and public areas, for on stage theatre lighting and in store room areas. Again this shows our commitment to having an absolute zero carbon footprint and using the latest technology available.

Access to the theatre building is constantly being upgraded to ensure that access to all is achieved. The fact that the building after the project completion will now be kept warm and comfortable will be an immediate benefit to our many younger and elderly disabled patrons. This in turn will have a knock on effect in increased attendance figures and box office takings. Currently many of our patrons are deterred from attending productions in the cold winter months. The proposal  also includes a new hearing loop for our hard of hearing patrons and the installation of two lifts to ensure wheelchair users can reach the mezzanine floor and access all areas of the theatre.

The financial impact of the project will be huge. Since it will secure the finances of the company ongoing and certainly for the next 20 years. This ground breaking project will lower the companies running costs with a reduction in all other costs to the company. Insurance costs will be reduced, energy costs will now be negative and produce an income. Maintenance will be reduced since there will be no leaks in the roof and the new equipment will have maintenance contracts attached to them, with guarantees on the equipment for the next 25 years.

The project will ensure that with a safe warm environment other groups can use the centre, adding to it’s financial security. Several dance companies, musical groups, choirs and other art based groups would like to use the facilities if they are kept warm in the winter and the rental is at an achievable level. As well as TFT many of these groups work with children to inspire them to have the ambition to experience the performing arts and to go on to college and to use the skills they have obtained attending such classes in their lives. Many of these children and young adults will have the opportunity to use a stage area, fully lit by a lighting rig fastened to a new safe roof and will have warm dressing rooms heated through solar energy and the latest in heating technology – an education in itself, demonstrating how safe, sustainable environmentally friendly technology benefits them directly. The project will allow TFT to invest in more rehearsal space giving even more people the chance to experience the arts. With resource saved from the heating bills it can expand its programme to commissioning more new, innovative and inspirational work, giving new playwrights, artists and writers a chance to showcase their work.