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CIBSE Case Study: Everyman Theatre, Liverpool - Waterman Building Services
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CIBSE Case Study: Everyman Theatre, Liverpool - Waterman Building Services

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CIBSE Building Performance Champion / Project of the Year - Leisure

The team, project or product that has made the most outstanding, contribution and commitment to achieving improved building performance

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool - Waterman Building Services

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Like a phoenix from the ashes, the new 27 million Everyman Theatre has risen triumphantly from the site originally occupied by its much loved, but ailing predecessor.

The reborn theatre, which opened in 2014, features outstanding energy efficiency, maximised with the help of the building's fabric and, in particular, its dramatic facade which employs sophisticated active solar shading. To boost environmental performance still further, the auditorium uses natural stack ventilation, minimising the energy consumption of fans and ventilation equipment. This is supported by a mechanical system to cope with peak loads. Low energy lighting and controls complete the energy saving measures of this iconic building.

The theatre has achieved an Excellent BREEAM rating as a result of these measures.

At the outset, the challenge for m&e engineer Waterman Building Services (WBS) was to provide a low energy theatre with a naturally ventilated auditorium in a particularly challenging location the crowded university and cathedral quarter of Liverpool.

The theatre auditorium couldn't have large opening windows or louvres because of traffic noise/ daylight breaking in and show noise breaking out. On top of this, there was a need to dissipate upwards of 115kW of internal gains while maintaining internal air quality.

The most innovative element of the design process was the simulation of the natural ventilation processes which analysed the auditorium's environmental conditions using building-wide dynamic simulation modelling and then refining the results with computational fluid dynamics.

Another innovation was the natural ventilation control system. An array of actuator-controlled dampers has been fitted within the basement plenum and the high level auditorium plenum. A method of control was devised that enabled both sets of ampers to be interlocked, with banks of dampers capable of being opened and closed proportionally to match the internal air temperature and air quality conditions.

Finally, the building management system incorporates an energy metering and logging strategy that enables Everyman staff to review, record and store energy and resource data including lighting load, CHP energy produced, mains cold water usage, harvested rainwater usage and gas consumption.

Project Team:

Building services engineer: Waterman Building Services
Building owner and occupier: Liverpool and Merseyside
Theatres Trust / Project manager: GVA Acuity
Quantity surveyor: Gardiner and Theobald LLP
Brief consultant, architect and interior designer: Haworth Tompkins
Mechanical / electrical engineer: Waterman Building Services
Contractor: Gilbert Ash
Investment / property company: Arts Council England, European Regional Development Fund / various funders / stakeholders
Developer: The Board of Trustees of the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust

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