Environmentally-conscious theater design and construction are growing trends in North America. Some theater owners have harnessed the energy-saving potential of solar panels, significantly lowering their monthly utility bills in the process. Theater construction, both for new theaters and restoration of existing theaters, increasingly uses recycled components and other materials with lower environmental impact.
In the U.S., buildings account for:
- 72% of electricity consumption
- 39% of energy use
- 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
- 40% of raw materials use
- 30% of waste output (136 million tons/year)
- 14% of potable water consumption
Source: U.S Green Building Council
Saving Energy To limit the energy needed for heating and cooling, construct walls with extra insulation and windows with good shading characteristics, and orient your building to make the best use of solar heat gain and loss. To further improve energy efficiency, properly size your HVAC and refrigeration systems to avoid prolonged periods of operation at partial capacity. Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
Linway Cinema Goes Green
From beverage bottles and cardboard to batteries and Xenon bulbs, Goshen, Indiana’s Linway Cinema is employing green initiatives. In addition to their recycling efforts, Linway Cinema is reducing its carbon footprint by incorporating energy efficient technologies such as installing energy efficient lighting fixtures and fluorescent lighting; using environmentally friendly cleaning products; and switching from paper towels to high-volume hand dryers.
Carmike Cinemas Builds the Nation’s First Stand-Alone Theater to be LEED-Certified
On 21 October 2009, Carmike Cinemas announced the 6 November opening of its first all ‘green’ theater in Chattanooga, TN
The Majestic 12 Cinemas was built with the goal of reducing Carmike’s carbon footprint. The site was chosen due to its proximity to public transportation options. Local, recycled construction materials were used throughout the building process, and over 90% of construction waste will be recycled. The building’s white membrane roof, its carbon dioxide sensors, and its programmable lighting controls and sensors all contribute to its energy efficiency and performance by decreasing the building’s total energy consumption by about 35%. And by utilizing rooftop mechanical units that collect rainwater and condensation, and by installing low demand toilet fixtures, the building’s demand for city-supplied potable water has been reduced by 66%, or about 200,000 gallons per year.