Green Theater Initiative

HyLight Fuel Cell Launched

Reprinted from Arcola Energy: “Arcola Theatre launches HyLight…” July 12, 2010

London’s Arcola Theatre launches its first in-house designed and manufactured fuel cell product HyLight and announces the creation of a new trading company Arcola Energy Ltd to develop the commercial aspects of its international award winning arts & sustainability programme.

Developed with regular Arcola partners BOC (global industrial gas supplier), and White Light (leading supplier of lighting equipment and services to the entertainment industry), HyLight is a unique portable lighting and power supply to provide illumination in locations away from the electrical grid, silently and without the emissions of traditional noisy, polluting diesel generators.

HyLight is packaged in a compact wheeled flight-case, rugged for transportation and easy to deploy. The system includes the new Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator from BOC, two of BOC’s new lightweight compressed hydrogen cylinders, and a choice of low energy LED lighting systems suitable for architectural, live event or safety applications.

To ensure reliable operation and provide added flexibility, HyLight’s power control system allows seamless switching between mains power, fuel cell power and battery back-up (1 hour). An LCD display provides real-time operating information and user prompts, whilst a data-logger records second-by-second performance. Online tools allow users to analyse their usage profile and determine the carbon footprint of their activities.

With a rated power output of 150W (200W peak), HyLight will provide many hours of safe, low-voltage power between refills. Run time with a 100W load is 30 hours per hydrogen cylinder. Furthermore, as run-time is directly proportional to load (in marked contrast to diesel generators), in lower power applications such as cordless tool charging, run times of several days are possible from a single hydrogen cylinder. A built-in 240V outlet can supply ancilliary equipment.

“HyLight is the result of several years of hugely productive collaboration Arcola has enjoyed with BOC and White Light,” comments Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director at Arcola Theatre, “and of a recent research and development project we undertook with the support of the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Their support allowed us to innovate rapidly together, taking lessons we have learnt with running low-energy lighting from the 5kW fuel cell we have at Arcola Theatre and combining that experience with the latest hydrogen and fuel cell technology from BOC to create a small, portable package that offers lower total cost of ownership than diesel generators – and many other practical benefits as well.”

“We don’t expect our customers to necessarily care about the history or technology of the hydrogen fuel cell,” comments Bryan Raven, White Light’s Managing Director. “What we do expect is that they will care greatly that they can have a lighting system that is clean, silent and portable, perfect for lighting events in gardens, parks or remote locations”.

Leyla Nazli, Executive Producer at Arcola Theatre said “Having engineers developing clean energy technologies right here in Arcola Theatre is part of our future vision. Artists imagining sustainable futures must witness first hand the possibilities for change, so to work side-by-side with engineers is invaluable”.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Platforms at the Technology Strategy Board said “this is a great story of a company taking ownership of its carbon emissions and applying its expertise to tackle the problem“.

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9Thirty Theatre Gulf Spill Benefit

Reprinted from Ecorazzi: “NYC Eco Theater Company Holds Benefit to Raise Money For Gulf Coast Animals” by Michael Parrish DuDell, July 19, 2010

Here in New York City we have commercial theater, experimental theater, really bad theater…but who knew we also have green theater, too!?

9Thirty Theatre Company is one of New York City’s first eco theater companies, and we happen to think they’re pretty darn neat. By having the environment serve as a character, theme, or the plot of their shows, 9Thirty seeks to raise awareness and take action on pressing environmental issues.

On Sunday, July 25, the theater company with a heart of gold will present THE BIRDS” TO SAVE BIRDS — a benefit reading of “The Brown Pelican” by George Sklar. The event will raise money for both 9Thirty and Tri-State Birds – a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and rehabilitating birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

“After the oil spill I found myself feeling helpless about what I could do to make a difference,” says artistic director Jeff Burroughs. “As of June 1st 658 birds, 279 turtles, and 36 mammals have been found dead. So I created an avenue to DO something! I contacted Tri-State Bird Rescue to put together a benefit.”

Besides the reading, the benefit will also feature organic food and drinks, a good old fashion raffle, and coupons for special discounts on future productions.

Sound super cool? Stop by 9TTC.org to get more information and purchase your tickets!

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Julie’s Bicycle Helps UK Theatres Cut Carbon

Reprinted from The Guardian: “Green Dreams: How Can Theatre Cut Its Carbon Emissions?” by Chris Wilkinson, June 29, 2010

As the financial climate gets ever chillier, much has been said about the need for theatre companies to band together if they are to survive the coming cuts. So it is good to see that a new spirit of cooperation is now developing across the industry – albeit in response to an entirely different climate. The curiously named Julie’s Bicycle – an organisation that exists to help the creative industries lower their greenhouse gas emissions – has recently announced the launch of a “UK-wide theatre programme” aimed at helping theatres play their part in the fight against climate change.

Of course, for some theatres, an interest in the environment is nothing new. There have been individual efforts going on for a number of years now. Some companies are building theatres that are literally recycled, the National Theatre has been working with Philips to reduce its energy consumption and east London’s Arcola theatre has made itself the industry leader with its hugely impressive Arcola Energy project.

Yet what is particularly exciting about this new initiative is that it seeks to foster a much greater level of cooperation across the industry as a whole. The aim of Julie’s Bicycle is to bring together producers from both the commercial and subsidised sectors, and they have already attracted some of the biggest names on both sides of the theatrical divide. A steering committee for the project has been set up, chaired by Nick Starr, the executive director of the National Theatre, which boasts representatives from organisations as diverse as Cameron Mackintosh Productions, Glyndebourne, the National Theatres of Scotland and Wales, the RSC and many others.

Sian Alexander, Julie’s Bicycle’s associate director for theatre, says this shows that there is a “huge appetite” in the industry for tackling this issue. The plan is that companies will share information and ideas so that eventually Julie’s Bicycle will be “able to produce an annual report for theatre on GHG emissions and progress towards targets based on the data collected by the industry”. Given how secretive theatres can be about their plans and operations, it is good to see that differences are being overlooked in the face of this major challenge.

In fact, as the Stage recently explained, Julie’s Bicycle has already launched one major report about the impact that touring theatre has on the environment. They calculated that in 2009 British touring companies produced approximately 13,400 tonnes of greenhouse gases: equivalent to flying round the world 2,680 times. In one sense this is good news – Alexander points out that this figure is not as high as they had initially feared it might be – but she adds that there are also many areas where things could be improved.

As well as working directly with theatres, the organisation has provided a number of resources on its websites to enable companies to measure their impact themselves. These include a free carbon calculator, which theatres can use to work out what their carbon footprint is, and a range of other advice on how to become more energy-efficient.

Recent years have seen a range of shows – from Filter’s Water to the Bush’s Contingency Plan – that have sought to tackle climate change from an artistic point of view. So it’s good to see theatres attempting to be green not just in word, but in action too.

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“Recycled Comedy” and the Ambassador Theatre Group

Reprinted from Broadway World: “Mark Rylance Visits Comedy Theatre’s “Recycled Comedy” Exhibit, Runs Through 9/4″ June 17, 2010

Actor Mark Rylance, who will be in the upcoming revival of David Hirson’s La Bête at the Comedy Theatre, visited the theatre’s current exhibition, “Recycled Comedy.” Rylance will be starring in La Bête alongside Joanna Lumley and David Hyde Pierce at the Comedy Theatre from 26 June until 4 September.

The “Recycled Comedy” Exhibition showcases replica costumes from past productions that have played at the theatre made entirely from recycled and recyclable materials. Each costume sits in its own ‘environment’ which is complemented with light and sound. For the past month front of house, management, crew and box office staff at the Comedy Theatre have been working hard to develop and realize the exhibition which promotes recycling and raises environmental awareness.

Rylance, who has a strong interest in environmental and recycling issues, won two Olivier Awards with his roles in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHIN and JERUSALEM. He was also honored with a Tony Award for BOEING BOEING. He served as the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre from 1995-2005.

The Comedy Theatre is owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). ATG is committed to achieving the highest standards of environmental performance, preventing pollution and minimising the impact of its operations on the environment.

ATG believes it is both good business practice and our duty to protect natural resources and therefore aim to conserve energy, water, wood, paper and other resources – particularly those which are scarce or non renewable. ATG also aims to reduce waste through re-use and recycling and by using refurbished and recycled products and materials where such alternatives are available.

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UK Gold Award: “And the winner is…”

Reprinted from PR Log: “Theatre Honoured with Top Award for Putting Environmental Issues Centre Stage” May 19, 2010

The Arcola Theatre in Hackney, East London has become the first theatre in the UK to achieve a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Founded in 2000 the Arcola, in Arcola Street, London E8, is regarded as one of the leading arts venues in the UK. Now, it has become a leading light in the campaign to reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60 per cent before 2025 by investing in series of innovations and and an ongoing project to educate visitors on sustainability.

“We are trying to become the world’s first carbon neutral theatre.” said Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director with the Arcola Theatre in London.

“We are in a very old dilapidated building so we’ve done lots of work in house. That’s involved changing our suppliers, turning things off and putting in some fairly advanced technology for demonstrations.

“We are in fact the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered theatre and we’ve done some shows where we’ve run purely on hydrogen. Which in itself isn’t directly green but it helps to persuade lighting designers that they need to seriously cut the amount of lighting they use.

“We’ve managed to put on a theatre show here on five kilowatts which is about 70 per cent less than you would normally use,” said Dr Todd.

GTBS members are assessed on 145 separate measures by qualified advisers before being awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold grading, making it one of the most scrupulous green accreditation schemes in the world.

To achieve a Gold grading from GTBS members have to demonstrate a number of practical measures which have improved energy savings and promoted sustainability.

“The Gold Award for the Arcola is a strong catalyst in greening North East London, including Hackney and surrounding districts,” said Jon Proctor, Technical Director of the GTBS.

“The most progressive areas for the business relate to how they communicate the green message to the community. The theatre hosts monthly green Sundays which are popular and very well designed.

“The Arcola staff have taken a lead on Green tourism in the area having been an excellent advocate of the scheme through presentations and demonstrations and they continue to drive sustainable development through a mix of highly innovative projects such as LED lighting and hydrogen fuel cells as well as simpler products such as a vegetarian restaurant.

“There are still areas for further improvement but the business has tackled all the issues which can be tackled directly and remains an inspiration to the community and the whole industry. As the first theatre in the UK to gain a Gold Award we hope further promotions will follow.”

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Historic preservation and sustainability go hand in hand

Reprinted from Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits: “Historic Preservation and Going Green” by John M. Tess, April 2010

Historic preservation and sustainability go hand in hand. There is a misconception that historic preservation tax credit (HTC) projects and LEED certified projects are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, green development and preservation can both be achieved when rehabilitating a historic building; thus, opening the door for developers and property owners to benefit from using federal, state and local historic incentives while meeting green building standards.

At present, the federal government offers a 20 percent investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of certified historic buildings. The rehabilitation of a historic building must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. These standards provide guidance on the appropriateness of work on a historic building, through the preservation of the building’s significant historic features. The program is administered by the State Historic Preservation Offices and the National Park Service.

The most recognizable program in green building certification is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is a green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving a building’s performance. LEED certification is based on seven credit categories including: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in Design/Regional Priority. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The most common concern when performing a green rehabilitation of a historic building is energy efficiency. There is a bias throughout the green building community that if you want to achieve energy efficiency in a building you need to start from scratch. Historic buildings have embodied energy that can balance the goal in the green building community for energy efficiency improvements that may be difficult to achieve otherwise. The LEED certification system does award points for building and materials reuse. Making the LEED system work within the standards can be a challenge, as the standards have clear guidelines on retaining historic materials during rehabilitation. These challenges are illustrated through two successful LEED certified historic preservation tax credit projects: The Oregon National Guard Armory Annex and the Meier & Frank Department Store Building both located in Portland, Oregon. These projects demonstrate the amount of flexibility available for greening buildings utilizing the federal historic tax credits.

The Oregon National Guard Armory Annex, built in 1891, has thick masonry walls and a fortress-like appearance, and with more gun slits than windows it might not seem like an obvious candidate for a green rehabilitation. But the Gerding Edlen Development Company had a vision to rehabilitate this historic building into a state-of-the-art theatre while meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and achieving LEED Platinum certification, the highest level in the LEED program.

The Armory is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is significant as the first armory built in Oregon for the newly organized Oregon National Guard. It is also significant as an excellent example of the Castellated architectural style. Throughout the building’s history it has been utilized for various functions including arms storage, shooting range, drill hall, event hall and, prior to its rehab, beer warehouse.

In 2006 the building was rehabilitated as the home of Portland Center Stage. The primary challenge of rehabilitating what was essentially a warehouse into a theatre, was to fit 55,000 square feet of program space within a 20,000-square-foot footprint while preserving and exposing the Douglas fir truss ceiling. The masonry structure also had to be braced seismically and the two performance spaces had to be isolated acoustically. The solution involved excavating 30 feet below the level of the original basement and building a concrete box inside the existing shell with access via two 14-foot-wide doors.

On the historic preservation side, the exposed roof trusses and exterior of the building were determined to be character defining features that had to be preserved. The roof trusses remained exposed in the building lobby and an oculus opening was created to provide views from the first floor to the roof trusses above. The distinctive masonry exterior was rehabilitated with no major changes.

On the green side, the spaces are distinctly contemporary in appearance and in function. The building has excellent lighting, air quality and energy efficiency with a 30 percent improvement over code standards. To improve water efficiency, rainwater is captured from the roof and used to flush toilets and urinals. The building is also equipped with dual-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads and faucets, reducing the building’s potable water use by 88 percent. Its windows also have advanced glazing to maximize daylighting while minimizing winter heat loss and summer heat gain. Where appropriate, lighting in the building is controlled by photo-sensors, occupancy sensors and dimming switches. These features all contributed to the LEED Platinum rating. Reuse of the existing building conserved not only the embodied energy of the existing materials but also the craftsmanship of the unique façade, preserving this Portland Landmark for future generations. The newly christened Gerding Theater has the distinct honor of being the first building on the National Register of Historic Places to receive federal historic tax credits and to achieve LEED Platinum status.

The Meier & Frank Department Store Building consists of three interconnected structures built over a 23-year period from 1909 to 1932. When completed, it was Oregon’s largest building. Like so many department stores, the building gradually became underutilized in the late 20th century. Sage Hospitality Resources’ renovation included modernization of the lower five floors and basement as a state-of-the-industry retail space and transformation of floors 6 and above into Oregon’s first five-star hotel. The hotel contains 331 rooms, destination atrium restaurant, rooftop lounge, 7,200-square-foot grand ballroom and 13 additional meeting rooms.

Adaptive reuse of this department store into a hotel was not a simple task. The building required seismic, fire, life safety and other code upgrades. The full-block floor plate was unwieldy, and built as three structures, the floor and ceiling levels did not always align.

On the historic preservation side, the white terra cotta exterior, original windows, and ground floor entrances and elevator lobby were determined to be character defining features that had to be preserved. These features were preserved while making way for a state-of-the-art interior that included a new atrium for the hotel.

On the green side, the effective reuse of the Meier & Frank Department Store represents an enormous accomplishment in sustainable design. This accomplishment takes two forms: first, the preservation of embodied energy and materials of one of Oregon’s largest buildings; second, the sustainable initiatives to green the building and its operations. Apart from the eco-savings accomplished through preservation, the project team embraced a number of pro-active steps towards sustainable design. Specifically, during construction the project committed to recycling removed materials, achieving 90 percent recycle rate.

Major work included the use of interior storm windows and high-performance glazing in infill elements, maximizing access to natural light. The installation of high efficiency lighting systems resulted in a savings of 26 percent energy consumption over comparable hotels. Finally, the installation of high efficiency water systems, with low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets, collectively will save a half million gallons of water per year.

In addition to the development aspects of the project, green operations focused on the core tenets of reduce, reuse and recycle. These operations included using 100 percent renewable energy, including wind power and carbon offsets, using only Green Seal-certified products and encouraging employees to bike to work. In total, these eco-actions are anticipated to save the hotel $1 million in operating costs in its first 10 years. The Nines Hotel achieved LEED Silver certification; one of only 10 five-star hotels that are LEED certified projects. More broadly, the project demonstrates that sustainable practices and luxury hotel operations are not mutually exclusive, but that “eco-luxury” is mutually compatible.

Contrary to the misconception that historic and green projects do not work together, our experience proves that it can be done. Other recent historic tax credit projects we have been involved in that either have achieved LEED certification or are in the process of seeking LEED certification include the Palomar Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa., Court Square Center in Memphis, Tenn., Mercy Corps Headquarters in Portland, Ore., the Deco and Barclay Buildings in Milwaukee, Wis., and the IBM Building in Chicago, Ill.

Often, the owners and developers of historic buildings simply assume that their building cannot secure both historic tax credits and LEED certification, believing that the preservation standards will work against the green priorities. In the process, they forego the potential green or financial incentives, benefits that often make the difference in the viability of a project. It is important when contemplating the redevelopment of these resources that all opportunities are explored as historic buildings are often environmentally friendly and contain opportunities for becoming greener.

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Arcola Meets ‘This is Rubbish’

Reprinted from http://www.thisisrubbish.org.uk/?p=357

This is Rubbish are very pleased and excited to be collaborating with The Arcola Theatre and Pangolin’s Ark. On Sunday the 11th April The Arcola Theatre, This is Rubbish and Pangolin’s Ark will host a day of sustainable food themed talks, activities and workshops, followed by a fine food waste and sustainably sourced feast.

Buy tickets for the feast here

We are currently scheduling the workshops and a detailed program of the day will be released soon. Tickets for the feast will also be on sale in the very near future. Watch this space!

If you fancy getting involved with a crew chopathon and baking session, we’re looking for volunteers to help prepare and cook the food on the Saturday, and volunteers to help prepare and serve the food during the evening event on Sunday. The soil service (waitresses and waiters) will be dressed up as soil particles, salad and vegetables and service will be very interactive and incredibly earthy!

Give us a shout if you are interested on helping out on day that is set to be super soily and sustainably wonderful.

info@thisisrubbish.org.uk

poppy@pangolins-ark.co.uk

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Squatting for Sustainability

Reprinted from Seattle Metblogs: “Sustainable Theatre at SU” by Zee Grega, March 4, 2010

Seattle University’s greenSquat program in a new way of producing theater – two or more productions share a stage – the second production “squats” on the set and production design of the first, reducing materials used, and reducing the environmental impact of the shows, which can often be substantial.

The first greenSquat production is a new play called WRITER 1272, a comedy by local playwright Vincent Delaney about plagiarism, ghost writing, and the complex conditions of college admissions. WRITER 1272 is “squatting” on SU’s recent staging of Island of Slaves, reusing the set, production materials and even posters from the previous play to create an eco-friendly production. Any added materials are themselves found, recycled, or repurposed – nothing new. greenSquat creator Steve Galatro says says, “Theatre is wasteful. In terms of time, money, energy, and physical resources, we have not yet done our best as a theatre community to embrace the trend of sustainability that is now present all around us. In greenSquat, we are challenging students to examine their responsibility as eco-conscious artists: examining the wide array of materials that make a production and imagining their potential to make another production entirely.”

SU hopes that greenSquat will inspire other theater artists to reduce their environmental impact as well and has partnered with a number of local businesses to promote the idea and will offer raffles and green product giveaways at all shows.

WRITER 1272 runs through March 13 at SU’s Lee Center for the Arts; tickets are available at the door or in advance through the box office which is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1:30 to 6:00 pm; call 206.296.2244 for ticket details.

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Green Theatre Showcase

Reprinted from Stage Directions: “St. Norbert College Hosts Green Theatre Showcase” by Vicki, February 9, 2010

DEPERE, WI—St. Norbert College is open their doors March 23 for an exhibit and discussion on the new green theatre movement. From 3:00 PM until 8:00 PM in the lobby of Walter Theatre on the St. Norbert’s campus manufacturers will be on hand to discuss their latest innovations on greening up theatre.

Green Theatre has become a big topic, especially with all the energy and resources that go into a single production. School districts have begun making grant money available for environmentally projects as well, but theatre sometimes are at a loss on how to green their processes enough to qualify for the funds. The Green Theatre Showcase aims to answer some of these questions for theatres looking to go green.

Representatives of ETC, Strong, Rosco, Altman, Color Kinetics, Prism Projection, Martin and probably more manufacturers will be on hand to address how their products fit into the green movement, including such products as Low VOC paints & coatings, LED lighting fixtures, modern HID followspots to replace aging incandescent units, or products for any other area of a theatre.

There will be a product presentation at 5:30 PM. Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Attendees will also receive a CD containing information on the featured products.

Registration for the Green Theatre Showcase is requested, but not required.

The showcase will take place:

Saturday, March 23

3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

St. Norbert College

Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts

Walter Theatre

315 3rd Street DePere, WI 54115

For more info, contact Doug MacDonald and Brian Hatfield at DesignLab Wisconsin, 800-43-DESLB x301 and x302 or e-mail them at wisales@dlabwi.com , or visit www.dlabwi.com.

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