Town Hall Birmingham
The Town Hall Birmingham is a Grade 1 listed building, built in 1834, which reopened in 2007 after an extensive period of renovation. Sustainability has been key to the organisation’s operations since the refurbishment, with both the environment and financial savings being motivating factors, and the Town Hall received a 1 star Industry Green certification from Julie’s Bicycle in January 2012.
From 2009/10 to 2010/11 the venue managed to reduce waste to landfill by 3.8 tonnes, and aims to achieve a 4% reduction in total emissions by 2013 through company-wide commitment to their comprehensive environmental policy.
The Town Hall’s environmental performance is overseen by the Director of Facilities and Operations and Facilities Co-ordinator, and action is implemented by the Green Team made up of representatives from different departments within the organisation. The Green Team meet regularly to work on strategies to improve the venue’s environmental impacts and ensure that all other staff are kept up to date via bulletins and environmental top tips to improve awareness. Their work is informed by the company-wide environmental policy.
The Town Hall are committed to working with environmentally responsible suppliers, and their major suppliers including their M&E contractor, cleaning contractor and waste management contractor are ISO14001 accredited (the international standard for Environmental Management).
The Town Hall has been monitoring energy consumption since 2008, which has helped them to understand where the peaks and troughs are occurring in their energy use, so that they can influence change where it is needed most. The venue is connected to the Broad Street Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant which provides hot water for heating and cold water for air-conditioning. This CHP programme uses the by-product heat that is normally wasted to produce power as part of the Birmingham’s effort to reduce emissions by 60% by 2026.
The Town Hall has also adopted the Julie’s Bicycle Green Rider and is working on a number of audience-based initiatives.
Towards the Future
The venue is planning to have 80% of all the front of house lighting and production lighting in the auditorium to be switched to LEDs during 2012, this will save between 72% and 90% of energy use per light.
Image credits: Mike Gutteridge