Sound Studios are Getting Green

tunstall studio photo

Photo: mr. wolf

Sound studios are becoming more environmental and energy efficient. Here are two: one small (ish) and one large that are pushing the limits in sustainability.

The small one belongs to British singer K.T. Tunstall, who wanted to make hers eco without losing the existing great sound.

tunstall home photo

Photo: mr. wolf

She turned to Mr. Wolf. Inc., a small building firm that has been specialising in eco projects for the last 5 years. The building was 200 years old and extremely inefficient. It was also charmingly located in the english countryside and historically designated. They insulated the internal walls in a way that would provide good insulation and impressive acoustics. A solar panel provides all the electricity and an air source heat pump heats and cools.

The country house needed work too since it was oil heated and had old windows and heat leaking walls. It too got solar panels, heat pumps, new windows, and a stunning walkway to the separate building which housed the sound studio.

sky sports photo

Photo: sky

From the cozy to the huge: Sky has just opened Sky Studios, its new £233m state-of-the-art broadcasting centre, claiming to be the most sustainable facility of its type in Europe.

Even though it is the size of an 8 storey building, Sky say that it is a "genuinely sustainable broadcasting centre that makes the most of every viable natural resource available on-site and radically minimises energy use throughout."

It houses eight naturally ventilated TV studios all 3D and HD ready, 45 edit suites, 14 voice-over suites and four audio suites. The studios and offices are naturally ventilated. It ha a wind turbine that provides energy to power 90% of the lighting throughout the building. An on-site Combined Cooling, Heat & Power (CCHP) plant will supply at least 20% of the energy needed for the building's electricity and heating systems, equivalent to the annual energy usage of up to 3,000 homes. Water use has also been minimised through efficient water fixture technologies, including using harvested rainwater to flush toilets throughout the building.

The building is the real (environmental) deal. It has received nominations for all kinds of awards: the Guardian Sustainability Awards 2011, Building Awards 2011, the World Architecture Awards 2010, the Building Construction Industry Awards 2011, and 2011 Sustainable Energy Europe Awards. It won the 'Sustainable Project of the Year' category at the 2010 Sustainability Awards.

Designed by Arup Asssociate, they say that the project "is not a superficial response to sustainability" but is a building that "sets the international benchmark for sustainability in high energy use buildings."

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