A gorgeous building, the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre evokes the artistic spirit of the performances it houses. Behind the scenes, the centre has even more to be proud of. The 44, 000 square foot space can add another award to its impressive list of accolades (which includes four Green Globes, the highest level of achievement under the practical building assessment system) as this year’s recipient of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s National Steel Design Award for Sustainability.
The centre, which includes a spacious lobby, a conference/meeting room and a theatre that seats approximately 550 people was built with sustainability at the forefront of its design. Amongst its environmentally friendly features are high efficiency boilers and chillers, increased insulation in the roof, and under the floor air distribution to reduce the capacity for heating and air conditioning.
The performing arts centre is also one of the first North American theatres to use exclusively LED stage lighting, and LED bulbs throughout the building for both interior and exterior lighting. Not only are these bulbs more energy efficient than regular incandescent lights, giving off less heat and drawing less power, they are also more practical as they are dimmable, can easily change colour, and last much longer than regular bulbs, saving thousands of dollars in electricity costs annually.
Perhaps even more visually striking than the LED lighting is the black solar panel walled fly tower which raises 70 feet from the roof of the theatre, an environmentally friendly smokestack with about 500 photovoltaic modules, the largest of its kind in Canada. Instead of being confined simply to the roof, these panels increase solar energy absorption as they are built into the walls and sides of the fly tower, a structure that exists on most performing arts spaces to hold the rigging necessary for stage productions.
In the initial stages of its conception, Senior Project Manager with the University of Alberta Michael Madsen invited teams of builders and designers to submit proposals for a modified design and build model, which made room to think outside of the box, resulting in the inventive design.
“While I’m most pleased about the transformational impact that the Lougheed Centre is having on the Camrose community and surrounding region, it’s especially gratifying that the Centre is recognized nationally and internationally by architects, builders, and theatre professionals for its cutting edge sustainable design” says Dean Allen Berger on receiving the CISC National Award.
As a joint effort between the City of Camrose, the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta, the performing arts centre has embodied the spirit that Augustana is deeply committed to: one that relies on community, sustainability and innovation.