A year-long research project is underway at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms which aims to understand and reduce the historic building’s energy consumption.
The Enhance project seeks to reduce energy demand in public sector buildings through digital innovation and behavioural change.
The initiative has taken up a 12-month residency at the Georgian building which earned a place on the project after a lengthy selection process and was selected based on the venue’s continued commitment to sustainability.
Lynda Webb, senior researcher at the University of Edinburgh which is running the scheme, said: “This is a unique opportunity to observe an historic venue which caters to a diverse market with a wide range of technical and visual demands, benchmark its current energy use and identify practical ways to reduce this through people-oriented digital technologies.
“This process will require input and involvement from all staff and we are confident that given the Assembly Rooms sustainability achievements to date, the team will embrace the ethos of the project and assist in making this impressive event space truly green.”
The Assembly Rooms, owned and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council, has previously set itself a ‘sustainability vision’ which seeks to engage staff and clients in adopting sustainable practices across the business. It also encourages suppliers to operate more sustainably and participates in green initiatives such as the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Shona Clelland, cultural venues development manager at the council, said: “Being chosen to participate in the Enhance project is a great way for us to push the venue in terms of sustainability and further develop our green credentials.
“Our team is very excited to welcome the researchers in and start working with them to identify problem areas and develop solutions to reduce our energy usage over the course of the year.
“We’re ready and willing to take responsibility for our carbon footprint and hope that the learnings from this project can deliver long lasting impacts on the business.”
The project adds to a number of green initiatives already underway in Edinburgh. The city council recently announced that nine of its buildings will see their energy costs reduced by almost a quarter as a result of a new contract with E.ON’s energy efficiency specialists Matrix.