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The Importance Of Ventilation In Old Theatre Buildings

The Importance Of Ventilation In Old Theatre Buildings

When we see a performance at one of our theatres, we are conscious of our comfort levels and the beauty of the building. However, we may not be aware of the efforts undertaken to make this traditional, older building comfortable and safe for patrons to watch performances.
Here we explore the reasons why a suitable ventilation system is essential for any older building but especially those that invite hundreds of people to gather closely together.

Exceptional circumstances

With the concerns over COVID-19 as an airborne virus, current circumstance means that the issue of ventilation in such older, well-used buildings is even more vital. The entertainment sector has been decimated by the pandemic and business as usual will only be possible when theatres can prove that the air that patrons can breathe safe.

Unfortunately, in a building such as a theatre, as Arts Professional magazine notes: “All the PPE and social distancing in the world won’t stop that pesky virus from floating around in the atmosphere, infecting audiences and performers alike, unless proper ventilation is in place.” Indeed, SAGE recently released a report that stated that venues could be made safe with the right technology. In response, the Government has released the advice that “Good ventilation is a primary mitigation for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by aerosols.”

Damp and mould

There are more traditional and mundane reasons why appropriate ventilation is essential in theatres. Older buildings are more likely to be built of timber and with little airflow. The facilities are constructed with few windows and many narrow corridors. The natural consequence of this is a build-up of damp and mould, which, when mixed with the timber construction, can cause problems.

Although the preservation of such buildings can be hindered by damp and mould, there are also health concerns for patrons. Breathing in the spores from mould can be quite dangerous to a person’s health. It also diminishes the comfort levels for visitors to the theatre, as the air will either be chilled or humid from the need for heating.

Many theatres across the world have struggled with complaints about this very issue. When every visitor is going to matter for theatres’ survival, then a sound ventilation system is essential.

Return on the investment

The obvious concern for any venue will be the cost of installing such a system. To take an old building and furnish it with a modern ventilation system will feel like a costly affair. However, weighing up the value of such an investment needs the mind of a visionary.

First, if an old theatre is appropriately ventilated, then the chance of materials in the structure degrading is lessened. Consequently, the renovation and preservation costs of maintaining such a building will be reduced.

Secondly, if a theatre is comfortable and the patrons can sit in close quarters with others without health concerns, profits can be sustained. Offering a space that is welcoming, as well as beautiful, will do much for increasing visitors.

Transcool Systems can design and install high-quality ventilation systems for old buildings such as theatres. Contact us today to see how we can breathe life into your performance area.