The design of the listed Port Louis Theatre building is now complete. The project was challenging on several fronts, as is the case in any listed building. Fitting building services was a bigger challenge because of the restrictions in opening sizes, noise considerations, limited plant spaces available as the building sits on the limit of its boundary.
Getting the air-conditioning right is critical inside this theatre, which lies in the heart of the hottest city on the island. Whereas we knew from the beginning that the usual space cooling from high level diffusers won’t work, we were hesitant to design a displacement ventilation because of restrictions in the floor void. Luckily the Architects decided to replace the flooring and we were given the space needed to use the floor void as the plenum. We therefore proceeded with extensive computer fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and iterations until we got the temperature distribution right on all the floors.
This strategy has allowed a reduction of 59 % of the cooling load and an estimated annual energy reduction of 656,000 kWhr, based on two representations per week. Displacement ventilation is extensively used in theatres and the key is to get it right through CFD, which we have done. We are now all excited to see the works starting and then commissioning the whole system.