The Enhance research project, run by the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has taken up a 12 month residency at Assembly Rooms, as of October 2016, to help the venue understand and reduce its energy usage.
The Georgian building earned a place on the coveted Enhance project after a lengthy selection process, primarily based on the venue’s continued commitment to sustainability.
Shona Clelland, Cultural Venues Development Manager at City of Edinburgh Council, comments: “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.”
Enhance is a project within the Edinburgh Living Lab - a city-wide collaboration which aims to bring academia, the public sector and the third sector together in order to work with the community to co-design, test and implement new services, processes and products that generate social, environmental and economic value.
Dr. Lynda Webb, Senior Researcher at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This is a unique opportunity to observe a 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 is owned and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council. Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener, added: “We hope this unique project can provide inspiration to other sites in Edinburgh to reduce their energy output and, subsequently, the city’s carbon footprint. Already as a Council we have installed LED lighting at the Usher Hall and more recently the Scott Monument. This is another great stride towards increasing the sustainability of our cultural venues.”
Enhance is a multi-disciplinary project led by Dr. Nigel Goddard (School of Informatics), Professor Jan Webb (School of Social and Political Science) and Dr Kate Carter (Edinburgh College of Art) at the University of Edinburgh.