Case study: HVAC renovation of Newcastle’s Theatre Royal

Case study: HVAC renovation of Newcastle’s Theatre Royal

Client: Newcastle City Council

Consultant: Max Fordham

Site: Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Project Value: £85,000

About the property:

The Theatre Royal is one of only nine Grade 1 listed theatres in England and is regarded by many as the UK’s finest theatre building.

In 2011 it underwent a complete six month renovation in order to recreate the original Matcham’s 1901 classic Edwardian design but incorporating modern building services. As part of the renovation process we were awarded the complete HVAC works.

The HVAC project included:

The site had existing HVAC plant in operation which in the first instance needed to be decommissioned and removed from site at the start of the restoration process.

We first had to de-commission a Carrier 4 compressor unit within the Theatre’s main plant room, which supplies the main air handling unit and is also connected to 2 off external roof mounted condensing units.

We also de-commissioned the existing VRF system and removed the condensers from site.

The external roof mounted plant was removed by a specialist crane due to the Grade 1 facade and the limited site access, all plant was then taken to our off-site storage for refurbishment.

No2 Compressor was also removed from the Carrier unit and a full rebuild and then replacement was carried out.
The main supply and extract air handling units were completely overhauled.

This involved:

  • the complete cleaning of the AHU’s and connecting ductwork
  • strip and overhaul of fans, fan bearings and impellers
  • drive motor and coupling overhaul
  • check of fan alignment
  • check of foundation and holding bolts
  • non-destructive testing of all accessible welds
  • final vibration check
  • supply and install of new filtersrefill of manometers.

The air cooled condensers were refurbished when off-site; this involved the repair and replacement of fan motors and blades and painting of the condenser carcases.

All equipment was returned to site once the new roof had been installed, this entailed a 4.00am Sunday morning crane lift and co-ordination of delivery vehicles and traffic due to the limited city centre access.
This stage also saw the lifting onto site of the new 150Kw Air cooled water chiller which we supplied, installed and commissioned. The chiller was selected to specific sound control levels, capacity control and harmonic filtration all designed so as not to affect sound carry over into the Theatre auditorium.

The project was completed on time and within budget.

You can find more details about this project in The Architects Journal  or contact us to discuss your project requirements.