Topia Arts Center is committed to build ing and operating with as much environmental consciousness as possible and has set our goal at the highest level – Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This includes both building and operations. There are very few theaters or arts centers that have achieved this, but the time is right to lead the way toward this very important part of our mission. To accomplish this, we are committed to fostering a creative community of interested parties and believe that where there is a will, there is way
Adams as a Nexus for Environmental Consciousness
The Berkshires has a unique mix of cultural and natural landscapes that Topia Arts Center wants to honor by building and operating at the highest level of environmental responsibility. Adams, MA has a proven history of environmental dedication. It is already a nexus of environmental consciousness with its network of trails amidst the natural beauty of the Greylock Reservation, the proposed Environmental Education Center at Greylock Glen, the 20-year old local photovoltaic company Berkshire Photovoltaic Systems, and the green Bershire Visitors Bureau. Topia Arts LLC built the ultra green Topia Inn according to the highest standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED Platinum guidelines) and construction. The Inn has been part of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 National Solar Tour and has been featured in articles in the New York Times, New York Magazine, New Jersey Life, Berkshire Living, Hill County Observer, and more. Yankee Magazine named Topia Inn their Editor’s Pick for Best Green Friendly Stay in New England. The Berkshire Visitor’s Bureau gave the Inn the 2007 Outstanding Achievement in Innovation and Renovation Award. Topia Arts Center has identified this strength in Adams of promotion in the Green field.
Recent studies by the Green Building Council point out many benefits that mitigate the initial higher cost. Outstanding among them is increased indoor air quality that will have a direct impact on the enjoyment of Arts Center patrons, and will also increase productivity of Arts Center staff.
Reduced Operating Costs
HVAC and electrical power for theatrical systems is generally a huge financial burden for arts organizations. LED theatrical lights consume a fraction of the power needed to run traditional theatrical lights. The installation of a photovoltaic system for the theater as well as geothermal heating and cooling are being explored. Operating costs are traditionally the hardest monies to raise for an arts organization, so the more Topia Arts Center can do to reduce costs in this area, the better off it will be while also reducing its carbon footprint.
The use of nontoxic and natural materials will not only greatly enhance indoor air quality, increasing the enjoyment of theater patrons and the productivity of our staff, it will also reduce insurance costs. Nontoxic and natural materials will include the use of low or no VOC paints; building materials without formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals; as well as green materials such as homosote, which is made from recycled materials and is an excellent choice for sound absorption. The use of noncombustible materials and borates for fire retardancy is also being explored.
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- Photovoltaic system (solar)
- Natural daylight, passive solar gain, vegetation and natural ventilation
- Local building products and contractors
- Fresh air/high indoor air quality
- Significant upgrade of the building envelope for core sustainability
- High performance materials with recycled content
- Integration of multiple systems for optimum results
- Construction waste management
- LED theatrical lighting and energy efficiency
- Recycled furnishings and equipment
- Economic sustainability
- Purchase of renewable energy credits
- Reduce long term operating costs and impact on the environment
- Re-use and adapt existing buildings
- Increase opportunities for use of public transit because of being in the downtown area
- Shared use collaborations between business, schools and Arts Center in downtown