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A Greener Theatre

The new Everyman is green, sustainable theatre; a priority for the design team when creating and building a new theatre for the 21st century. 

Everyman Chimneys

The four majestic chimneys on the roof of the Everyman are a sign of the natural ventilation which will reduce our carbon footprint and offer a better quality of air. The heat is recovered from extract ventilation and used to heat fresh air being brought into the building. The heating (in the theatre) comes from Air Source Heat Pumps, that are like fridges in reverse, extracting heat from the outside air and delivering it inside at much higher efficiency than gas boilers. Our heating and hot water is provided by a Combined Heat and Power unit, which generates electricity with the waste heat used for heating and hot water, saving 6% of energy use and 15% of carbon emissions.

Recycled bricks in the theatre

Recycled materials feature throughout, including 25,000 bricks from the old Everyman (the original chapel was built in 1837); bar, counters and table tops are made from Iroko recycled from old laboratory bench tops; the sliding doors re-use timber from the shuttering used to cast the board marked concrete around the building; flooring in the theatre is made from recycled rubber and back of house flooring is made from a mix of recycled cork and rubber.

We’ve made choices such as to use paper towels rather than hand dryers – the biggest challenge for our toilets is getting an audience through them efficiently during the interval. Paper towels are much faster to use than dryers and are more hygienic, as well as not pushing out hot air. We use recycled paper to minimise our carbon footprint. In our research we also discovered the noise of dryers can be a problem for hearing-aid users, the blind and partially sighted and people with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s and anxiety.


Timber used throughout is from sustainable sources and carries Forest Stewardship Council certification or equivalent. The concrete uses a replacement for some of the Portland cement; using ground granulated blast furnace slag (a by-product from the production of iron) uses 80% less energy and creates 93% less carbon dioxide. It also gives the concrete the light, warm colour. Where possible the products used for finishes have low Volatile Organic Compound emission.

We have a large tank to collect rainwater, which is used to flush all the toilets. Rainwater is collected from the roof, filtered and used to flush toilets, reducing mains water consumption for flushing by up to 50% per year.

Where possible we have used LED lights, which give the same light as an old 60W tungsten lamps but only using 8W. They can also be dimmed to different levels depending on time of day and use, reducing energy used and giving warmer light as they are dimmed.

In addition we have nesting boxes for swifts and bats and, with beehives on the roof, we'll soon be offering you our very own Everyman honey.

The new Everyman has an ‘Excellent’ rating as part of the internationally recognised Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Download the BREEAM Case Study.