Overture Center for the Arts
Bravura performance of HVAC.
A multi-purpose, multi-phase, 21st century cultural resource stitched into the fabric of 19th century-scaled downtown Madison, Wisconsin, the 400,000 square foot Overture Center is a model of energy-efficient operation. The 400,000 square foot facility, covering one and a half city blocks, houses four sound-sensitive performance venues ranging from a 2,225-seat symphony hall and 1,100-seat drama theater to a 250-seat recital hall, as well as the humidification-specific galleries and supporting spaces of a 50,000 square foot museum of contemporary art.
Under floor air distribution within the large volume of the performance hall localizes temperature control to occupied space. Ductwork enlarged to reduce noise also creates less static pressure requiring less fan horsepower to move the air. Multiple air handling units with economizer controls support the respective venues throughout the facility; variable air volume systems with variable frequency drives match fan speeds and energy usage with constantly varying HVAC loads. Temperature and humidity control in museum gallery spaces uses energy recovery units, transferring heat and humidity between supply and relief air streams.
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“During a performance, Overture Hall has over two thousand people in it. During a rehearsal, maybe 100. The rest of the time, nobody. The HVAC systems tune themselves to optimally meet the changing demand.”