Councillors in Brighton and Hove have recently announced that the grade II listed Astoria cinema at Gloucester Place will be demolished in order to build the most energy efficient offices in Brighton.
The new building will score ‘excellent’ on the national eco-rating and will maximise the use of passive solar heating, like the Jubilee Library. It will have natural ventilation through a ‘chimney’ effect and have an ‘earth duct’ in the basement which will circulate hot or cold air according to need. Rain and waste water will be used to flush the toilets.
The cinema has been declared a building of special interest due to its large auditorium and interior decoration; however there have been no viable plans submitted to be able to pay for the estimated £3.5m renovation costs. The building has been empty since 1996 when it was used as a Bingo hall.
While the conservation of historical buildings is very important, and their loss is a great shame, this news is promising in terms of the council’s acknowledgement of our need for more sustainable buildings. However we cannot afford to entirely replace all inefficient buildings so we must also eco-renovating and retrofitting existing building stock. Fortunately we are able to offer homeowners the opportunity to make their homes more environmentally friendly at no extra cost with our offer of free solar panels.