The Connecticut Green Building Council recognizes excellence in green building design, construction and operations through its annual Green Building Awards program, established in 2006.
The awards acknowledge excellence in design and construction practice that supports the broader goals of accelerating the equitable, healthy, resilient, and sustainable transformation of the built environment in the state of Connecticut and beyond.
The Legacy Theatre was built in 1886 as a non-denominational church for the residents and visitors of the Stony Creek village in Branford. It was later used as a performance hall, a movie house, a corset factory, and a puppet museum. The non-profit theater group Legacy Theatre purchased the property in 2013, called for renovations and restoration, and opened its doors in April, 2021.
It is now a 127-seat theater with dressing rooms and state-of-the-art rigging, lighting, and sound systems. Every inch has been optimized, with spaces overlapping and interlocking. There is an accessible stage and tech booth for those who use wheelchairs or crutches.
The original masonry building and wood-framed stagehouse addition have a 2,850 SF footprint. There are no fossil fuels used on site. Electric air-to-air heat pump mechanical systems provide heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning. An enthalpy recovery ventilator brings in fresh air, while in-duct ultraviolet light and ionic plates work to kill viruses, providing a healthy indoor environment.
These efforts result in a remarkably low air leakage rate for a theater, let alone an adapted masonry building. Summer energy use — with rehearsals, set work, and day and evening programming — averaged only 10.5 kWh. The low-energy demand also helps this non-profit financially, through low electrical bills.
Wyeth Architects’ work on the Legacy Theatre has also been recognized with AIA CT’s Sustainable Architecture Award, a Preservation Connecticut Award, and the Elizabeth Mills Brown Award of Excellence.