BG Energy Solutions, a specialist in energy management for businesses and large organisations is supporting more than 70 cinemas in the Vue multiplex chain with its comprehensive maintenance bureau services. Delivered on a long term contract, Vue now avoids the costs of performing ad-hoc maintenance, as well as the rising energy bills and CO2 emissions associated with poorly-functioning equipment.
The BG maintenance bureau enables each site to be remotely managed and maintained by the company’s trained engineers. This means that Vue benefits from proactive supervision, expert hotline advice and technical expertise, without the need for costly engineer call-outs or on-site disruption. Furthermore, constant monitoring and modification of the system to reflect film schedules ensures that occupant comfort levels remain paramount while optimum energy and cost savings are achieved.
Leading cinema operator
Vue Entertainment is one of the UK’s leading developers and operators of multiplex cinemas. The Vue brand and company was launched in the UK market in 2003 with 38 cinemas. Since then, Vue’s UK & Ireland circuit has grown to in excess of 80 cinemas 80 cinemas with 755 screens, serving over 37 million film lovers every year.
Each cinema boasts modern stadium seating, state-of-the-art projection and AV technologies to create the best cinematic experience for its customers. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning also fulfil a central role in delivering a comfortable and enjoyable environment. Here, automated building controls deliver optimum comfort levels. In addition, to ensure that maximum energy and cost savings are achieved, the system is programmed around changing film schedules.
“Each Vue cinema sends a weekly occupancy report which we automatically download into the control system at each site,” says Bureau Manager, Marc Harrison. “This enables our technicians to program the building controls for every screen and public area within each cinema on a day by day. As a result, energy is only used when necessary and not wasted on unoccupied space. Each cinema/ screen is micro-managed in this way.”
Energy is also conserved via optimum start/stop strategies along with continual monitoring and control, which uses the inertia of the building’s fabric to retain the required climatic conditions.
“Our cinema clients typically receive a financial return of two to four times their annual investment with the bureau, which is above and beyond a simple automated solution and equates to a minimum 10% in energy savings,” says Mr Harrison. “Above all, we maintain visitor comfort levels. No complaints means no requests for refunds from cinema goers and an enhanced brand image for our client.”
From a communications perspective, the Vue sites operate using an integrated system, which is based on the open protocol, native BACnet technology. A typical set-up sees a master controller connect each on-site system to multiple sub-controllers within the screens and public areas.
By deploying BACnet protocols over a corporate Wide Area Network (WAN), on standard IT equipment, BG Energy Solutions can connect to and remotely monitor each Vue site from its central bureau, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Via the use of public switched lines and internet capable controllers, experienced BG engineers interrogate the Vue systems at each cinema. For instance, temperatures are monitored and controlled to a set point with tolerance. The sites are also contacted automatically at least daily to check boiler and chiller performance.
Additionally, the remote monitoring facility allows engineers to pinpoint problem areas and inform area managers before any disruption is caused to cinema visitors. This proactive service is made possible by site alarms, which are transmitted instantly via telephone lines for verification and analysis.
According to BG research, at sites not monitored by a bureau, 75% of maintenance-related issues will result in calling out the mechanical contractor. As well as negating this cost through engineer call-out prevention, BG also submits weekly reports to all associated maintenance subcontractors and cinema regional managers. This ensures ongoing communication and efficiency between all parties and the smooth operation of every theatre. Reports are sent even if there are no faults as this instils confidence in a fully operational system.
Ultimately, BG Energy Solutions has extensive experience in the leisure industry; indeed, its relationship with Vue is long standing – the controls installation process dates back to the origins of Vue in the UK in 2003. BG can boast a proven track record in the provision of a range of building and lighting controls that are supported by its remote energy control service. These services aim to create and maintain sustainable, energy efficient buildings.