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Consulting and Design Services


Whether you are building a new or upgrading an existing performing arts facility, anything from a fully equipped theatre to a small drama classroom, we can design the necessary systems and help you avoid costly mistakes.

The best time to engage our services is when you first begin planning your performing arts facility, even before you engage your architect. If you are already part way through your project, and getting worried about the technical stuff, then we can still help, it's always a case of 'better late than never'.

A theatre consultant working for you as an integral part of your project team is an investment that will help ensure your new performing arts facility will be attractive, safe, and will work as you intended it to.

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Adena Ltd - The School Specialists!

Specialising in working with schools enables us to understand the unique requirements of educational facilities and the enormous amount of planning and fundraising schools undertake to enable the development of performing arts facilities.

We are here to help you achieve a successful project that is as cost effective as possible.

We deliver services and equipment to help teachers teach and kids learn.

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Working Alongside Your Architect

Theatrical equipment and technologies are highly specialised and critical to the functionality and safety of every performing arts facility, large or small, so its installation needs to be designed by an experienced and reputable theatre consultant.

Every performance space is different and its technical infrastructure will also be different, there's no one-size-fits-all formula. We are able to work alongside your architects to enable them to incorporate the necessary elements of the theatrical infrastructure design into the overall building design. During the construction phase, we continue to work alongside your architects and project management to help them ensure everything comes together as designed.

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Early Planning is Critical to Success

Theatrical equipment installations require considerable careful planning so adequate time needs to be allowed for this, and your architect will need time to encorporate the theatrical systems design into the building design as well.

Lighting, sound and video systems, among others, must be carefully designed and installed to ensure they operate together without interfering with each other. Equipment can be heavy, use a lot of electricity and often operates at high temperatures, all of which must be factored into the design of the installation.

Theatrical technologies are also rapidly changing so wise design will provide for the future use of emerging technologies so you are not trapped into an expensive refit project the first time you want to add something new into your system.

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Design and Plan the Complete Facility - Even If You Intend To Build It As Several Smaller Projects

When designing your performing arts facility we design for the big picture, everything your facility needs to fully equip it for your intended purposes with reasonable allowances designed into the infrastructure to support the use of emerging technologies that are likely to be used in educational theatre facilities in the near future. We recommend that fully equipped should mean that you own just enough equipment to meet most of your needs most of the time.

Once we have the design worked out, we work with you, your architect and project manager to determine the installation priorities that will fit into your budget starting with the basic infrastructure items like wires in walls and building structural elements that cannot easily be added later.

Equipment that can be carried in and installed later can be purchased later, if necessary, as your needs and budgets may determine. You can always hire suitable equipment for important events in the meantime if you need to. Providing you stick to the plan when purchasing the additional equipment you will always be adding functionality that you need and you won't be wasting money creating redundant equipment.

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Saving Money and Avoiding Cost Overruns

Your architects, building contractors and trades people are highly skilled professionals, but they're not theatre technicians so they're usually unfamiliar with the specialised aspects of theatre technology installation and its operational requirements. Our services effectively fill in that knowledge gap to help optimise the building design and avoid problems that can be costly to fix if they are only identified at a later date.

The most comon mistake made by schools developing performing arts facilities is assuming that the lighting bars and other technical facilities shown on your architects drawings have been properly designed and are located in the correct positions. In fact, these technical facilities are often simply shown on the plans because they're "known to be needed" and it is expected that building and electrical contractors will sort out the details during the quoting process.

During the quoting process, the more reputable contractors will identify the specialist work that is needed and quote accordingly, allowing for the necessary additional expertise and fit out to provide you with facilities that will work as you expect them to, but their quotes are likely to be higher than others. Less repuatble contractors fail to identify the specialist work and simply quote to build as shown on the plans then expect you to sign off numerous costly variation orders during the build as problems arise, or worse still simply ignore the problems, while others tag-out the work altogether leaving you to bring in a theatre contractor after the build. Either way, fixing problems that can and should have been designed out right from the very beginning inevitably turn any 'savings' you made by taking the cheaper quote into substantial unbudgeted costs that can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

Another common, costly and easily avoided mistake is to build a nice new performing arts building with an empty stage and then call a theatre contractor to install the theatrical equipment. Installations of this nature are much more difficult than ones properly incorporated into the building design so they inevitably cost much more than they otherwise would have. In addition the installation may not look as good and if optimum placement of equipment cannot be achieved due to building constraints the equipment may not work as well as it otherwise would have. In extreme cases, the high cost of retrofitting extra structural members into a building, or correcting other building issues, can overwhelm the installation costs and prevent an installation from proceeding indefinitely, leaving you with a building that is not fit for its intened purpose.

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The Most Suitable Equipment

All the equipment we specify is carefully selected from a range of reliable, top quality professional products that we know will deliver optimum results for your particular facility. All products are of internationally respected brands that are distributed in New Zealand by their manufacturers authorised distributors, all of whom have excellent reputations. These products can be purchased from several reputable theatrical equipment dealers so you are not locked into any particular supplier.

When determining the optimum equipment specification for your performing arts facility we take the anticipated total cost of ownership into consideration. TCO includes the original cost of the equipment, anticipated maintenance costs over its lifetime, and the potential cost of downtime such as renting equipment while yours is away being repaired.

Price isn't everything but its an important consideration. Fitness for purpose requires consideration of the need for robust construction, good build quality, availability of parts if they are needed, and the overall performance of the equipment. More recently, energy efficiency has also become a major part of the consideration.

We specify equipment for educational facilities appropriately so that, as much as possible, it can be used by the students to maximise their learning opportunities.

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Safe by Design

By their nature, all theatres are multiple hazard areas, so we believe that safety is the most important design consideration in any theatrical facility.

A lot of theatrical equipment has to be suspended above the performers and audience making safety critical in the design, installation operation and maintenance of this equipment. Safe access must be provided so that equipment that is installed at height can be operated and maintained safely.

Everything that we specify in our designs complies with accepted industry best practices, international standards and all applicable NZ building and electrical regulations so you can be sure that it is fully compatible, and will operate safely, with any other professional equipment that may be hired or brought into your facilities by yourselves or by other users.