Zach Topfer Theatre

Austin, Texas

Encotech was retained to provide full Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering Services for this public–private partnership project between the City of Austin and the Zachary Scott Theatre.  

Encotech designed the ductwork and locations of air registers, air grilles, and temperature sensors in coordination with the Architect’s aesthetic choices.  Working closely with the Acoustics Consultant, Encotech designed nearly silent HVAC systems.  A Displacement Ventilation HVAC system was used for the auditorium.  Displacement Ventilation provides design flexibility, energy savings, and the highest level of indoor air quality.  The theatre is one of only two buildings in Austin with this very quiet and energy efficient system. 

Encotech also designed a complicated electrical system, including energy efficient theatre lighting and stage lighting.  The plumbing design provided piping for all water and wastewater systems, utilizing fixtures selected by the Architect. 

The new 427 seat Topfer Theatre encompasses 32,000 square feet and includes a fly tower, trapped stage, adjustable acoustics, fully equipped backstage with dressing rooms and green room, and state-of-the-art light, sound, and video capabilities.  The stage area is 3,280 square feet – 3.5 times larger than the original stage.  The new theatre was constructed on the existing lakefront ZACH campus.  The original facility at the ZACH Campus is the oldest continuously operating theatre in Texas, and has hosted numerous local, national, and international performances.

The Topfer Theatre was designed and constructed to achieve LEED® Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council, making it among the first dedicated performance theaters in Texas to achieve the rating.

2014 ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence Award - Gold Medal Winner