After five years of construction and technical fit-out, the opening of Sky Studios was a landmark in Sky's development. It's already the new home of Sky Sports News HD and it will allow us to develop our production capability well into the future. Arranged over five levels, each the size of a football pitch, Sky Studios was designed so that content can be filmed, edited and transmitted from within a single building.
Split into three zones – make, shape and share – the first two floors house eight studios, all of which are capable of HD and 3D production. The next two floors are dedicated to post-production so that we can have all our edit suites, audio suites and other post-production facilities in one place. Finally, the top floor is the transmission area, from where our content is shared seamlessly with millions of customers across multiple platforms. And the whole operation is entirely digital and tapeless, so there is no more need to store and move endless miles of tape.
Providing space for more than 1,300 staff, Sky Studios was designed and built to maximise energy efficiency. The facility will include an integrated wind turbine providing 90% of the energy needed to power office lighting. An on-site Combined Cooling & Heating Power plant will supply around 20% of the energy needed for the building's electricity and heating systems. A natural ventilation system reduces the need for air conditioning to cool studio space and rainwater is harvested and re-used to flush toilets and irrigate green spaces.
We could have built Sky Studios for less money without some of these sustainable features. But, in the long term, we decided that would have been a false economy, both for ourselves and for the environment. In recognition of its green credentials, Sky Studios was named the 'Sustainable Project of the Year' at the 2010 Sustainability Awards.