The world’s first carbon neutral conference center has just been opened. The Convention Center Dublin (CCD) is a multi-use complex that has a large performance hall, exhibition hall, multiple meeting rooms and an eye-catching atrium that overlooks the river. The center accommodates up to 8000 people and uses several sophisticated integrated systems to cut down energy consumption dramatically.
The project was done by architects at KRDJA on top of a brownfield lot, who decided to stack the center’s program vertically and not in the conventional horizontal footprint that most similar venues follow. This vertical orientation also resulted in a more energy-efficient structure. Another area that was focused on was durability – and the structure has a 100-year design life. One of the main things incorporated into the structure that worked to greatly reduce the building’s carbon footprint was the use of 6,000 tons of low carbon concrete; and the low energy use that has been followed throughout.
Design is in compliance with the new IOC 14001 environmental standards, which means that the building and its systems have been rigorously tested. The interior of the center is equipped with state of the art HVAC and control systems that work to minimize energy consumption. The building’s energy consumption is monitored and managed real time by an integrated building automated system (IBAS).
Another innovative addition is the energy recovery ventilation system (ERV) which maintains air quality when the building is full. This system reclaims energy from the outgoing air and water vapor. An ice storage thermal unit (ISTU) works to cool the building – using off-peak energy to produce ice, which can be used during peak energy periods.
The energy that is used by the building will be obtained through the purchase of carbon credits. The claims by the center to be a zero carbon unit may be a bit overboard since there is no on-site energy production available. However, the low energy design may be the crucial point that works in its favor.