The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) just opened its doors to reveal what they claim to be the first carbon neutral conference center in the world. The multi-use complex has a large performance hall, exhibition hall, multiple meeting rooms and a spectacular atrium overlooking the river. The CCD can accommodate up to 8000 people and uses an array of sophisticated integrated systems to vastly lower its energy consumption. They even encourage visitors to lower their carbon footprint as well.
While developing the project on a tight brownfield lot, the architects at KRJDA decided to stack the center’s program vertically rather than following the standard horizontal footprint of many similar venues. The vertically oriented configuration also resulted in a more energy-efficient envelope. Durability was a key design strategy as well, as the building has a 100-year design life. A key decision was to use 6,000 tons of low-carbon concrete in construction, which significantly reduced the building’s carbon footprint, but the real story is in the building’s low energy use.
The center is designed in compliance with the new IOC 14001 environmental standard, which requires rigorous testing of the building and its systems. Inside, the CCD is packed with state of the art HVAC and control systems to minimize energy consumption. The central technology is an integrated building automated system (IBAS) which monitors and manages the building’s energy consumption in real-time. An energy recovery ventilation system (ERV) is crucial for maintaining air quality when the building is packed — it reclaims energy from outgoing air and water vapor. An ice storage thermal unit (ISTU) will cool the building by using off-peak energy to produce ice, which can be used during peak energy periods.
The energy used by the building will be procured through the purchase of carbon credits. The center’s zero carbon claims may be difficult to defend as no on-site energy production is available, but the project’s rigorous low-energy design will prove to be a key to its success.