PQQ- Design & Build
Southern Regional College’s Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) has already been heralded as a benchmark in sustainable construction and at the very heart of this is the mechanical installation carried out by Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd. Located in Enniskillen, CREST is one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK and Ireland and is the first education building in the province with PassivHaus Certification.
The facility comprises of three areas – the Hub, the Research and Development Lab and the Pavilion – and it is a sustainable technology research facility that provides demonstration and testing facilities to showcase innovative products and processes and the use of renewable technologies in construction. It is also a building that practices what it preaches. The Pavilion section is a demonstration building which showcases the pioneering design principles and construction methods adopted within it. This part of the centre is designed to engage local industry through experiencing new sustainable technologies and materials. These design principles and construction methods includes the Pavilion meeting three sustainable credentials – namely, to be PassivHaus Certified for the energy-efficient envelope and ventilation system; BREEAM excellent in terms of the BRE sustainable benchmark for UK commercial buildings; and Zero Carbon, i.e. the building can provide its own source of heat and lighting through renewable energy.
The mechanical aspect of the project was central to meeting all these standards and Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd installed all the relevant mechanical elements of the design. Our Building Management System (BMS) is linked to the external weather station, and provides relevant information based on both internal and external readings, which allows us to optimise the performance and the operation of the building.
By using actuator-controlled windows we can allow night-time cooling in summer conditions, along with the fresh air requirements, controlled via the CO sensors, while underfloor heating in strategic areas of the building is supplied by an air-source heat pump, to provide the relevant heating requirements.
Ventilation is catered for by using two heat recovery units, linked through our building management system. To ensure maximum efficiency, these are speed variable to provide the relevant duties suitable for the requirement. A grey water system, complete with internal storage, provides reclaimed rainwater for usage such as flushing the toilets. Monitoring devices are fitted on incoming and internal water supplies, and heat meters are also fitted on the underfloor heating, all linked to the management system, allowing data to be externally exported onto the centre’s visual displays, showing real time usage.
We worked alongside the main contractor and the design team to deliver a building which has achieved firsts of its kind in the UK and Ireland, something that we as a company are proud to have been involved in.