RPS provided mechanical and electrical consultancy services for the University College Cork (UCC) Beaufort Building.
The Beaufort Building is a new marine and energy research building built by UCC on a brownfield site in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. The 4,500m2 building comprises laboratory areas, offices, workshops, and a large tank hall with 3 separate wave generation tanks. Given its role as an energy research centre, the use of sustainable and low energy options formed a key part of all mechanical and electrical designs.
The building houses three separate research groups, CMRC (Coastal Marine Research Centre), HMRC (Harbour Marine Research Centre), and SERG (Sustainable Energy Research Group). At the concept design stage, RPS engaged with these building users to investigate how best to design and manage the energy requirements for the project.
Various low and sustainable energy options were evaluated and those implemented included natural ventilation and passive cooling using automatic opening windows and exposed concrete slabs, low energy lighting with presence detection and daylight controls, rainwater harvesting, and use of solar panels to generate domestic hot water. UCC is now looking to use a similar energy assessment procedure on all future projects.
UCC recently became the first university in the world to achieve ISO 50001 accreditation for Energy Management. The energy assessment method used on this project played a key role in achieving this status.