Elmpark Low Energy Mixed Use Development

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Elmpark Low Energy Mixed Use Development
The project is a new Urban Environment: a very large urban ensemble which is functionally diverse, into a continuous entity of landscape and energy balance – a place where the landscape facilitates movement, creates connections between activities and people, provides a place for people to live, work, and have leisure time. The project is an open city, designed tuned to the energy and functional potential of its components. Buildings are lifted off the ground plane, freeing it for use as a garden, allowing the free flow of plants, animals, water, humans, air, light through it. The car-park under the garden is a public space, permeated by natural light and air, to orient people to light and movement direction, and ventilate. Buildings are thin, to permit them to be naturally lit, and ventilated. Orientation of buildings opens to the views of the mountains and the sea – the natural landscape, while providing for maximum constant daylight to the buildings in the morning and afternoon. The ground plane of the project is the legible pedestrian city –designed to support person-scale forms of movement and perceptions of space; pedestrians and bicycles have exclusive domain over the ground plane, heights of built elements are maximum three stories, and are deployed to create spaces that people will use and feel comfortable in. Movement patterns are strengthened across the site for pedestrians and bicycles, making clear connections with the adjoining sites, creating new local connections. Waste is managed through in the first instance reducing waste generation through design; using the garden space as a biological engine to balance the microclimate. The development accommodates waste recycling within the basement to which all buildings are directly connected. All site services and vehicular parking are distributed across the basement, on top of which is a large public garden. The office buildings are designed as climate controlled buildings, without the use of mechanical ventilation or air conditioning ; the building’s fabric and form have been composed to produce an environment which is physiologically balanced with human’s need for comfort, and minimizes the use of energy. The building’s large west facing ‘thin atria’ act as ventilation lungs for the building, maintaining the internal temperatures comfortably low. Timber has been employed extensively on the project as both structure and cladding. Within the facades most of the long-span structural elements are composed of glu-laminated timber, engineered as supports of the breathing facades. The entire project benefits from a shared solution to energy generation; a Combined Heat and Power plant turns heat energy into power to supply the power needs of the office buildings. A wood pellet boiler supplies hot water for heating the apartments and the offices. An energy management strategy moves energy around according to demand: excess heat can be stored in the swimming pool, used to heat the apartments during the evening, or offices during the day. The Elm Park consists of parts: * Hospital/Day Clinic : 13,000m2 * 200 Bed Hotel * Offices : 30,000m2 * 322 Apartments * 100 Senior Citizen’s Apartments for Dublin City Council * Leisure Centre * Restaurant * Creche * Conference Centre 7 acre public garden with restaurants, cafés, performance spaces etc. Design Strategy A continuous garden covers the ground floor level. The buildings overhead define different areas within this garden, with ‘courtyards’ oriented on the north–south axis relating to the individual buildings each taking on a character of its own, framing different views of the mountains beyond and providing orienting ‘reference points’ within the overall scheme. The garden areas are ‘stratified‘ from north to south to create a hard-landscaped area to the north where taxis and other vehicles can drop off passengers at the individual buildings, a public concourse where people can circulate between buildings and a slightly lower area for informal meetings etc. Special Design Features The Elm Park Development is low energy. The entire project includes a combined heat and power generation system, fuelled by woodchip biomass, - electricity is generated on site and hot water supplied to apartments as a by-product. All the buildings utilise their orientation to maximise wind-driven ventilation, and to benefit from solar energy. ELM PARK OFFICE BUILDINGS Three linear office buildings are arranged in a number of shallow depth, 8-storey high blocks orientated along the north to south axis. The block depth and orientation help to make the most of natural ventilation and daylighting, to greatly reduce the energy consumption of the buildings whilst creating a pleasant working environment for employees. Wind forces are used to drive the natural ventilation strategy. Thin atria at alternate sides of the office blocks provide entrances and allow the gardens to continue vertically up through the offices and also provide stack effect ventilation which encourages the natural flow of air. The massing of the blocks is broken by large winter gardens through each block and the stepping of each block at the north and south ends. These winter gardens also help to provide light to the courtyards between the offices. Plant areas are located in the parking levels below ground.

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