UCC Beaufort Building
University College Cork
The University College Cork Beaufort Building is a Marine and Energy research building built by University College Cork (UCC) on a brownfield site in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.
Opened in July 2015, the 4,500 sq m Beaufort building comprises laboratory areas, offices, workshops and a large tank hall with three separate wave generation tanks.
RPS provided mechanical & electrical consultancy services on the €11m project, which placed a particular emphasis on the use of sustainable and low energy technologies.
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 (who themselves have expertise in energy and energy management) 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 louvres 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.
The building has also been futureproofed to allow for the seamless integration of other sources of energy generation, including a wind turbine and photo-voltaic solar panels. The building currently achieves a BER “A3” rating with the possibility of upgrading this to an “A1” rating when additional energy generating devices are connected.
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.