The Congress Palace: A model of Green Building
Consistent with the spirit of the ST+20 Summit, the venue chosen for the meeting is a real model of green refurbishment. The environmental renovation and extension of the Palacio de Congresos Europa (Europa Conference and Exhibition Centre) has been developed with the aim to achieve a building that, with function and comfort improvements, it's more efficient in the use of resources (materials, water, energy) and having a lower impact on the environment (less CO2 emissions, lower waste generation).
The green facade of the Conference Centre shows the main ecosystems of the region, more than 33,000 plants of 70 different species grow on a total surface area of 1,492 m2, of which 1,000 m2 belong to the vertical garden and 492 m2 to the plant awnings that cover the large windows.
Intelligent water and waste management is a key aspect of its design. The water management system include rain water catchment through rain water traps located on the building's roof which will be stored in water tanks; inclusion of pressure reducers in the water supply, waste disposers with low discharge (minimum 2/4 l) and flow interruption, water taps with low water flow (3 to 5 l/min) and tap control, and dry urinals.
The energy concept of the building integrates passive and active systems (solar, geothermal). In winter, low temperatures will be fought with a high level of insulation in the enclosure (opaque and glass closures) which culminate with the green facade. Solar energy and internal charges taken advantage of at the maximum level through the use of materials with elevated thermal inertia in the common spaces. This will allow for the accumulation of energy that enters the building and reduce the energy demand on heating. In summer, the unwanted entrance of solar radiation will be limited and natural nocturnal ventilation will be favoured to expulse the heat, decreasing the expense of air conditioning.
Therefore, the Europa Conference Centre is an example of sustainable rehabilitation which allows holding carbon neutral events thanks to its eco-management system certified with the highest certifications as LEED Gold or Passivehaus.