The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) has switched off its heating and hot water system in anticipation of the predicted hot summer. It is the first time in the BIC’s 25 years that the system has been closed down over the summer period.
The project was able to go ahead after extensive work was carried out over the winter, including the provision of direct-fire water heaters that run independently of the gas heating system.
Martin Belbin, head of building and technical services at the BIC and Pavilion – who also heads up the venue's Green Team – explains: 'With representatives from every area making up the Green Team, we work together to ensure that energy-saving plans filter through from the highest strategic level into reality.
'This project is exciting as it’s a first for us – and as one of the UK’s premier conference, exhibition and entertainment venues, we are aware that we have a responsibility to make both our venue and every event hosted here as green as possible.'
It is anticipated that the project will make significant energy savings. Test days in the lead-up to the final switch-off indicated that 3000kw or 500kg of carbon dioxide will be saved per day. It is hoped that the system can remain switched off for five months, which should in turn save approximately 75,000 kg of CO2 emissions.
Martin adds: 'Buildings alone are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emission – a higher percentage than road or air traffic – so it is vital that we are proactive in implementing projects to reduce our impact.
'During the 2008-2009 financial year, the BIC secured a 13% reduction in electricity usage and we are consistently looking for innovative ways of reducing our energy consumption.'
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