The theme of the Chattanooga Convention Center’s expansion project is “A Living Machine” — one where the Convention Center contributes to the greening of Chattanooga, incorporates renewable resources and serves as an educational tool by demonstrating solutions to environmental problems associated with construction.
The exterior of the building is enhanced and softened by the planting of trees along Carter and 13th Streets, while other possibilities, such as bringing the paving from the pre-function area out to the street, are being explored to give the street a more pedestrian feel.
Passive Solar Lighting Design
The Convention Center has skylight atriums as well as skylights in the new exhibit halls. The atriums are designed to bring natural light to all levels of the pre-function space, while skylights in the exhibit halls minimize the need for artificial light during the day. Shields are provided to deflect sunlight during summer months when the added heat is unwanted.
Natural Ventilation Features
The Convention Center’s expansion also takes advantage of natural ventilation by allowing for operable windows and skylights that can let fresh air into the facility. Further, ventilation systems bring in fresh, outside air directly to each major space while not allowing it to mix with exhaust air from the facility. Individual temperature controls for each exhibit space allows adjustment of temperature levels to accommodate the occupancy of each space.
At street level along Carter and West 13th Streets, trees — at least 30 feet tall — are planted on the sidewalks, as they are in other parts of downtown. The opposite sides of these streets is planted with trees as well. This has two primary benefits: first, to help humanize the streetscape outside the facility, and second to provide shade that will help reduce the summertime cooling load on the building.