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District Energy System

Music City Center

Music City Center

The Music City Center has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in the Building Green category!

The State of Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award program recognizes exceptional actions that improve or protect our environment through initiatives not required by law. The Building Green award recognizes innovation in structural design, construction techniques, operational efficiency and reduction in overall carbon footprint. During the selection process, the panel of 28 judges focused on the following criteria: results, innovation, leadership, environmental issues, transferability, education and outreach, exceptional commitment, environmental justice, and cooperation. MCC was chosen for the award due to its many impressive sustainable features, such as our 211 kilowatt solar panel system, the innovative storm water capture system, LED lighting and a high-efficiency HVAC system.

In May 2013, the Music City Center was opened to the public during a two day Grand Opening celebration. Over 15,000 people toured the building and activities included live music, great food, and a zip line through the Exhibit Hall. Since then, the building has been filled with great events such as CMA Fest’s Fan Fair X and the Music City Sports Festival.

The following interview was written during the construction phase and contains information about how DES has benefited the new Music City Center.

Q: How long has the Music City Center been using Metro DES’s services now? Why is it important to have the service while construction is still underway?

A: MCC has been using DES chilled water since 4/25/12 and steam since 7/24/12. We need it to test, balance and commission our air handling systems. We needed to cool and dehumidify the building once temperature and humidity sensitive finishes such as sheetrock, millwork, carpet, etc. were being installed.

Q: Tell us about the process of hooking up to the DES system. How long did it take from start to finish?

A: We installed approximately 6,000 feet of pipe from the corner of Almond & Molloy to 6th & Demonbreun and then into the MCC DES room. This four-pipe system consists of chilled water supply and return and steam supply and condensate return. We started the distribution system portion of the work in October, 2010 and completed the chilled water in August, 2011 and steam/condensate in July, 2012.

Q: Approximately how much chilled water and steam will the MCC use on an annualbasis when it is fully operational?

A: The modeling indicates that approximately 7,000,000 ton-hours of chilled water and 52,000,000 pounds of steam will be used per year.

Q: How will having a downtown district energy system help the MCC? Do any other large convention centers that you know of use a similar system?

A: The efficiency of scale of a district system helps to control the cost of energy and maintenance. The space and capital cost of a self-generating plant is and additional cost saving. I think Portland, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Denver provide district energy to their convention centers. Other buildings that utilize district energy are: U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Empire State Building, Mayo Clinic and the Harvard School of Medicine.

Q: What kind of features does the MCC have that make it more efficient to heat and cool? I think everyone wants to know how the green roof plays into making it more efficient.

A: If the green roof wasn’t there, we would have used insulation in its place like on the non-green portions of the roof, so the insulation properties of the green roof are not necessarily the reason for having it. The primary reason for the green roof is for the LEED points for which our goal is LEED Silver.

Q: Aside from a green roof, what makes the MCC unique among other convention centers?

A: The obvious architectural look of the building is certainly unique with several subtle and some not-so-subtle details that enforce the musical theme. There is no back side of the building and no visible truck dock since all sides face major Nashville streets. The eight-acre exhibit hall has a great deal of natural light, whereas many centers have the exhibit hall buried in the ground on the lowest level. 6th Avenue runs through the building and a tunnel connects Korean Veterans Boulevard with the truck docks for the MCC as well as the docks for Bridgestone Arena.

Q: For you, what’s been the most memorable moment with the construction of the MCC?

A: This has been the most exciting project I have ever worked on. The most memorable part of the work for me was when the structural steel was being erected. The MCC is structural concrete up to the exhibit hall level and structural steel above that.