Jekyll Island Convention Center

New construction; Jekyll Island Convention Center; TLC Engineering for Architecture Inc.


Exterior view: Low roof lines demonstrate how the project was sited to minimize solar heat gain yet maximize views. Shading on windows helps provide natural daylight while minimizing solar heat gain. Courtesy: Jekyll Island AuthorityEngineering firm: TLC Engineering for Architecture Inc.
2013 MEP Giants rank:
Jekyll Island Convention Center
Jekyll Island, Ga., United States
Building type:
Project type:
New construction
Engineering services:
Automation & Controls, Code Compliance, Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
August 2009 to May 2012
Engineering services budget:
$4.39 million
MEP budget:
$6.05 million


Being sited on the ocean is a differentiator for the Jekyll Island Convention Center, allowing it to attract business and other meetings to the island and the local economy. Yet that feature posed challenges to the design team. Designing for durability and energy efficiency in a saltwater environment that is also a fragile ecosystem had unique challenges, solved creatively by the closely integrated design team. The owner set a goal of LEED Silver certification, focusing on energy and water efficiency points, to minimize ongoing utility costs.


In order to honor and protect the sensitive ecosystems unique to the coastal environment, the owner targeted LEED NC 2009 Silver certification and addressed that with a water harvesting system consisting of 80,000 gal of rainwater and condensate from 460 tons of cooling capacity being harvested for flushing and irrigation purposes; a solar water heating system; and a 2,500-gal hybrid water heater tank (solar/LP gas) supplying banquet kitchen, laundry, and all back-of-house hot water demand.

Exterior lighting complements the surrounding buildings while highlighting the new convention center. Special attention was given to the fixtures to avoid affecting turtle nesting on the adjacent beachfront. The electrical system, consisting of a 4,000-amp switchboard that feeds multiple distribution, lighting, and appliance panels, was designed to enhance the relaxed beachfront atmosphere. The building's high-efficiency cooling system is supported by two 200-ton nominal chillers. All air handlers use two-way chilled water control valves to match water flow with building cooling demand. Ventilation to the building is through energy recovery units that are varied through demand control. Hot water is provided through a solar-hot water system. LEED NC 2009 Silver certification was achieved in December of 2012, shortly after the convention center opened.

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