Basque Country conference centre gets an Accoya makeover

15 August 2016

Accoya modified wood has been put to good use in the renovation of a conference centre in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital city of Spain’s Basque Country.

The Palacio de Congresos Europa (Europa Conference and Exhibition Centre) underwent significant renovation to boost the building’s environmental credentials and expand its capacity.

Originally built in 1989, renovation work began on the centre in 2011 involving the use of sustainable building materials including Accoya, before its completion in October 2015.

Spanish wood distributors Elaborados y Fabricados Gámiz specified the use of Accoya to City Hall Municipal Architects and IDOM-ACXT Arquitectos as it met their requirements of using a material, that holds respected eco-labels including Cradle-to-Cradle Gold certification.

The environmental renovation of the centre was developed to create a carbon neutral building which is efficient in its use of resources, including building materials, water and energy use.

The building’s façade also features a living installation which uses more than 33,000 plants of 70 different species growing on a total surface area of 1,492 m2.

Aurelio Gámiz, sales manager, Elaborados y Fabricados Gámiz said: “Being a public building, the architects required a highly durable product which would need less maintenance than other woods, and would stand the test of time under the varying weather conditions. Located in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in the north of Spain, Vitoria-Gasteiz experiences extreme heat in summer months, and intense cold and rainfall during winter, meaning Accoya was the perfect product to use for cladding thanks to its exceptional durability and dimensional stability.”

Laura Ladd, head of marketing at Accsys Technologies said: “The newly renovated Europa Conference and Exhibition Centre is visually stunning. Having been named the European Green Capital in 2012, Vitoria-Gasteiz is at the forefront of sustainable construction in Europe so it makes sense to see Accoya used within one of the city’s most prominent public spaces.

“It’s great to see Accoya used in such a creative way to transform the building into one of the most environmentally friendly conference centres in the world. The use of Accoya satisfied the requirement for a durable product with exceedingly high green credentials and truly shows why Accoya outshines its competitor wood products.”

The Europa Conference and Exhibition Centre is composed of three main wings offering differing exhibition and conference space to cater for a variety of events. After completion of the renovation and extension project, the Palacio Europa (Europa Centre) will have an operating capacity four times higher than the original (from 1,499 to 5,700).