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Ocean Park’s Soon-to-Open Polar Adventure Showcases Innovative Green Designs Comprehensive Approach Targets Air, Water, Lighting & Insulation World’s First Attraction to Cool Equipment Room with Residual Cool Air

2012-05-29

(Hong Kong – 29 May 2012) Polar Adventure, Ocean Park’s soon-to-open polar themed area provides the best possible environment for polar animal ambassadors to live and reproduce, while offering guests an eco-friendly theme park experience. Ocean Park worked with a locally based international architectural practice with award-winning green project credentials on a comprehensive green approach to minimise Polar Adventure’s carbon footprint through state-of-the-art air conditioning, water chilling, illumination and insulation systems. Among the innovations deployed is the world’s first ventilation system that recycles residual cool air to cool down the Life Support System (LSS) and plant room area before being discharged.

Caring Home for Polar Animals and Eco-friendly Conservation and Education Platform

Mr. George Tso, Ocean Park’s Executive Director of Engineering, said, “We have adopted an eco-friendly approach to every aspect of the design of Polar Adventure to create a comfortable home for our animal ambassadors to live and reproduce, while providing our guests a greener way to connect with nature through immersive polar exhibits. For instance, we have used LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting extensively in guest areas to minimise energy consumption and heat production, but retained incandescent illumination in the animal exhibits to provide the necessary UVA and UVB for our animals’ wellbeing.”

Polar Adventure, the final new attraction to open under Ocean Park’s HK$5.55 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP), is a world-class conservation and edutainment platform featuring penguins, walruses, spotted seals and more. In South Pole Spectacular, guests will enjoy up-close encounters with three different species of penguins – gentoo, Southern rockhopper and king – in an open exhibit with a 270° viewing chamber, balconies, walkways, and glass-panelled floors that offer an underwater view of swimming penguins. There will be extensive displays and educational interpretive exhibits that convey messages about the plight of polar wildlife living under the threat of global climate change.

World-leading Green Design Features

Ocean Park worked with Leigh & Orange, a locally based international architectural practice and winner of the FuturArc Green Leadership Award (Commercial Building category), to leverage its insights into Hong Kong’s climate and conditions to create a comprehensive green approach to the design of Polar Adventure. Mr. Dominic Lam, Managing Director of Leigh & Orange, said, “We have utilised inventive designs and green features to minimise the exhibits’ electricity consumption while maintaining an optimal living environment for the animals. With all the green features in place, we have successfully lowered annual electricity consumption by 34%.”

A key eco-friendly innovation created for Polar Adventure is the diversion of residual cool air from guest areas to the Life Support System (LSS) / plant room area to reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the machinery. This is the first such facility in the world to successfully implement this energy-conserving design. Furthermore, the eco-friendly water-cooled chiller system consumes 50% less electricity than traditional air-cooled chillers. The attraction also uses a thermal wheel that recycles residual cool air to pre-cool incoming fresh air; and carbon dioxide sensors that control the fresh air flow rate to match the guest occupancy level in order to conserve energy.

Polar Adventure also employs an eco-friendly approach to keep its pools chilled. Its state-of-the-art LSS system is so effective that water inside the attraction’s pools rarely needs to be replaced, thus conserving not only water, but also energy that would have been needed to chill the replacement water.

To maximise the cooling benefit of the systems, Polar Adventure features a very effective insulation design, with 100mm of insulation for external walls and the bottom of the pool, and 90mm of insulation for the roof – 80% thicker than that normally found in public buildings. Inside the exhibit buildings, there are six air locks (with air curtains) to create individual thermal zones, keeping air from cooler areas from escaping into warmer zones.

In addition to penguin displays, the South Pole Spectacular features Tuxedos, a restaurant that offers an exclusive opportunity for guests to dine beside dozens of adorable penguins. North Pole Encounter, on the other hand, is the home of a number arctic species, including Pacific walruses, spotted seals, Northern sea lions, snowy owls and the arctic fox. Also, guests visiting Polar Adventure would not want to miss the Arctic Blast, a unique roller coaster experience for the family!