Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems, through its brand Climaveneta, supplied the air conditioning system for the rebirth of the Luigi Pecci Centre, in Florence.
After 6 years of construction and being closed for 3 years, The Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art has once again reopened in Autumn 2016. It is the first institution in Italy to be built from scratch with the specific intent to exhibit, collect, preserve, document, and distribute the most advanced artistic research.
Renovation and extension work
To ensure sufficient appreciation of this heritage, at the beginning of the twenty-first Century, the Pecci Centre decided to double its exhibition space and, at the same time, to restructure the original building of Italo Gamberini.
The extension was designed by Maurice Nio, one the most original interpreters of the architectural culture of our time. The extension work began in 2006 and focused on building a new wing with a strong architectural impact which is linked to the original structure, which has undergone a full renovation during this time.
Furthermore, in addition to more than doubling the size of the exhibition space, the new centre also has an archive and specialised library which will include over 50,000 volumes, an outdoor theatre, a cinema/auditorium, a performance space in the galleries, a bookshop, a restaurant, and a pub/bistro.
Focus on sustainability
The new Pecci centre is innovative not only from an architectural point of view, but also in terms of its state-of-the-art and sustainable mechanical systems.
The lighting and air conditioning systems, that are the main energy expenditure in every kind of building, have been designed to offer the best internal comfort for the vistitors of the Centre, while guarantying minimal impact both on the running costs and on the environment.
The HVAC system
From the plant engineering point of view, the operation is characterized by the unique shape of the building, the large presence of windows for the contribution of natural light and the functional continuity with the existing structure. The intensive preparatory work carried out by the experts involved in the project, made it possible to optimize the position of the plant room to combine the needs of the air conditioning and lighting systems.
The heart of the plant room is composed of 2 Climaveneta NECS-WQ 0512 water cooled multi-purpose heat pumps, controlled by MANAGER 3000.
The multi-purpose heat pumps can work in cooling only, heating only, and simultaneous heating and cooling mode, to satisfy the building’s needs, all year round.
By choosing multi-purpose heat pumps for the production of both hot and cold water, the HVAC plant designers have selected a fully electric solution, turning down any non-renewable, fossil fuel based system. This kind of choice has been possible thanks to the availability, on the market, of reliable heat pumps, that can work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, even without a traditional boiler as back-up.
Mr. Dante di Carlo, HVAC plant designer at Pecci Centre, says: “The multi-purpose heat pumps allow a simpler plant design, as they go beyond the traditional complexity of seasonal settings, heat pump-chiller, and when they produce simultaneous heating and cooling, they exploit the waste energy (both heating and cooling), maximizing the building’s energy efficiency. This led to an advantage in terms of energy efficiency and then in savings on running costs. At Pecci Centre we were able to use water-source units, the most efficient from an energy point of view, thanks to an artesian well, thus exploiting the brim water, fully available on site.”
Thanks to the positive result obtained from the first installation, the same team of designers also planned a substitution of all the old heating system in the original building of Italo Gamberini, with multi-purpose heat pumps. The first step in this direction has been done with the refurbishment of the cinema/auditorium, where the autonomous HVAC system is based on a Climaveneta NECS-Q-0262 unit. In this case the designers have selected an air source multi-purpose unit, to get a simpler system in terms of maintenance, that has to be managed by the user of the cinema/auditorium.
Climaveneta for the arts
The experience gained in over 45 years’ experience in the professional air conditioning market and in several museums projects worldwide, allows Climaveneta to offer the Pecci Centre, the most suitable HVAC solution in terms of comfort, efficiency, and sustainability. Furthermore, in museums it is also fundamental to address noise, humidity, and temperature levels, to protect the exhibited artwork. It is not by chance that relevant institutions like Museo del Bicentenario in Argentina, The City Arts Centre in UK, The Triana Museum of ceramic in Spain, The Natural History Museum in France and The Prada Foundation, Muse and Alfa Romeo Museum have chosen Climaveneta as partner for their sustainable and efficient HVAC systems.
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Sara Di Clemente