Edison's contribution to the Corderie della Biennale

The energy efficiency improvement completed by Edison at the Corderie dell’Arsenale will lead to a 70% reduction in consumptions.

Today, the constellation of the energy giant, which already includes the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, its workshops (the ex-Ansaldo plant) and a number of the most important historical properties managed by FAI, the Italian National Trust, sees a new star in the form of the 14th century Corderie dell’Arsenale, an iconic pavilion that forms part of the Venice Biennale. Here, Edison recently completed its latest energy-efficiency project, which will be officially inaugurated during the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, due to take place between May and November of next year. The process towards sustainability undertaken by the lagoon city and one of its most important events, which began in 2018 on the occasion of the 16th edition, has achieved an initial and very significant goal in the run-up to the 2021 appointment with the highly meaningful title “How will we live together?”. It is a question that the company, historically committed to a future of sustainable energy, is by no means dodging, instead unhesitatingly entering the debate on architecture and its contribution to the development of smart territories. 

The Corderie are 317 meters long and 21 meters wide with a height at the eaves line of about 12 meters. They are characterized by a wooden truss roof and two rows of large masonry columns that divide the space into three naves and support two mezzanines rebuilt in reinforced concrete in 1916 to replace the original wooden ones

An example of this commitment is the project for the lighting system for the Corderie dell’Arsenale, which follows a smart audit carried out in 2018 on the exhibition structures with the highest energy intensity and impact. During the diagnosis stage, the use of advanced instruments such as the Internet of Things and evolved modelling allowed areas for improvement in energy use to be identified, while the high level of know-how developed by Edison over 135 years permitted the creation of a project capable of making the most of the fourteenth-century building, fully preserving its original industrial aesthetic; a structure consisting of a 320-metre-long section divided into three naves by two rows of columns supporting two mezzanines that cover the side naves, which in the past was where ropes were woven.

Edison’s teams working at the installation of the 86 LED lamps

The works, which involved both the interior and exterior of the Corderie dell’Arsenale, saw the substitution of the traditional lighting with 86 LED lighting units, for a total of 16 kW installed compared to the 44 kW of the previous system. The Smart Lighting Solution platform for wireless management and control allows the management and maintenance costs of a wired system to be eliminated and, thanks to the possibility to communicate with every single LED, means that the lighting can be configured and adapted to any requirement. For example, by modifying the amount of light emitted or programming the switching on and off of scenes, or even reducing the number of hours the lights are on from 1,800 to 1,300 per year. This results in the optimisation of the “technological life cycle”, and therefore the lifespan of the system, which can be integrated with other control systems, constantly monitored and is easier to maintain. In short, it is a highly efficient solution that results in a reduction in costs and electricity consumption of over 70%, in other words 50 thousand kWh less per year, equal to a reduction of 22 tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

The 86 LED light fittings installed by Edison produce a total of 16 kW compared to the 44 kW of the previous system. The estimated energy saving over one year will be about 50 thousand kWh, equivalent to a reduction of 22 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere

Maximum yield with minimal invasiveness. From the very outset of the design process, studies were carried out in order to identify lighting units that would not modify the overall visual impact of the structure, followed by a precise substitution operation that respects the exact position of the previous units. Lastly, by rendering the commands remote via wireless technology, the need to install new cabling has been avoided, allowing the existing electrical system to be reused. The same process was applied to the exterior of the Corderie, substituting the lighting for the footpath adjacent to the exhibition areas in order to significantly improve light gains without altering the existing layout of the system.

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