Energy efficiency at Corderie della Biennale with Edison

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The energy efficiency upgrading completed by Edison at the Corderie dell’Arsenale leads to a 70% reduction in consumption.

"How will we live together?" was the theme of the last Venice Architecture Biennale, which ran from May to November 2021. The exhibition curated by Hashim Sarkis, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, included the work of 112 participants from 46 countries, through which a number of urgent contemporary issues were brought into focus, most notably the environment. The question posed in Venice is at the heart of the work of Edison, which has long been committed to a sustainable energy future, entering fully into the debate on architecture and its contribution to the development of smart territories.

Through the company Edison Next, the Italian energy market leader works with various cultural institutions in Italy to set in motion virtuous paths towards sustainability and the efficient use of resources. Precisely on the occasion of the latest International Architecture Exhibition (the 17th), Edison and Fondazione Biennale completed an energy efficiency intervention started in 2018, involving both the interior and exterior spaces of the Corderie dell'Arsenale.

The partnership is based on the awareness that energy is one of the founding elements of architecture and the design of places, spaces and cities. Understanding architecture, stimulating debate on its core values and celebrating the real and lasting contribution it makes to people's wellbeing in their daily lives, is one of the areas in which Edison offers its experience and consolidated skills as a leading energy operator.

First, an innovative energy diagnosis of the Exhibition's main energy-intensive and impactful facilities was carried out, with the aim of identifying, thanks to IoT and advanced modelling techniques, improvements in energy use.

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 intervention preserves the original industrial aesthetics, a splendid 14th-century building, consisting of a 320-metre long body divided into three naves by two rows of columns supporting two mezzanines covering the side naves, where activities for spinning ropes were once held. 

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