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Sustainability 2013, 5(4), 1700-1724; doi:10.3390/su5041700

Optimal and Sustainable Plant Refurbishment in Historical Buildings: A Study of an Ancient Monastery Converted into a Showroom in Florence

Industrial Engineering Department, University of Florence, Via Santa Marta 3, Firenze 50139, Italy
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Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 25 March 2013 / Accepted: 9 April 2013 / Published: 22 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Heritage in the Light of Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

The aim of this research is to study the possibility and sustainability of retrofit and refurbishment design solutions on historical buildings converted to different uses and often clashing with their original purpose and architectural features. The building studied is an ancient monastery located in the historical center of Florence (Italy). Today the original cloister is covered over by a single glazed pitched roof and used as a fashion showroom. Our proposed solution concerns a reversible and sustainable plant design integrated with an active transparent building casing. The existing glazed pitched roof was reconsidered and re-designed as part of the existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) plant system, based on the functioning of an active thermal buffer to control the high heat flow rates and external thermal loads due to solar radiation. Hourly whole building energy analysis was carried out to check the effectiveness and energy sustainability of our proposed solution. Results obtained showed, from the historical-architectural, energy and environmental points of view, its sustainability due to the building-plant system integration and interaction with its location, the external climatic conditions and defined expected uses, in particular with reference to indoor thermal comfort.
Keywords: energy efficiency; active retrofit solutions; conservation; building physics; energy sustainable plant design energy efficiency; active retrofit solutions; conservation; building physics; energy sustainable plant design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Balocco, C.; Marmonti, E. Optimal and Sustainable Plant Refurbishment in Historical Buildings: A Study of an Ancient Monastery Converted into a Showroom in Florence. Sustainability 2013, 5, 1700-1724.

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