Sponsored by the Venice Foundatio and opened in December 2018, the Museum of the 1900s in Mestre is the core element of the new role played by the city. The outcome of a project carried out by the firm Sauebrunch Hutton Architects and developed by the multidisciplinary architectural and engineering firm SCE Project, the building is part of a broader plan involving redevelopment of the former Convento delle Grazie that dates back to the 16th century and which has been maintained and reconverted for commercial use.
Indeed, given its strongly diversified and also clearly defined nature, the Museum of the 1900s, also called M9, presents as a building with an integrated design, which can be noticed, for instance, in the air conditioning, ventilation and electric plants integrated with the bearing structures that, besides performance-related efficiency, have had to meet quality standards in terms of aesthetics and reinforced concrete surfaces. But an even more fitting example is, perhaps, the example of the former Convent, in which the steel bearing structures inserted into the existing masonry allowed to create wide flowing spaces and, at the same time, to insert networks and cableways required for the new scope of the building, everything based, to be precise, on the harmonious coexistence of architecture, structure and plant engineering.
The geothermal field, air conditioning and DHW production
The ascertained peculiarities of M9 include the geothermal field, an example not only of efficiency and of perfect communication between design and installation, but also an unquestionable sign, once again, of plant engineering, energy and structural integration. Oriented towards the outcome of a ground response test (GRT) performed in heating and cooling mode according to the indications and provisions defined by ASHRAE (2007), the low enthalpy geothermal field under the Museum of the 1900s comprises 60 probes positioned at a depth of 110 m and containing high pressure reticulated polyethylene tubes inside which glycol free water circulates to guarantee, once again, the system’s total eco-sustainability.
A detailed description of the air conditioning and DHW production systems is finally necessary, considering their design, installation and subsequent highly versatile and maximised use focused on energy saving. For all that concerns hygiene and sanitisation, the intention to create a structure with zero CO2 emissions led us not to include the presence of multiple methane gas-fuelled heat generators but to, instead, adopt a clearly more “eco-efficient” strategy in which DHW production is diversified based on the types of use. We find the same principle of differentiation in air conditioning management.