Located in Naples, the Vulcano Buono commercial centre is an incredible example of engineering, architecture and energy efficiency co-existing in harmony. Adjacent to the real volcano, it hosts 160 shops, 20 restaurants, a supermarket, a 9 screen cinema, plus a 158 room four star hotel.
The structure consists of a vegetation covered concrete, steel and glass complex conceived by Renzo Piano, the renowned contemporary architect. Originally the application provided a number of design and engineering challenges, not least the
A Water Loop Heat Pump system was deployed to provide both the heating and cooling requirements of the various buildings within the entire complex. Working in unison with this system is an array of 65-rooftop air-to-water, and air-to-air heat pump units and air-handling systems. Over 150 individual heat pumps are additionally deployed to provide comfort heating and cooling to the shops. A significant benefit of the system is that it enables the transfer of heat within the complex between building that require coomin and others that require heating.
This contribues to significantly increasing the efficiency of the system, and it is also estimated to result in about 35% lowercarbon emissions than concentional systems.
The heat pumps provide an important component to what is a fully-intergrated energy efficient design approoach comprising a façade integrated photovoltaic system, triple glazing, active shading, insulation, efficient lighting and low internal heating and cooling loads. Overall the building is expected to use 50% less energy than a comparable building using traditional methods.