Comfort and energy efficiency throughout the year at Torino's OGR

Torino's OGR have been redeveloped under the banner of technological innovation and environmental sustainability
The new OGR
The new Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin reopened its doors last autumn after 1,000 days of construction. Fondazione CRT invested 100 million euros for the rebirth of the entire industrial complex, including the majestic H-shaped building of about 20,000 square meters, the office buildings and all the open-air areas for a total of 35,000 square meters. The real estate development enriches and completes the new urban renewal of the city of Turin. During all the phases of the redevelopment "there were so many complexities but also enthusiasm to give new life to a beautiful and unique place, a strong element of the city’s community, opening it to the world" explains the President of the CRT Foundation, Giovanni Quaglia.

The redevelopment plan

The inspiring principles of the restructuring and functional recovery of the OGR were; great flexibility and modularity of the spaces, maximum usability throughout the year and universal accessibility. From an architectural and building point of view, the new plan has maintained the large volumes and heights of the historic buildings, with minimal impact on the original structure, introducing new materials and colors at the same time and inserting highly innovative and modern details. The plan has favored solutions with high technological content and environmental sustainability, while safeguarding the historical value of the original structure.

Innovation, efficiency and sustainability

The same principles of sustainability, flexibility, and usability have also inspired the design of the M&E systems that together would extend in length for 115 km, which is equal to the distance between Turin and Aosta.
But the real challenge was the transformation of a building envelope from the nineteenth century into a warm building, usable even in winter. For this purpose, the building's hot / cold transmission performance has been improved to contain its energy needs, and provide wind and snow resistance and water tightness. The windows and doors have all been changed, with 1,200 new windows and doors installed with thermal break and great attention was paid to the selection of technological heating and cooling systems.

Comfort and energy efficiency throughout the year

To guarantee the best comfort in this large multifunctional space, a customized system has been designed based on 1 magnetic levitation chiller and 2 multi-purpose heat pumps, all Climaveneta branded and all managed by ClimaPRO. The chiller, thanks to the Turbocor magnetic levitation compressors, manages the thermal load from 10 to 100% in a dynamic and fluid way, maintaining the energy performance of the machine. As the unit is water condensed, its energetic performances are in fact very high performing, especially at partial loads, which is 90% of the machine’s operation.
The multi-purpose units also guarantee, at any time during the year, both heating and cooling recovery, even simultaneously, through a thermoregulation on both the hot and cold exchanger, reaching EER of 7 and ESEER of 9.40 in special loading conditions. The same units are also connected to groundwater, allowing greater energy efficiencies compared to traditional systems with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while respecting the environment.
Elena Favero, Product Specialist, Large Chillers at Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems, who closely followed the project from the early stages confirms that "Complex buildings need complex solutions because at times their needs in terms of crowding and function of the spaces may vary. For this reason the HVAC system is based on complex units, that are able to always respond to the needs of heating and cooling of the building, even simultaneously. The Climaveneta multi-purpose units therefore allow OGR to express all those different situations that otherwise could not be satisfied in terms of comfort ". The crown jewl of the plant is ClimaPRO, Climaveneta’s monitoring and control system, which harmonizes the entire system, creating dialogue between pumps, heat exchangers, air handling units and fluid creation. ClimaPRO can constantly measure and monitor the units, the valves, and the pumps they are connected to and therefore controls and optimizes this complex plant at any time, maximizing its overall energy efficiency and also taking on an important diagnostic role.

OGR: the metamorphosis
The redevelopment of the OGR was a complex undertaking which, between safeguarding the identity and memory of the buildings and applying new technologies while respecting the environment, has allowed this redevelopment to move from a former mechanical workshop for repairing trains to new workshops of contemporary culture, innovation, and business acceleration, with a strong international focus. According to the General Secretary of the CRT Foundation and General Director of the OGR Massimo Lapucci: "In order to achieve the most suitable redevelopment for the new life of the vast real estate complex it was necessary to put the OGR in a position to enter an international context capable of maintaining the historical identity of 'Officina', but making it the place of the generation and regeneration of ideas."

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Sara Di Clemente