Building Automation for Historic Buildings: Tailor-Made Solutions from Duemmegi

19 September 2023
Building Automation for Historic Buildings: Tailor-Made Solutions from Duemmegi

Equipping historic or artistic buildings with a lighting system that enables public enjoyment is a delicate operation. In fact, traditional wiring is not recommended for electrical installations in historic buildings, monuments, places of worship, and archaeological areas due to its invasive nature. To equip these heritage sites with a lighting system that enhances their historic/architectural appeal while ensuring safe usage, the only viable solution is the implementation of BUS systems. This is because the installation of cables does not involve invasive work, which is strictly prohibited in historic walls. Moreover, the use of BUS systems reduces the number of cables required.

Indeed, one of the primary challenges faced by designers when restoring or enhancing historic buildings is the issue of wiring. In 2009, Duemmegi collaborated with the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, the institution responsible for preserving, promoting, and enhancing the artistic heritage of the monumental complex of Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa. Together, we organized a national conference titled “ON/OFF Domotic Monuments,” which took place in the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness about the possibility and necessity of adopting BUS systems to minimize wiring requirements. Today, thanks to new technologies, achieving exceptional lighting without invasive intervention in the walls of historically and artistically significant buildings has become a reality.

With over 30 years of expertise in implementing lighting systems for historic buildings and monuments, Duemmegi offers a solution that allows for the utilization of standard electrical cables for wiring purposes. One such cable that can be employed in these applications is the “mineral cable.” This type of cable possesses a natural tendency to oxidize and blend in with the surroundings, even when installed in exposed areas. Additionally, the cable can be laid with flexibility during installation, often without requiring underlay support. This level of versatility is unique to Duemmegi’s BUS system and sets it apart from other alternatives.

The lighting control and automation of historic and artistic buildings, as well as monument sites, are efficiently managed through a Building Management System (BMS). The BMS serves as the ideal solution for comprehensive control of these historic sites, with flexibility and remote access being the key principles upon which the concept of technological systems in architectural heritage is built. With a BMS in place, systems can be easily controlled, regulated, and selectively turned off, even in specific sections, to optimize resource usage and minimize waste. Additionally, consumption can be tracked, and operations can be carried out remotely.

Restoration of Historic Buildings and Museums: Duemmegi Solutions Bridging Technology and Aesthetics

One of the significant advantages of Duemmegi solutions for lighting and automation systems in historic building restoration is their non-invasive nature. By leveraging efficient technologies tailored to museums and historic buildings, Duemmegi implements BMS-controlled systems capable of performing the following functions:

  • Lighting management.
  • Technical alarm control.
  • Electrical distribution monitoring.
  • Emergency lighting management (in compliance with regulations related to public spaces).
  • HVAC equipment management (museums, places of worship, historic buildings).
  • Window automation management.
  • Energy efficiency improvement in historic buildings and museums.
Building Automation for Historic Buildings

Furthermore, the utilization of supervisory systems for historic buildings and museums enables centralized and remote control of all facilities. This offers substantial cost savings by reducing operational expenses and minimizing the need for a large workforce, particularly in cases where there are widespread museum hubs or multiple historic buildings managed collectively.

The automation systems for buildings of historical interest proposed by Duemmegi also enable the creation of scenic effects and special lighting effects in museums hosting temporary exhibitions. The goal is to harmoniously blend technology and aesthetics, enhancing the showcased installations and providing visitors with an exceptional user experience that encompasses both artistic appreciation and environmental comfort.

Security is also ensured as the BMS can control video surveillance and intrusion detection systems, as well as manage access to historic buildings and museums.

Advanced Energy Management in Historic Buildings: Contatto, Domino, DUELUX Duemmegi's Tailor-Made Solutions

The building automation approach for historic buildings provided by Duemmegi offers a significant advantage: a fully customizable and tailored solution that maximizes the building’s aesthetics, optimizes operating costs and energy consumption, and provides the public with the desired comfort. By employing this balanced mix of options, it becomes feasible to enhance Italy’s historical and artistic heritage while also prioritizing the careful preservation and maintenance of the installations during restoration and conservation work.

These interventions guarantee the efficiency of places of worship, museums, and historic buildings. By implementing a Building Automation system managed by a BMS, advanced energy management can also be achieved for architectural heritage.

At Palazzo delle Zattere (VE), the Italian headquarters of the V-A-C Foundation, housing a modern art gallery, the Duemmegi system offers a customized reconfiguration of the lighting and climate comfort system for each setting. In addition, the system can provide access management for staff using various methods such as fingerprint systems, QR codes, numeric codes on keypads, fragrance diffusers, and digital signage.

Duemmegi’s Contatto system has been successfully implemented in various prestigious buildings, including the Dal Verme Theater in Milan, the Goldoni Theater in Livorno, the Madach Theater in Hungary, the Pitti Palace in Florence, the Cathedrals of Florence, Naples, Verona, and Grosseto, the Castle of Buon Consiglio in Trento, the Savoy Castle in Gressoney-Saint-Jean (AO), the Royal Castle in Sarre (AO), the Doria Tursi Palace in Genoa, and many other exceptional structures.

Duemmegi’s Domino system was employed to automate the Basilica of San Bernardino in L’Aquila, which suffered damage in the 2009 earthquake, as well as the Cathedral of Montecarlo. Additionally, the DUELUX DALI-2 system (digital dimmable lighting) was successfully used for the wiring of Palazzo Zanca in Messina, the seat of the City Hall, and the Cathedral of San Giulio in Cassano Magnago (VA).

Duemmegi has also successfully executed lighting and Building Automation projects, utilizing BMS, for all the buildings at the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, the Altare della Patria and the Pantheon in Rome, as well as the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.

To accentuate the uniqueness of each of these buildings, a meticulous study is necessary to establish a tailored project that optimizes aesthetic requirements, safety measures, and consumption management. This endeavor can be further supported through funds allocated by the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), which aims to promote ecological and energy transition.

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