Smart and more efficient buildings : Sustainable Schools

5 July 2023
Smart Automation & Supervision in School Buildings

The Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) will grant funds for energy efficiency and earthquake-proofing of school buildings. This translates into the possibility for schools of all levels to equip themselves with Building Automation systems controlled by a supervisory controller (BMS) to allow a high level of comfort for occupants while ensuring optimization of energy consumption, reduction of waste, and operations using smart phones and tablets.

Duemmegi offers comprehensive building automation solutions, including BMS, to control all building facilities both centrally, as well as remotely, if necessary.

Energy-Efficient School Building Design Becomes a Reality Thanks to NRRP Funds

Designing sustainable schools is now possible thanks to the availability of advanced energy-saving technologies in schools and school building automation

. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan has allocated 800 million euros specifically for energy efficiency and earthquake-proofing of school buildings at all levels. Moreover, an additional 410 million euros have been earmarked for the efficiency of judicial buildings (ref. Component 3 Mission 2 of the NRRP, “Energy Efficiency and Renovation of Buildings”).

One of the goals of the plan, in fact, is to support ecological transition by modernizing and making Italy’s public buildings energy sustainable. Thanks to NRRP funds – slightly more than 1.2 billion euros in total, plus an additional 13.95 billion euros for energy and seismic efficiency for private and public housing – Italy can aim for a building renovation rate of 1.2 percent, almost twice the current rate (0.7 percent).

It’s a great opportunity for the Italian housing stock, which is quite dated as 72 percent of the buildings are over 40 years old. (Source: Community Smart Building Strategic Report – 1st Edition, presented in Rome in May 2023).

In this context, special attention is focused on sustainability and the automation and efficiency of school buildings, and to the consequent building energy certification.

Companies working on the improvement of school efficiency today must comply with the new Minimum Environmental Criteria introduced as of 04/12/2022 by the Ministerial Decree of 23/06/2022. Moreover, according to Interministerial Decree 26/05/2015 that defines the “National Guidelines for Energy Certification of Buildings”, a general control system must be in place as part of an efficient building. In other words, the presence of a dedicated BMS (Building Management System) is a requirement.

Supervisory and Control Systems for School Buildings: The Duemmegi Solutions

The use of a Building Automation system to create smart and more efficient buildings is becoming increasingly popular, even in schools. Numerous benefits can be gained from implementing a BMS-managed Building Automation system. Duemmegi, through its WEBCON BMS system, can provide a customized solution for schools that covers efficiency upgrades in order to reach greater sustainability and safety.

In a school building Duemmegi’s Building Management System (BMS) can monitor:

  • Temperature. Monitoring the thermoregulation system (hot or hot/cold where available) ensures proper comfort in school buildings and optimal temperature in classrooms and other work environments. At the same time, waste is avoided during school closure periods, such as night hours, weekends, calendar holidays, and summer break.
  • Lighting. This automated control ensures that students and staff are exposed to the correct lighting throughout the day based on the amount of natural light from outside. It also provides significant waste reduction.
  • Sunscreens, such as outdoor or indoor awnings and blinds. Automated regulation of these screens blocks direct radiation and lowers the building’s internal temperature when there is no supportive cooling system (where applicable).
  • The emergency lighting system, which is mandatory in school buildings of all levels.
  • Equipment efficiency (such as boilers, heat pumps, etc.) to prevent breakdowns, manage any critical issues, and keep them running smoothly. This helps provide maximum comfort in all environments at all times.
  • Smoke detection system. This is a stand-alone system, whose control, however, can be integrated into the BMS, always making it accessible locally and remotely.
  • Automatic management of air changes. This is a very useful function in all school environments to keep VOC (volatile organic compounds) and CO2 levels in the air under control and ensure good health.
  • The video surveillance system and its proper operation at all times both locally and remotely.

BMS represents an optimal solution for the complete control of school buildings, ensuring flexibility of use and remote access, two cornerstones on which the new concept of technological systems in schools is based. Systems can thus be controlled, regulated, and switched off, even in sections (to optimize resources and reduce waste), integrated in energy consumption, and operated remotely.

Building Automation for Smart Buildings: More than 30 Years of Duemmegi's Experience in Schools

With the aim of improving the energy efficiency of school buildings, the NRRP has allocated 800 million euros in funds. A sustainable and safe school building is a facility equipped with a monitoring system of existing equipment, which is capable of overseeing its operation, failures, anomalies, and optimizing its energy consumption. Based on the unique characteristics of these buildings,

as well as the operational requirements and regulations, the WEBCON BMS solutions offered by Duemmegi can provide:

  • Safety of school buildings
  • Energy management of school buildings
  • Reduction of energy waste in schools
  • Monitoring energy consumption in schools,

with the aim of creating a true smart building that can be sustainable in terms of energy consumption, safety, and can ensure the well-being of children and adults who attend and work in school environments on a daily basis for most of the year.

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