In 2017 we renovated San Michele, one of our central buildings. It was a traditional farm style house constructed in 1960s. The poor energy legacy meant that approximately 20% of the energy used at San Michele was wasted – uneconomical electrical boilers, poor insulation and draughty windows. We committed to minimising energy waste and reducing dependency on carbon producing oil fired boilers. In 2017 we introduced a three-way sustainable energy approach was designed into the refurbishment of the building.
Photo Voltaic Solar Panels
We use non-intrusive photo voltaic energy panels located on the roof of San Michele and the Hunters Lodge. Photo voltaics is the best known method for generating “Green” electrical power, using solar cells to convert energy from sunlight. This generated electricity is used to contribute towards the electrical power consumed by San Michele.
In peak times of electrical generation, surplus electrical energy produced by the San Michele system is sent directly to the Italian energy infrastructure, to be used by other customers.
Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)
An Air Source Heat Pump was used to provide the electrical energy consumed to heat and cool the building
An ASHP is a super efficient way of maximising the use of electrical energy as a heating and cooling source. For every one unit of electrical energy taken four units of electrical energy are provided for consumption. Think of it as an ‘energy transformer’: giving out more energy than it uses.
Building Management System Energy Control
By using a modern Building Management System at San Michele, the heating and cooling temperatures is centrally controlled. So areas of the building that are not being used, can be isolated, and actual temperature control throughout the building became available, thus saving energy.
In addition, we introduced a Rain Water Harvesting system at San Michele. Rainwater is collected off the roof of the building and stored in underground water tanks. This water is used to irrigate the gardens, and for external cleaning and washing.
Design by Fred Rigby
Photo credits Niklas Adrian Vindelev