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IT Systems, Milan (Italy)

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The amount of air change compared to the needs is higher than what is necessary. Moreover the energy recovery is only one of the air handling unit. The winter humidification is also disabled. Globally the building shows some deficiencies on the ventilation system. The two air handling units work in a different manner and the amount of supply air is not correct. Besides, some local discomfort can be highlighted which is related to the central air treatment. Those are linked to a false local calibration, which lead to overheating problem in some rooms (the most sun exposed) and sub-cooling of the basement rooms (computer room).
IT Systems, Milan (Italy)

Building owner
Politecnico di Milano is the largest technical university in Italy. With eight campuses and more than 40 departments, it covers all the areas of specialization in design, architecture and engineering. Politecnico di Milano has about 40,000 students and 1300 professors and other staff.

The building is occupied by the owner.

Building 15 was constructed in 1962 and is now the main office of the BEST (Building Enviroment Science and Tecnology) department and of the ASI (Area Sistemi Informatici = IT services department) of the Politecnico di Milano. The building hosts mainly offices. However, in the BEST department it is possible to do other activities thanks to the presence of a computer room in the basement, a multimedial room on the mezzanine and a lecture room on the first storey. The ASI department hosts also the data center of Politecnico.

Building concept
Building 15 has a "C" form and is situated in an developed urban environement.  As a whole, the building is constructed of brick walls, except for the basement and parts of the mezzanine that are in concrete. The slabs are also in concrete, lightened with large perforated blocks. The windows are double glazed with aluminum frames. Each window has a solar shading system consisting of  adjustable horizontal thin plates in aluminum. The southern zone of the building, occupied by the ASI, is developed on four storeys, one of them in the basement. The northern zone is occupied by BEST department and is developed on three storeys, also with one storey in the basement. The part that connects the northern with the southern zone is used principally as a connective area and some spaces are used as offices.

HVAC concept
Heating is provided by a district heating system. In the district heating thermal plant there are three boilers each with a power of 11 MW. They provide the heating for a major part of the campus . The necessary heat for Building 15 comes from a heat exchanger located in the secondary thermal plant in the basement. The pump group is located in the same room. Cooling is provided by a chiller with a power of 289 kW located on the building roof. Air treatment is provided by two AHUs, located at different locations in the basement of the same building. AHU1 guarantees an air change of 7300 mc/h in the service of the ASI. AHU1 is equipped with an air-to-air heat recovery system. The AHU2 provides an air change rate of 5000 mc/h in the BEST department. This AHU is not equipped with a heat recovery system.  The entire building is conditioned, except the bathrooms which are equipped with radiators for winter heating. The climatization system consists of a primary air treatment and fancoils. DHW is provided by a small electric boiler. All of the lamps are fluorescent lamps, and for some of them the luminous intensity can be regulated acting from the interrupter. The HVAC control system is connected to the district heating control unit and it gathers data since 2004.

General data


Politecnico di Milano

Year of erection



University building

Net floor area

2,100 m²

Consumption of electricity 

580,000 kWh/a

270 kWh/(m²a)

Consumption of heating

200,000 kWh/a

95 kWh/(m²a)

HVAC equipment

heating, cooling, ventilation, air conditioning,

building automation system

Energy source

district heating

Acronym of the case

IT Milan

Lessons learnt

Results of the Building EQ project - Energy saving potential in the operation of buildings 5 - 30 % - Realisation of these potentials with low or no investment costs - BuildingEQ methods and tools allow quick and cost efficient detection of these potentials - Ongoing performance evaluation is prerequisite for energy efficient operation - Consortium suggests amendment of EPBD with mandatory performance monitoring

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