Palazzo Ricordi (Furla HQ)

The redevelopment project of Palazzo Ricordi, in the heart of Milan, close to the east side entrance of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, was completed in 2015 after three years of work and the recognition of the first LEED ”Core&Shell” Gold Level certification in Italy on historical pre-existence.

The complete redevelopment of the building, for commercial/office use, involved the seven floors with a new layout system and obtained LEED, Core & Shell, Gold level certification for sustainability. A success achieved thanks to the contribution of the technical partners Parisotto+Formenton Architetti, F&M Ingegneria, ESA engineering and the consultancy of the Evotre company for certification. In Italy a similar record had already been achieved with the redevelopment of Ca’ Foscari in Venice. But that building was certified “LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance”, relatively exclusively to non-structural interventions, while on the contrary Palazzo Ricordi (certified “LEED Core&Shell”) has seen a complex intervention of Major Renovation involving the structure, the envelope, the internal distribution and the entire heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) system.

From a systems point of view, the conscious design of Palazzo Ricordi was based on the concept of synergy, with the aim of creating a building-system complex where the latter was not a mere tool at the service of the building but completed and supported an already optimized envelope . This was also possible thanks to a dynamic simulation calculation which made it possible to size and develop the systems based on the real request of the building. The result is a streamlined but high-performing system, capable of guaranteeing optimal comfort conditions all year round with reduced running costs.
The floors for office and commercial use are served by a VRF (variable refrigerant flow) system condensed with ground water and heat recovery. The choice fell on a refrigerant gas system due to the historical context in which it is located, a type of system characterized by extremely limited overall dimensions and technical passage spaces compared to a hydronic counterpart. Heat recovery also makes it possible to cool and heat at the same time with a free energy contribution and is particularly effective in office buildings characterized by opposite loads in the mid-seasons and for the production of free hot water for most of the year.

Milan has the great fortune of having an underground hydrogeological basin of inestimable value; groundwater makes it possible to design highly efficient systems for heating, air conditioning and domestic hot water production. The use of the latest generation machines and the exploitation of groundwater as a renewable resource involves, against an investment that is almost identical to more “traditional” systems, a much higher saving in bills and a significant reduction in emissions into the atmosphere. Not only that, the invisibility of these systems installed in less valuable rooms in the basement means, especially in a context such as the center of Milan, guaranteeing the protection of the environmental asset and the total absence of noise towards the neighbourhood.
The whole building was also conceived with the intention of being as flexible as possible and usable by different tenants, if necessary. That’s why each floor is completely independent from the others both from the point of view of air conditioning, but also as regards electrical supplies, distributions and monitoring of consumption divided by categories of use.

Palazzo Ricordi is authentic proof that it is possible to work according to green practices while preserving the maximum integrity of the historic structures we have in Italy, with a little ingenuity, effort and innovation. The new building saves over 35% of energy consumption, reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by 40%, an activity responsible for climate change – well beyond the efficiency standards established by the EU Directive for 2030. A result that places Palazzo Ricordi as a “class A” building, according to the Italian energy classification, the highest level.

Milan, Italy

Via Berchet, Milan, Italy

Completed in 2015

Surface Area: about 4.500 m²

Work Team

  • Client: Antonello Manuli Holdings
  • Concept, Executive Architect: Parisotto + Formenton
  • Structure Design, Construction Supervision: F&M Ingegneria
  • Project Management, Direzione Lavori Generale, H&S Consultancy: F&M Ingegneria
  • MEP Design, Construction Supervision: ESA engineering 
  • Acoustic Design & Tests: ESA engineering
  • Fire Safety Design: ESA engineering
  • Energy Consultancy: ESA engineering 
  • LEED Certificaion: Evotre
  • General Contractor: Tecton Soc. Coop.
  • Photo Credits: Paolo Utimpergher