The new headquarters of the SMI Group

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The new 65,000-m² head office of the SMI Group is the result of a renovation project of former San Giovanni-based Cima paper mills; the project, which kicked off in late 2011 and was completed in mid 2014, involved the full refurbishment of the old factories and the office buildings, with a focus on sustainable development.

The renovation project was based on a careful study of environmental issues and impact on the territory, which focused on the “Architecture and Environment” combination, which led to the adoption of a set of innovative solutions to minimize energy consumption as well as the environmental impact of SMI's new industrial complex.

The new assembly plants are equipped with a photovoltaic roofing, capable of producing electricity for 726 MWh/year, allowing us to reduce CO2 emissions in the surrounding environment by about 320 tons per year. Among the high energy efficiency facilities installed in the new headquarters, there is also a solar thermal system for heating the water used in the company service areas (bathrooms, gardens, etc.).

There is even a hydroelectric power plant inside the building, operated by SMIENERGY company, which has a top production output of 6 GWh/year of “clean energy” derived from the Brembo River that flows nearby. The power plant was boosted through the installation of a new Kaplan turbine, which exploits the water's descending leaps and pressure.

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The importance of the combination between Architecture and Environment

Refurbishments were carried out in steps, to allow for the gradual transfer of the business from the old location to the new one. SMI started moving its offices and production departments in the second half of 2013 and ended in June 2014.

In the summertime, air is conditioned through the use of heat pumps that have replaced the conventional electrical conditioners, whereas latest generation heat generators were installed for winter heating, featuring high efficiency and performance. In order to avoid losses of hot and cold air from the offices and production departments, an innovative centralized cooling system was implemented, which intakes outdoor air, filters it and then circulates it indoors.

SMI Group's new headquarters also feature a number of innovative solutions to achieve maximum energy saving:
• the new floor heating system in buildings, which uses lowtemperature water from a condensation boiler (the energy efficiency of this type of boiler is higher than that of normal heat generators);
• building insulation, which reduces heat loss from the building's shell and acts on floors and false ceilings, with the consequent reduction of the primary energy needed to heat the rooms;
• complete renovation of the lighting systems, with the introduction of an advanced home automation control system that allows you to turn on all or just a few lights, depending on the number of people present in a certain room and the amount of natural light coming through the windows and the solar tubes installed.

Thanks to such energy-saving works and to Sansaving company's consultancy, the GME (“Gestore dei Mercati Energetici”, i.e. the Italian authority managing the electricity market) has granted SMI a certain number of “Energy Efficiency Certificates” and a precise reckoning of savings deriving from those works.

These Titles, also known as “White Tags”, are a public incentive, paid in the form of financial contributions to companies which undertake energy efficiency measures to reduce fuel consumption and achieve the best use of available resources; they are used in the United States and in many EU countries, where they are known as “Energy Savings Certificate (ESC)”, “Energy Efficiency Credit (EEC)” or simply “white tags”.

The implementation of the foregoing eco-friendly solutions will allow SMI to obtain energy savings, on a yearly basis, in the consumption of natural gas estimated at about 24,500 €, 70,000 scm (standard cubic meters) or 57 TOE (Tons of Oil Equivalent) and gain 167 EEC (Energy Efficiency Credits).

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