Refurbishment of the São Francisco Convent - Coimbra (Portugal)

Work Performed

Thermal simulation (EnergyPlus).

Hybrid ventilation design.

Radiative heating and cooling system.

Displacement ventilation sizing (auditorium).

Relevant Details

The project is divided in two distinct phases: a new concert hall, to be built from scratch, and the refurbishment of the interior of a convent, making it capable of housing exhibitions, meetings and other cultural events.

The objective of the design team to was to achieve maximum energy efficiency and indoor air quality with minimum interference in the design of the new auditorium and in the internal configuration of the existing convent spaces.

The interior of a convent is a sensitive environment for the installation of modern HVAC equipment. In the present case the design brief required high flexibility in the configuration of the larger rooms in the second and third floor of the east wing of the convent. This flexibility is difficult to achieve with an air based mixing ventilation system, typically requiring for a large number of separate ducts in each zone.

Flexibility and easier integration in the space were obtained with a "radiative" heating and cooling system (embedded in the rebuilt floor surface). This system operates in conjunction with an hybrid displacement ventilation system. Air is admitted at low level through acoustically absorptive ducts that feed from disguised apertures in the clerestory façade. Outflow occurs at high level, either naturally or fan assisted. The system will have separate control in small modules, easily responding to any changes in space configurations.

Project Data

Architecture: João Luis Carrilho da Graça

Engineering: AFAssocioados