URUGUAY: Climaveneta chillers and AHUs are supplying the perfect environmental conditions to a new shopping centre in Las Piedras, Uruguay, a country where 97% of the total electricity comes from renewable sources.

The Las Piedras shopping mall was created to serve the rapidly growing city in the Canelones region. The 38,000m² mall comprises 100 shops, five movie theatres, a superstore and a large food court with 12 different restaurants. The building is on three levels, the underground level is dedicated to parking, the other two are for commercial and recreational activities.

Uruguay is a country of almost 3.5 million inhabitants that has no oil reserves and that until just over 10 years ago imported oil from neighbouring countries. Thanks to the green energy policy launched in 2000, the country now produces 97% of its total electricity requirement from renewable sources: solar, hydroelectric, wind, and biomass.

Sustainability and respect for the environment were the cornerstones for the design of the new building. Great importance was given to lighting, with large use of windows and therefore natural light, flanked by artificial LED lighting. The centre’s air conditioning and ventilation system has also been designed and implemented with a strong focus on energy efficiency.

The air conditioning of the shopping centre is based on a centralised system with water-cooled liquid chillers that provide the various commercial premises and air-handling units that serve all the common areas.

To reduce energy consumption, while guaranteeing maximum reliability and internal comfort for customers and staff, high efficiency Climaveneta units were selected. This comprised three FOCS2-W/CA water-cooled liquid chillers, in a high efficiency version, with a total cooling capacity of 3,417kW. These units are connected to cooling towers.

Engineer Louis Lagormarsino, who designed the mechanical plant, said: “We decided to install water-cooled chillers in the mall because in this project the operating cost was very important and keeping chillers with cooling towers positively impacted the costs related to electric consumption.”

To optimise the energy performance of the building, a free-cooling system was also set up to exploit the favourable temperatures of the outdoor air to support the air conditioning system. The air treatment is carried out by 10 WIZARD-TA-7500 CA air handling units, with a total air flow rate of 244.035m³/h.