Located on the Tronchetto Island, in the same area as the Port of Venice, the Venice Wholesale Fish Market (MIT) is strategically positioned within the Venice lagoon and is easily accessible by both sea and land. The market attracts a variety of fish species from around the world, and it is the diversity and high quality of the products that contribute to its success, making it one of the most important wholesale markets in Italy. A recent intervention, promoted by VERITAS, a publicly owned entity controlled by the Municipality of Venice, focused on the sales area warehouse.
At the request of the local Health Authority (ASL), Veritas had to address the absence of a cooling system in the wholesale sales area. Although the fish market operates mainly during the nighttime and early morning hours, and the fish is transported and stored in containers with ice or refrigeration units, higher temperatures during the summer can significantly impact the freshness of the products.
The installation of the cooling system faced a significant obstacle due to the vaulted roof of the building, which occupies a large volume. Therefore, the design phase had to develop a solution to create a suspended ceiling that would reduce the dispersion of this large space.
The market, constructed in 1952, covers an area of 6,900 square meters, with 4,900 square meters of covered space dedicated to offices, warehouses, and the sales area warehouse. The sales area warehouse covers an area of 1,700 square meters (approximately 80m x 21m) and houses the sales stalls.
The building consists of reinforced concrete perimeter columns and solid brick infill walls. The roof is a vaulted structure composed of a reinforced concrete slab supported by cast-in-place arches at approximately 5-meter intervals (with a height at the arch springing of about 5.50m and a maximum height of about 10.50m). There are no central columns, and the sales area is free of any obstructions.
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The installation of the cooling system required modifications to the existing systems (lighting, ventilation, etc.) and the installation of a suspended ceiling to reduce the volume of the sales area, which would otherwise cause excessive dispersion. The client also imposed a restriction on the construction of internal columns or any other element that would interrupt the open space of the surface, as the area is densely occupied during sales hours and experiences continuous vehicle traffic, such as pallet trucks.
Therefore, the suspended ceiling needed to be supported by an overhead frame, covering the entire sales area, and suspended from the main arched structures of the roof. To avoid excessive weight on the existing structures, pultruded profiles in GFRP were chosen, suspended with steel cables capable of meeting the structural requirements of the existing elements.
The lightweight suspended ceiling was constructed using a framework in two directions made of pultruded profiles in GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer), which consists of chemically resistant glass fibers and thermosetting polyester resins. The characteristic tensile strength in the longitudinal direction is 395 MPa, and the average elastic modulus in the longitudinal direction is 32,600 MPa. The procurement of the material required the preparation of an executive project, production schemes, cutting to size, profile processing, hole drilling, and the preparation of all connections. The company also provided bolts, connection plates between profiles, and eyebolts for wind bracing and support cable attachment. Composite materials were used for some profile junctions, while the specified metallic parts were made of stainless steel.
The work was carried out without interrupting the fish market’s activity, which continued regularly while the installation of the suspended ceiling and the cooling system took place in two operational shifts at the market’s closing time and in the early evening hours. The installation operations were performed using a lift platform and progressed in small daily sections.
CONSTRUCTION SHEET PROJECT_Subject: Suspended ceiling project within the implementation of the cooling and ventilation system for the sales area.
LOCATION_Fish Market Tronchetto, Venice.
DESIGNERS_Engineer Pierluigi Moro and Engineer Riccardo Tommasi, Studio Moro, Venice.
MAIN CONTRACTOR_CO.EDIL COSTRUZIONI SRL.
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