Innovative solutions for sustainable living.
In recent years, the concept of sustainability has become very fashionable. The construction sector is also not immune to this trend. But when is a building truly sustainable?
A sustainable building has a competitive building cost, does not waste resources unnecessarily, neither for its construction nor for its management, does not produce harmful emissions and at the same time guarantees the comfort and well-being of its user. A sustainable building is also created with components and technologies that guarantee its duration over time; it is flexible and therefore easily adaptable to changes in the market and in society. A building with these characteristics guarantees that its value will last over time and creates an ethical relationship with the society in which it carries out its task, during its first and subsequent life cycles.
Sustainability is achieved through a project development based on consistency and on clear predefined objectives. For over 20 years our goal has been to develop designs based on flexibility, high living comfort, absence of emissions and low energy consumption. These design principles apply to buildings with different uses and must be the tool through which the needs and dreams of the client are transformed into the finished work. As an example of the versatility of this concept and its application from small to large, from workspaces to residences, from new buildings to restorations, we briefly present some creations curated by our design studio.
For the ALA single-family house in Lavertezzo, completed in 2001, the goal was to build a zero-emission, low-energy house at low cost. The building develops under a large steel wing that, during summer, keeps the south façade – entirely made of glass – shaded: in the winter season the low sun guarantees the maximum possible contribution of solar energy at no cost. Thanks to the continuous ventilation system installed, the owners are still extremely satisfied with the comfort and low running costs.
The deltaZERO residential-administrative building in Paradiso, where we have been working and living for 14 years, is a fully glazed cube that allows you to live entirely immersed in the surrounding city. deltaZERO is a building with low energy consumption and zero emissions. Characterized by a linear design, it is equipped with all the technologies necessary for saving and producing energy, such as a reversible geothermal heat pump with 2.5 km of probes, 90 m2 of solar collectors integrated into the facade for the production of water, domestic hot water and for heating, a photovoltaic system integrated into the roof and a continuous ventilation system with ground collector and heat recovery. The filtering and ionization system guarantees an exceptional air quality, free of pollutants and fine dusts, with an oxygen rate always equal to the external one.
The restoration of the Doragno Castle in Rovio, a medieval building from the 11th century, confirmed that is possible to integrate solar energy production systems in historic buildings. After nine centuries of life, the castle no longer causes pollution and, thanks to the sun, it produces electricity and hot water.
The deltaROSSO rental building in Vacallo was awarded the Special Prize by the Swiss Solar Agency because it produces more energy than it consumes, due to the integration of its solar energy systems into the overall aesthetics of the building and to its low construction cost, despite the high level of comfort even in the summer, obtained through the activation of the mass and a cooling and dehumidification system.
The same sustainability principles set out above should be applied systematically to the strategic reconversion of cities. Indeed, cities are the future of our planet: only by planning them in a far-sighted way, according to the principles of sustainability, will we be able to guarantee the coming generations quality spaces for social interaction and cities where it is good to live.
S. de Angelis & M. Mazza – deltaZERO architects Lugano (CH)