March 3, 2020 Maria Chiara Antonini
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Green architecture: yes we can

About

People talk about green architecture, eco-sustainable projects, zero impact buildings. And also in design, many 2020 collections of furnishings and accessories for the home boast an ecological mood: for materials and production.

Courtesy of IYO Aalto
Courtesy of IYO Aalto

But which are the materials that certify the real ecological vocation of an architectural project? Is it a new trend or a real direction of architecture and interior decoration?

Between all the eco-sustainable materials, which have a lower impact on the environment, wood is and remains the most ecological ever. It does not produce toxins, it does not release carbon and a cubic meter of wood keeps in itself an amount of CO2 equal to the same quantity produced by a car that travels 180,000 km. (Source: Promolegno).

It weighs much less than concrete and steel, but is equally resistant. It has the advantage, compared to traditional masonry, of not needing cement or mortar, as it can count on interlocking connection systems between wood and wood, or through steel screws and bolts. And being a natural, living and organic material, it is free of harmful substances and has great potential also as decorating element. The architect Maurizio Lai knows it well, and with his Lai Studio designed the new Iyo Aalto restaurant of Claudio Liu in Milan. For the interior surfaces, in fact, he chose canaletto walnut, as well as black elm for the seating structure, a light brown colour wood for the tables and wooden slats also for the floor. Result: welcoming environments with low environmental impact.

Another material for a green architecture is the photovoltaic system, used for example for the new project of the Arval headquarters designed by Pierattelli Architecture. In the heart of Scandicci, near Florence, the studio designed the “photovoltaic bolt”: a building without emissions, self-sufficient thanks to geothermal pumps and photovoltaic panels.

The complex has huge photovoltaic wings realized through special photovoltaic flexible panels with a high efficiency, located on a lightweight steel structure and integrated with the ones on the roof. Systems and energetic management of the building are controlled by an automatic system that optimizes results.

And it works so well that the new Arval headquarters is one of the first directional buildings in Italy with zero environmental impact.

Courtesy of Ph. Max Lisi Arval - Pierattelli Architecture
Courtesy of Ph. Max Lisi

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