CASE DI LUCE: Zero energy architecture built with hemp and lime

CASE DI LUCE: Zero energy architecture built with hemp and lime

Location
Bisceglie, Puglia, Italy
Category
Apartments

Housing

CASE DI LUCE: Zero energy architecture built with hemp and lime

Pedone Working SRL as Urban Planners

CASE DI LUCE is a highly innovative sustainable urban regeneration project in Bisceglie which involves the replacement of urban abandoned industrial sites , by considerable environmental problems, with a new highly sustainable and energy self-sufficient urban model consists of an eco- park facilities that, respecting the bio-climatic and morphological characteristics of the place, talks in a spatial and temporal unicum with the new urban fabric consists of two multi-story residential and commercial near-zero-energy buildings characterized by 61 flats energy efficiency class A + .


The residential buildings , through the use of sustainable materials , renewable energy sources , the use of passive solar gains and natural ventilation , as well as the recovery and use of natural resources , achieve the ambitious sustainability level equal to 4.1 of the Itaca Protocol Puglia 2011, "Standards for Sustainable Building", it is an energy-environmental certification tool including quality of the building and building components. The project was born from an integrated systemic and holistic approach, applied to the entire building process , linked to the themes of bio- architecture , eco- sustainability , environmental comfort and housing . Case di Luce is currently the first sustainable multi-levels housing project in Europe built by a natural envelope made by hemp and lime, natural raw materials and saving production with near-zero environmental impact .


The paramount cooperation between Pedone Working Group building experience and an italian company named Equilibrium Srl, which operates in the green construction industry for the sustainable development and for the hemp industry recovery in Italy , has made possible in CASE DI LUCE the implementation of an innovative building system called Muratura Vegetale® in Natural Beton® (mixture of hemp and lime). Such a mixture is completely recyclable, biocompatible , able to capture and sequester CO2 (each cubic meter of material saves a total of 60 kg CO2 from the atmosphere), balancing thus the emissions in the buildings construction phases. This compound , LEED ® certified , has an high hygrothermal performance and , since it has also excellent qualities of thermal insulation, it determines a low energy demand and almost no maintenance costs . So, the high insulation buildings envelope, the absence of thermal bridges , the use of highly performance fixtures with perfect air tightness , together with the use of high efficiency plants as controlled mechanical ventilation with heat recovery , renewables to meet the lower demand for heating and production of hot water , allowing to obtain a zero-energy multi-levels housing estate.


The project CASE DI LUCE has participated to the exhibition "Architectural Projects and Built Works" inside the World Triennial of Architecture INTERARCH 2012 in Sofia and , due to its high environmental values , has been selected as a finalist project, in the National Competition “Energia Sostenibile nelle città- 2012”, promoted by INU (National Institute of Urban Planning), and the Ministry for the Environment and for Land and Sea Protection.


Sustainability approach of the owner: Pedone Working Group is an Italian company that has been operating in the construction industry for more than 50 years. It prides itself its ten-year of experience in the field of sustainable architecture design, green buildings constructions, as well as in the sector of natural building materials and technologies for energy efficiency. When developing its projects the company explores the expressive capacities of integration between architecture and sustainability being fully aware that energy efficiency and healthy environments have become key factors for a good quality of life, as well as to preserve the value of the buildings over time. By adopting an experimental approach Pedone Working Group, supported by a multi-skilled team of highly qualified and dynamic professionals, combines an accurate research into the evolution of traditional building systems with a technological expertise on the highest standards of energy efficiency. The company offers sustainable architectural project development, engineering, feasibility studies and project management and it has carried out many projects on sustainable urban regenerations, zero energy buildings, restorations of ancient buildings, shops and restaurant design, residential interiors and exhibition installations.


Pedone Working’s experience, culture and drive for innovation have been acknowledged with several recognitions and prizes, among which the “CasaClima Awards 2013” and finalist in the National competition “Energia Sostenibile nelle città- 2012”, promoted by INU (National Institute of Urban Planning), and the Ministry for the Environment and for Land and Sea Protection. Currently the company, taking advantage of this long and detailed process of excellence, comes up with the construction of a new sustainable urban regeneration project Case di Luce: the first pilot project with zero impact architecture made by Muratura Vegetale®.


Project general description The sustainable urban regeneration project in Bisceglie, one of the most idyllic and charming seaside town in the Italian Southern region of Apulia, involves the redevelopment and re-use of an area, close to the railway, that, although partially build-up today, live in a state of considerable urban blight worsen both the presence of an old factory with asbestos cover, now abandoned, and a depressed area adjacent to it characterized as a neglected "urban void".


The regeneration plan proposed on private initiative, as provided in “L.R. n.21/2008 Norme per la rigenerazione urbana” (Standards for urban regeneration), is to do both the buildings replacement of these abandoned industrial sites with two sustainable standard passive type new buildings, mixed residential and commercial, falling under bioclimatic and sustainable constructions and the redevelopment of public garden area designed to be implemented through the creation of an eco-park facilities, real "ecological infrastructure", which with its paths , services and green areas generates an hybrid -integrated system of public and private space. The final aim is the implementation of a new highly sustainable and energy self-sufficient urban model capable of regenerating the entire district with which the project faces giving, at the same time, concrete answers on passive houses subject.


The project designed as a result of a pregnant environmental clean-up operations with the simultaneous demolition and reconstruction of a crumbling and disposal buildings, has prevented both the consumption of new land and the construction of new infrastructure being inserted in an already urbanized landscape. In addition, careful evaluation of bio-climatic nature of the site, in order to maximize both passive solar contributions and the prevailing winds in the area, made it possible to achieve both high energy efficiency of buildings, that they can be label as "zero energy ", as well as a low environmental impact for the production and the release of carbon dioxide thus contributing materially to the containment and to the reduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. All this has been made possible thanks to low fuel consumption and the reduced heating capacity, both summer and winter, necessary to the built in because all of its building components, as well as being KM zero, were evaluated according to the values required by the regulations of Legislative Decree 311/2006 and the parameters of thermal and acoustic comfort and humidity dictated by the physical construction. Finally, the use of innovative construction techniques, characterized precisely by the careful choice of components, will speed up the construction times, limiting the use of energy in the early stages of construction in addition to ensuring that the energy embodied in buildings is minimized in the event of future dismantling and recycling.


Natural materials use Case di Luce has been building by an innovative natural construction technology called Muratura Vegetale® in NATURAL BETON® (completely natural concrete), mixture obtained by combining the vegetable shavings of hemp with a hydrated lime-based binder and natural additives. Such a mixture, LEED® Certificated by Habitech that has acknowledged the value of this product, is the result of a low-energy consumption production process with a resulting environmental impact which is close to zero. Natural Beton® is distinguished from conventional insulating materials because it combines high thermal, acoustic and hygrothermal comfort (particularly suitable for arid climates) with eco-compatibility, recyclability, once it has been broken up and remixed with water and lime. It is also characterized by high biodegradability at the end of its useful life cycle, if disposed of it as waste, the material decomposes naturally, being completely free from any toxic substances. It has also very low levels of incorporated energy in the material and a negative balance of CO2 emission: one cubic meter of Natural Beton® sequesters 60 Kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.


According to the type of application the mixture of hemp shavings with the lime based binder can be produce with a wide range of density. Each density gives different effect on the mechanical and thermal properties of Natural Beton®. The high environmental control of this biocomposite material, its capacity to combine winter insulation properties with a high thermal lag in summer and its capacity to create a comfortable microclimate inside make it unique among the insulation building materials. So, it is possible realize an external masonry that, with a single material, will perform at the same time the envelope and insulation building function. Hemp and lime are traditional materials with today’s technology that protect inhabitants without hermetic sealing: the building breathes, like a “third skin”. So, in this way, we build respecting the balance between man and nature in the best possible way: according to nature.


Plant strategy in order to guarantee indoor comfort The plant strategy relative to the buildings, decidedly innovative but still based on elements currently available on the market, provides a mechanical ventilation to provide the necessary change of air inside during the winter season while the summer comfort is guaranteed by a system of natural ventilation that exchanges fresh outside air, coming from floors or underground openings to the north and east, with the indoor air warm and rich in carbon dioxide. The heat production is both passive through solar greenhouses either through a centralized system with hot water meters having the final adjustment of temperature provided by a radiant system for each apartment, fed by hot water (in winter) or cooler (in summer ) produced by the centralized system that also guarantees the production of sanitary hot water, thus replacing completely the traditional combustion plant. For integration of energy production has been provided the installation of solar panels for sanitary hot water production, the installation of PV plant for electrical energy production, storage tanks of rainwater, pertinent green to avoid the heat island effect, residences services as areas for children, parking areas for bicycles and recycling of waste.


A careful balancing between bioclimatic planning, choosing the right energetic strategies and appliances and using building materials as traditional and performing as possible: these are the main features ensuring that these are zero energy residential buildings. Energy is consumed but also recuperated through both the passive heating generated by the sun and the heating and cooling systems with high performance and low impact.


Indoor comfort Our project is food for thought on the possibility for architecture to generate fruitful interactions between artificially designed and natural environments. The elaborate distribution of space was highly influenced by ecological design, aiming to make full use of the prevailing solar and wind energy of this area. This architectural approach is clearly visible in the shape of the buildings, in the position of the openings, in the search for excellent exposition to the light and the sun in all seasons and in the study of the mutual shading between the buildings structures and the surrounding nature. In addition, the high thermal and acoustic quality insulation and the use of certified breathable, natural materials with no emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as mortars , lime, natural plasters and breathable and eco-friendly paints guarantee a high air quality to protect the health and the indoor living comfort.


Envelope performance For the envelope have been adopted innovative solutions aimed at improving the quality of life through the use of natural materials and eco-friendly as “tufa”, local material and therefore KM zero, lime and hemp. The buildings envelope is made by an innovative and completely natural building system called Muratura Vegetale® in Natural Beton®, produced by the Italian company Equilibrium. Such a mixture, LEED® certificated, is obtained by combining the vegetable shavings of hemp with a hydrated lime-based binder and natural additives in variable ratio depending on the thermal and mechanical characteristics required.


This compound combines high insulation properties and thermal mass , has a thermal conductivity of 0.053 W / mK , it is completely recyclable and highly hygroscopic setting besides a negative balance of CO2 emissions respecting so the principles of sustainability to 100%. The stratigraphy of the masonry is therefore made up of an internal wall of tufa , equal to 10 cm , in which the Natural Beton® 200 compound (ratio 1:1 hemp – lime) is sprayed for a thickness of 25 cm. On the external side is sprayed a finish layer made by Natural Beton® 500 compound (ratio 1:4 hemp – lime) equal to 5 cm. This allow to realize a monolithic external masonry that , with a single material, will perform at the same time the envelope and insulation building function.


Muratura Vegetale® in Natural Beton® The paramount cooperation between Pedone Working Group building experience and an holistic company named Equilibrium Srl, with the each committed pioneers in their respective fields, leads to the implementation of an innovative natural building system called Muratura Vegetale® in Natural Beton,® mixture obtained by combining the vegetable shavings of hemp with a hydrated lime-based binder. Such a mixture, LEED ® certified by Habitech that has acknowledged the value of this product, is the result of a low-energy consumption production process with a resulting environmental impact which is close to zero.


Natural Beton® is distinguished from conventional insulating materials because it combines high thermal, acoustic and hygrothermal comfort with eco-compatibility, recyclability, once it has been broken up and remixed with water and lime. It also characterized by high biodegradability at the end of its useful life cycle, if disposed of it as waste, the material decomposes naturally, being completely free from any toxic substances. It has also very low levels of incorporated energy in the material and a negative balance of CO2 emission: one cubic meter of Natural Beton® sequesters 60 Kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. According to the type of application the mixture of hemp shavings with the lime based binder can be produce with a wide range of density. Each density gives different effect on the mechanical and thermal properties of Natural Beton®. Besides Natural Beton®, thanks to its wonderful plastic quality and its capacity of being shaped and formed, has an extensive range of potential applications. It can easily be adapted to any forms and can be perfectly tailored to each project both building on site systems or drywall systems, which are adaptable to any type of frame structure with costs and time construction substantially contain.


Project Credits
Urban Planners
Product Spec Sheet

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