Furthermore, each building has a South-facing glazed element (a sort of greenhouse), that works as a heat collector in wintertime and as a vent stack in the summer, ensuring natural ventilation for surrounding areas. These elements are provided with external shadings to avoid overheating: external curtains (reoccurring in other parts of the buildings) and/or natural shadings, such as the wild grape, that can shade the sunlight in summer but let it
pass during winter. With a view to the intended daylight comfort, the design provides for additional skylights (e.g. Velux), in order to reach the intended DF and illuminance values in all different areas.
Once passive strategies were optimised, thanks to greenhouse elements, shading systems, natural ventilation and envelope strategies, the design provided for renewable energy plants with low environmental impact: photovoltaic and solar roof panels, in order to cover the electricity and domestic hot water needs, and a geothermal plant connected to a heat pump (COP 4,6); the buildings are also provided with grid connection, to fulfil the additional amount of energy needed, and rainwater collection plants, in order to collect, clean and reuse it e.g. for sanitation or external irrigation. As
to internal plants, each building has under-floor heating and cooling, and mechanical ventilation systems to support natural ventilation strategies.
The design of the building started with the aim of the ancient trees preservation within the park. In order to have a low environmental impact, it has been decided to use recycled and reusable materials. Therefore the structure is made of steel with reversible connections and materials have natural origins and environmental certifications. In particular, the wood has FSC and PEFC certifications, and it has been used both as finishing material and as integral part of envelope strategies. In order to avoid an eccessive sealing of the paved surface in front of the building, the pavement is made of an innovative concrete with high water drainage capacities.