The “building that breathes” project, the first in Italy for some innovations introduced, arises from the dream of creating a structure in line with organic and bioclimatic architecture. The basic idea is to achieve a profound harmony between human activity and nature, a space for the free, creative, joyful and social life of man that develops with love, truth and freedom in organic and sustainable continuity from inside to outside. 

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HOW A BREATHED BUILD IS BORN

The heart of the project is inspired by the observation of natural processes and cycles. The common feature is the release in the environment of useful substances, totally recyclable, biodegradable and absolutely non-polluting!

The design focuses on the natural chemical process of chlorophyll photosynthesis, through which plants release clean oxygen and carbohydrates into the environment from carbon dioxide and water. The building that breathes behaves like a broad-leaved forest, thanks to the use of innovative materials in each component, releasing clean oxygen thanks to solar radiation. As a real plant, it is composed of only natural materials with the Ecolabel mark, to eliminate any source of pollution so that each element is totally reusable and recyclable from the perspective “from cradle to cradle” and not ” from cradle to grave “. Moreover, it is conceived from the perspective of energy saving, in fact it has been designed, calculated and realized to be included in A energy class.

THE CHOICE OF THE SITE GROTTE PORTELLA

The “building that breathes” project was born in a privileged site in terms of environmental sustainability, landscape preciousness and strategic logistic position.

The Grotte Portella locality has, in fact, been selected to meet the strict criteria imposed by the bioclimatic architecture, as well as for its unique prerogatives in terms of beauty of the context and optimal location with respect to services.

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THE CONSTRUCTION PHILOSOPHY: OUR PRINCIPLES

Per raggiungere il più possibile i nostri obiettivi abbiamo proceduto seguendo alcuni principi, utili a spiegare le particolarità del progetto:

To achieve our goals as much as possible we proceeded following some principles, useful to explain the particularities of the project:

  • Choice of a sustainable site, microclimatic and environmental analysis of the site;
  • Use of renewable energy sources;
  • Use of innovative, eco-compatible and recyclable materials;
  • Use of innovative systems for the architectural envelope and the structure;
  • Innovative systems for heating, ventilation and cooling;

THE BIOCLIMATIC CHOICE

“In order to have a good dwelling, it is necessary to have particular regards for the region and the climate where it has to be built” M. Vitruvio Pollione, De Architectura. Grotte Portella is characterized by a mild and healthy climate, in a context devoid of shadow that undermines the free heat capture.

The orientation of the building has been studied in such a way in order to maximize the capture of solar radiation, heat and enjoy ventilation and natural lighting according to the seasons.

USE OF INNOVATIVE, ECO-COMPATIBLE AND RECYCLABLE MATERIALS

In the perspective of the building that breathes, the materials have been selected according to some fundamental parameters: the absence of toxicity, the energy expenditure in the production cycle, the recyclability, the characteristics of the thermal insulation, the geographical origin, the durability , processing flexibility.

Building in A class and using toxic materials, as commonly happens, means increasing the causes of illness, discomfort and discomfort.

Few people know that … the building of our school is built with materials fotocatalitici that reduce the pollutants and the bacterial load present in the environment with obvious benefits for the #salute of the students

THAT IS THE EFFECTS OF THE SYSTEM

  • Antibacterial effect: microorganisms are eliminated, such as fungi, algae, molds or germs, without the use of chemicals. 
  • Extremely easy cleaning: water forms a thin film instead of forming droplets and bare dirt.
  • Elimination of unpleasant odors: bad odors and toxic substances in the air – both indoors and outdoors – are neutralized.
  • Abatement of industrial gases and discharge gases of cars: 1000 m² of façade ceramics with Hydrotect clean the air as effectively as 70 medium-sized deciduous trees.

USE OF INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS FOR THE ARCHITECTURAL ENVELOPE

The envelope sums up several innovations, it is in fact a ventilated façade, insulated with natural fiber, with a system of brise soleil designed according to the angle of incidence of solar radiation. The entire enclosure is also highly innovative for its ability to perform a process similar to chlorophyll photosynthesis.

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THE SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOUR OF OUR USERS

Not less important is the spreading of sustainable behaviours among our users.

The building that breathes is an active and positive part of the environmental balance, so people who benefit from it can feel like being involved in this project, witnessing how simple is respecting the environment. A little example of an eco-friendly community that can be easily reproduced.

Due to its peculiarities, the building that breathes is currently running for the International active architecture competition.

INNOVATIVE HEATING, VENTILATION AND COOLING SYSTEMS

The ventilated façade, the brise soleil system, the orientation of the building, the doors, all these features contribute to significantly break down the energy needs of the building itself, and at the same time they improve the users’ comfort and well being.