Casa Monica in Modena is the first building in Italy to earn Platinum certification from GBC Home® for sustainable housing. This certification was created based on the specific features and building techniques found in Italy according to LEED® for Homes certification. The house is in an area that was urbanized in the 1950s, but the actual building was rebuilt following the original structure being pulled down. The entire building process focused, from design through execution, on environmental sustainability best practices and technical solutions. Massimo Ballabeni’s design kept the overall appearance consistent with the surrounds, but also explored the interior-exterior dynamics and flexibility in living space. An integrated approach, encompassing architectural, seismic, hydraulic, automation and electrical planning was adopted in determining the structural design, utilities and energy features. Design decisions were based on GBC Home® requirements, which focus on six areas (site sustainability, water management, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, internal environmental quality and innovation in design). Casa Monica received the highest level of certification (Platinum), earning 89 points out of possible 110, making it a model for sustainability. Achieving this required several key design decisions: a pre-fabricated structure in X-lam panels for the above-ground sections; local building materials, including Italian tiles for the indoor and outdoor flooring; and an integrated energy production system that combines solar thermal, geothermal and photovoltaic energy with a vertical heat pump system to provide additional heating and cooling. The house also has an air recirculation system that helps reduce interior humidity levels, a tank to collect and store rainwater that is used to flush the toilets and water the garden, and an automation and optimization system for various utilities, with a remote usage data access option.
Green Building Council Italia
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