CasaOz is a non-profit (onlus) association providing back-up, accommodation and services for families incapacitated by a child’s illness. It is first and foremost a team of professional educators, social and voluntary workers, though it is also a house, an area of welcome, support, company and rest.
The new premises to be occupied by the association as of 2010 comprise a nursery, a quiet room, a play room, 4 accommodation units, offices, a laboratory, library, videothèque, study room, kitchen and laundry facilities. The site in Turin is an environmentally attractive one near Molinette and the Regina Margherita Hospital. Enel Cuore Onlus and a number of technical sponsors are behind the building operation.
The architectural project is by AT Studio Associato, Turin, with structural plan by Pierluigi Violetto and technical systems by Prodim. Drawing on the imagery of infancy, the architects had in mind a house with a few simple reassuring features: not too big, a classic gable-roof, clearly recognizable doors and windows, traditional materials (wood and masonry). The main part of the building on two storeys runs towards the river, while sideways on to it are lower units of regular shape with usable terrace space on top.
The building envelope and technical plant are designed so that CasaOz contains energy loss to a minimum and classifies as zero-emission. The infill ‘packet’, in the case of the main building, is solid rendered wall in blocks of honeycomb concrete, lined with panels of expanded extruded polystyrene, with an air cavity and outer cladding finished in larch wood. The one-storey sections are of dry panelling in fibre cement.
The roof will use Rheinzink zinc & titanium sheeting with double seaming, resting on wooden boards. Below these is an air cavity and an insulating layer of expanded extruded polystyrene panels laid criss-cross.
Doors and windows will be in lightweight state-of-art thermal-cut alloy using the Schüco AWS 75.SI system, fitted with low-emissivity Planibel I-Top, AGC Flat Glass Italia triple glazing with 90% argon. Heating is planned to use three kinds of plant, prioritizing renewable sources. Buderus are supplying the whole system: it is powered by solar energy generated by flat Logasol SKS 4.0 solar collectors; then by geothermal probe and a Logafix WRHP 4142 water/water heat pump. Exclusively by way of an adjunct and stand-by, methane gas will be laid on. Buderus will again be supplying their Logalux BKS 1000 specific solar accumulator and installing 50 modules of polycrystalline photovoltaic panels to power the heat pump and any other appliances as needed.
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