Italy’s highest indoor climbing gymnasium has been built at Codroipo in the province of Udine. The building divides into two parts: the gym proper with its vertical plan and mountain-peak silhouette, and the service building on a horizontal plan, with its green roof connecting to the grassy glade in which the gym stands. The two parts differ in materials and colour, not just shape. The lower part is white rendered, compact and uniform and seemingly hooked onto the upper building which is a wood and reinforced concrete structure whose façades have a dynamic quality - now open, now closed, and alternating in materials. On the west and north elevations - the latter with its broad full-height plate window - the concrete is left “architectural”. The choice for the eastern wall was pre-painted anthracite Prefa P.10 aluminium shingles. The roof is a single swathe of pre-painted Delphin-coloured aluminium Prefalz Deluxe panels with double seaming. The reason for using Prefa cladding was its ductility and architectural versatility. Thanks to quality aluminium alloy and oven-stabilised paint, Prefa products suit widely differing shapes and forms, offering the architect full expressive freedom. This Austrian firm has over 60 years’ experience of façade and roofing materials, resulting in a perfect combination of high performance and durability. The building was designed to meet energy standards and this bore on the choice of doors and windows, the thickness of the outer shell and certain heat-related and electricity-generating features (heat pump, underfloor heating). In installing photovoltaic panels on the roof the designers were inclined, for reasons of pitch and roof shape, to opt for another Prefa product in thin-film amorphous silicon technology: Prefalz Solar. Lightweight Prefalz Solar panels contain no glass and can be walked on. They are stuck straight onto the roof by paint-activation a process giving guaranteed adhesion. They withstand extreme weather conditions, snow and vandalism. Architecturally they blend perfectly in a harmonious mixture of structural and technological. Eighty-five amorphous silicon modules were here installed on the two south-facing roofs and are estimated to yield an annual 10,532.5 kWp.
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