Mario Cucinella designed the headquarters for Parallelo in the south west of Milan, in one of the greener, more residential districts of the city. The glazed building is three floors high, although it is raised 12 m off the ground and expands horizontally rather than vertically. The design placed great importance on locating the building in this urban setting, on ensuring comfortable interiors where people inside do not feel isolated from the exterior and on sustainability. The building’s class A certification is partly due to the photovoltaic installation on the roof and the heat pump for geothermal energy. In total, the energy costs for this structure are 26% less than those of a similar sized traditional building. The glazed envelope has been designed to optimise the energy required by using different concepts for the varying facades. Notably, since the south-west facade receives the most sunlight, suitable sun shades and high-performance glass were used. In the original design, brise soleil sun shades used a metallic grid structure fixed to the building at changeable intervals. However, this created both technical and financial problems. Above all, the fixed screen would not have made it possible to adjust the amount of light allowed in and it would have impeded the view from the inside. The resultant cost would also have been high, especially as it would have been necessary to create a structure on the wall on which to anchor the metal grid and then add walkways for periodic maintenance. The solution adopted was the ScreenLine® blind system, an option that also complied with the provisions of the regional government’s energy bill. The spacer in these double-glazed windows contains blinds that are manually controlled using a magnetic system. ScreenLine® panels, up to 4.2m high, cover the entire facade, including the attic. The SL27C blinds can be rotated to ensure optimal protection from the sun, while also allowing a view of the exterior. This system requires almost no maintenance, with it only being necessary to clean the windows. These blinds can be operated manually or electrically. The motorised system not only makes it possible to synchronise all the blinds on a facade, but is also very reliable because the entire electronic system is in the external motor, which can be fixed or changed without having to touch the windows.
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