The term "zero", usually employed in a negative sense ("you are worth zero..."), is a winning number for this project. The new office was designed as a zero-mile construction; it is only about ten metres from the architects' home. Zero effort, zero gas, zero city noise. Improved quality of life.
The return to zero doesn't stop there; it is the project's true mainstay. The zero-energy building already complies with the EU directive that mandates that by 2020 all new public buildings must be zero-energy; completely powered by "local energy," it uses wood combustion and solar and geothermal energy. Furthermore, the surplus energy produced by the photovoltaic panels can be sold back to the grid for about €100 per month, which lets the owners/designers recoup part of the costs of the PV system in the winter. The building, designed in collaboration with the Department of Physics at the University of Padua, will be monitored to track its energy and thermal performance.
The construction method responds to the architects' belief that land is a finite resource and that buildings should not be permanent, but reversible
The building's form allows it to be "nourished" by natural light. In the winter, the south-facing "daylight funnel" invites sunlight to penetrate the building's interior; in the summer, overhangs protect the work area from heat gain. Indoor temperatures in spring and fall can be regulated automatically by adjusting the openings connected to sensors.
Architects: Giovanni Traverso, Paola Vighy
Design team: Giovanni Traverso, Paola Vighy, Giulio Dalla Gassa, Elena Panza
Structural engineering: Loris Frison
Mechanical Engineering: Lorenzo Barban, Marco Sabbatini
Built area: 190 square metres
Cost: 350,000 euros
Design: September 2010 — July 2011
Construction: November 2011 — July 2012