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About this book

This open access book explores the strategic importance and advantages of adopting multidisciplinary and multiscalar approaches of inquiry and intervention with respect to the built environment, based on principles of sustainability and circular economy strategies. A series of key challenges are considered in depth from a multidisciplinary perspective, spanning engineering, architecture, and regional and urban economics. These challenges include strategies to relaunch socioeconomic development through regenerative processes, the regeneration of urban spaces from the perspective of resilience, the development and deployment of innovative products and processes in the construction sector in order to comply more fully with the principles of sustainability and circularity, and the development of multiscale approaches to enhance the performance of both the existing building stock and new buildings. The book offers a rich selection of conceptual, empirical, methodological, technical, and case study/project-based research. It will be of value for all who have an interest in regeneration of the built environment from a circular economy perspective.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Socio-Economic Development and Regeneration of Territories

Frontmatter

Open Access

A Research Programme on Urban Dynamics

Over the last three decades, the research group on regional and urban economics at the Politecnico di Milano has carried out studies on theoretical and empirical issues concerning the structure, competitiveness and growth of cities. A broad critical synthesis of this line of research is presented in Camagni et al. (Urban Empire, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2019). In what follows, we focus on two crucial issues that the group has tackled, i.e. optimal city size theory and the empirics of central place theory. Although other issues, like self-organization dynamic models and the concept of city networks, have been elaborated by the group, they are not discussed in this paper.

Roberto Camagni, Roberta Capello, Andrea Caragliu

Open Access

Cultural Heritage, Creativity, and Local Development: A Scientific Research Program

The present chapter reviews the recent studies of the ABC department surrounding the role of cultural heritage and creativity on local economic development. The research line covers the interpretation of culture as a territorial asset, its multifaceted dimensions, and impact on local development. An innovative definition of cultural capital was provided, jointly with empirical evidence on the relationship between cultural heritage and intangible cultural elements. The most interesting finding shows that culture, embedded within cultural heritage, plays a role in promoting prosperity only when tangible heritage is matched with intangible cultural assets. Among such intangible assets, creativity is particularly analyzed in terms of its link with the cultural heritage of places and their economic development. The assumption, both conceptually and empirically investigated, is that culture promotes creativity through emotional, esthetic, and inspirational mechanisms, driving individuals’ ability to doubt, innovate, and think critically. In other words, creativity is an important mediator of the relationship between culture and socioeconomic development. Empirical evidence from Italian regions strongly supports this hypothesis. Future research directions are presented in the concluding section.

Roberta Capello, Silvia Cerisola, Giovanni Perucca

Open Access

Urbanization and Subjective Well-Being

This chapter proposes a review of the most recent works developed by the authors on the association between urbanization and subjective well-being. While most previous studies point out a strong dichotomy between urban and rural areas, the latter being characterized by higher levels of well-being than the former, the research program presented here aims at overcoming this perspective. Specifically, it focuses on three elements that are assumed to influence the role of urbanization on subjective well-being: the nature of externalities generated by cities of different kinds, the spatial accessibility to these externalities and the temporal dimension. Empirical results show that all these factors are important determinants of individuals’ well-being, whose association with urbanization is more complex than generally assumed.

Camilla Lenzi, Giovanni Perucca

Open Access

EU Regional Policy Effectiveness and the Role of Territorial Capital

The present chapter reviews the recent studies of the group of regional and urban economics on the impact of the European Union regional policy on regional development. In particular, the focus of the research program is on the identification of the mechanisms through which the local territorial characteristics mediate the effect of public investments. Results show a strong relationship between the territorial capital of regions and the effectiveness of the EU regional policy. This evidence conveys relevant implications for policy makers. In particular, it suggests that regions should invest in those assets that are complementary to the ones which they already have, in order to build a balanced economic system.

Ugo Fratesi, Giovanni Perucca

Open Access

Demolition as a Territorial Reform Project

The widespread conditions of obsolescence and risk emerging in many parts of our country pose new questions to the territorial project and entail a review of its operational tools. In this sense, even demolition can acquire a new meaning, soliciting a technical and cultural reflection that has repercussions on future of the contemporary territory.

Chiara Merlini

Open Access

The Evaluation of Urban Regeneration Processes

The conditions why processes of urban regeneration can be developed in modern-day cities have changed enormously over the last decade. Unlike the recent past, where the reuse for urban uses of former industrial areas was only based on maximising the amount of space, after the housing bubble begun in 2008, the profit margins for operators were reduced, and today, they faced to a sharp contraction in demand and a surplus of supply. Consequently, the framework within which we carry out the investment decisions is increasingly complex and is characterised by the opposition of a potential conflict between two forces. On the one hand, the public administration which seeks to take full advantage of the urban transformation processes to improve the quality of live for citizens; on the other, the private entity that has the aim of maximising the profits obtainable from the intervention and to the minimise business risk. Therefore, to ensure the overall feasibility of an intervention, urban viability must correspond to an economic and financial sustainability. The paper analyses the role of the economic evaluation in urban regeneration interventions through the analysis of a case study in the city of Genoa.

Leopoldo Sdino, Paolo Rosasco, Gianpiero Lombardini

Open Access

New Paradigms for the Urban Regeneration Project Between Green Economy and Resilience

Starting from a PRIN 2015 study, the paper addresses the themes of adding value to public spaces, quality to the urban landscape, redeveloping degraded areas and proposing a sustainable and resilient design approach to cope with the effects of climate change. Specifically, this study focuses on the key role public space can play in urban resilience processes, with the aim of not only providing results in qualitative terms, but also measuring the feedback in environmental and economic terms.

Elena Mussinelli, Andrea Tartaglia, Daniele Fanzini, Raffaella Riva, Davide Cerati, Giovanni Castaldo

Open Access

The Technological Project for the Enhancement of Rural Heritage

Based on the results of three research experiences in rural contexts, this paper proposes an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to the themes of the peri-urban landscape project, the enhancement of architectural heritage and the economic and social value of agriculture in land management. Starting from the potential and criticalities identifiable in peri-urban and rural contexts and recognized by the scientific literature, the selected experiences define a theoretical and operational framework based on a technological project approach aimed at integrating the ecological-environmental, landscape-fruitive, economic-productive and socio-inclusive values with the objective of enhancing the rural heritage.

Elena Mussinelli, Raffaella Riva, Roberto Bolici, Andrea Tartaglia, Davide Cerati, Giovanni Castaldo

Open Access

Real Estate Assets for Social Impact: The Case of the Public Company for Social Services “ASP City of Bologna”

In 2016, the Public Company for Social Services of the Municipality of Bologna “ASP City of Bologna” requires the ABC Department to analyze its huge real estate portfolio with the aim to identify efficiency strategies to free up resources to be reinvested in the offer of personal social services. Corporate governance sets up its strategy by coherently matching: the statutory values, the corporate mission and the growing need to respond to the needs expressed by the community in terms of providing personal services. The collaboration found strong foundations of understanding in the intention to pursue the mission of general social interest with environmental and economic sustainability, in a research path that made explicit the values of transparency and accountability of the Company. On the one hand, the research outlined the levers for making management, resources and processes more efficient, and on the other, strategies for enhancing assets in a social and circular economy perspective (see Bilancio Sociale ASP 2017).

Angela S. Pavesi, Andrea Ciaramella, Marzia Morena, Genny Cia

Reuse and Regeneration of Urban Spaces From a Resilient Perspective

Frontmatter

Open Access

Participated Strategies for Small Towns Regeneration. The Case of Oliena (Nu) Historic Centre

Dealing with the issue of depopulation and abandonment of villages and small towns in Italy and Europe is amongst the goals of the economic and social policies aimed at investigating and experimenting new strategies for the regeneration and reactivation of urban space. An extensive literature collects researches aimed at analysing the problem, exploring diverse management and design approaches, alternative measures to stop the phenomenon and innovative legislative incentives and economic tools. This paper has the aim of reporting an ongoing research experience concerning participated solutions aimed at developing new possible models for the regeneration of Oliena’s historic centre, in Sardinia.

Laura Daglio, Giuseppe Boi, Roberto Podda

Open Access

Living and Learning: A New Identity for Student Housing in City Suburbs

The role of student housing in academic formative paths is rapidly changing and increasing in importance. According to international trends, university residencies are shifting their function from mere dormitories for students to more open structures for urban territories and the local population and are starting to be considered as important opportunities for enhancing and revitalizing the peripheral and problematic contexts in which they often are located. The case of the Politecnico di Milano is emblematic, due to the large investments the university injected into this sector over recent years, leading to the opening of three new residencies in the suburbs of Milan. This chapter reports on the activities developed by the authors over the last few years, aiming at fostering a more direct relationship among academic knowledge, educational strategies, and urban contexts. This comes via the experimentation of new forms of didactic and research, which attach great importance for university residencies for their possibility to share services, facilities, knowledge among students and the local population. The research focuses on the consequences of this change not only in sociological terms, but also in architectural ones, considering the new implications for the morpho-techno-typological design of structures. The results aim at going beyond the rigid constraints of the current regulation, developing a more open approach to design, which could be a starting point for the advisable revision of the law 338/2000, which is now 20 years old.

Oscar E. Bellini, Matteo Gambaro, Martino Mocchi

Open Access

PolimiparaRocinha: Environmental Performances and Social Inclusion—A Project for the Favela Rocinha

By the middle of the current century, the world’s population is projected to grow exponentially, becoming one of the major concerns for the built environment all around the world, where informal settlements are going to grow even faster. This growth will increase the demand for basic infrastructure which is lacking in such contexts. In developing countries, the promotion of urban technologies could contribute immensely to a sustainable development and to population well-being, besides creating interesting economic opportunities. Urban technologies could reduce the environmental impact of cities’ development and of urbanized slums renovation, creating employment opportunities for locals and economic opportunities for investment. However, deploying this in slums is a complex and challenging task. This text presents a project based on a multidisciplinary and integrated design methodology for the sustainable regeneration of Rocinha, one of the largest favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The project adopts a systemic approach and foresees the deployment of an urban management system (UMS) able to manage and integrate several urban services including sanitation, energy, mobility, waste, food delivery and cultivation, and the flow of information connected to them, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact while improving the quality of life of citizens. Each of these areas required the development of a specific project that, empowered by the UMS, will allow for the circulation of information between citizens, fostering social inclusion, and raising awareness on the topic of the city’s resource management. This project is a demonstration of how minimal but calculated local modification can produce considerable global reaction and ultimately change the system as a whole.

Gabriele Masera, Massimo Tadi, Carlo Biraghi, Hadi Mohammad Zadeh

Open Access

Urban Renovation: An Opportunity for Economic Development, Environmental Improvement, and Social Redemption

This study finds its origin within the framework of the EU-cofunded UIA-OpenAgri project, fostering the creation of small and medium enterprises in the agri-food sector, through the lens of circular economy, while also promoting the urban regeneration of a degraded peri-urban area and social inclusion of disadvantaged people. The project is led by the Comune di Milano and involves 16 partners. The ABC Department participates mainly by contributing to energy and environmental evaluations and also by supporting with tools and indicators. The first part concerned the preliminary analysis of the energy uses and potential renewable supply in the area. Within this framework, a preliminary design was included of the building energy retrofit of Cascina Nosedo, an ancient farmhouse. Other parts focus on the assessments of the food chains involved in the agricultural lands which are involved in the project.

Paola Caputo, Simone Ferrari, Federica Zagarella

Open Access

Regenerative Urban Space: A Box for Public Space Use

The essay addresses the issues of centrality and reactivation of urban public spaces, illustrating the project ‘multiplyCITY: container TOOLS.’ The project is composed of a system of ‘devices’ that can be placed in urban or natural contexts and is capable of hosting multiple functions for citizens, even in total energy autonomy. The project was presented and mentioned in the competition ‘Volumezero design competition: Unbox 2017: ReThinking Containers,’ completed in 2018. It consists of a system of sheltered spaces, modular, and flexible for temporary use. The system is defined by the adoption of principles assumed as design criteria: sustainability, multifunctionality, flexibility, temporariness, and customizable use. Through the combination of guiding principles, the reuse of dismissed shipping containers and the industrialized installation method, it has been possible to propose a TOOL that could be used in policies and actions aimed at urban regeneration. The design proposal has a multifunctional nature and is able to enhance the open space, assuring fast execution times and costs containment during construction, management, and maintenance. This is achievable through the use of dismissed shipping containers, which are reusable and convertible over time through minimal and low-cost interventions, offering more lives to a highly durable object.

Elisabetta Ginelli, Gianluca Pozzi, Giuditta Lazzati, Davide Pirillo, Giulia Vignati

Open Access

Slow Mobility, Greenways, and Landscape Regeneration. Reusing Milan’s Parco Sud Decommissioned Rail Line as a Landscape Cycle Path, 2019

This study is part of the EU-GUGLE project FP7 and aims at integrating a demonstration pilot case for the improvement of the efficiency of buildings with experiences of mitigating urban connection system and cycling lines on a district scale along with peri-urban landscape recovery. This is achieved through the correct management of the distributed green areas in order to improve the overall efficiency and the optimization of slow mobility pathways (cycle and pedestrian) in order to reduce the use of cars, while guaranteeing the best conditions of usage (mitigation, shading, resting points and services, safety, etc.), and coherent insertion within the public transport network. The study explores a peri-urban connection system in Milan integrating different kinds of green infrastructure while also analyzing them through specific design solutions. The recovery of a dismissed railway is explored through design for its landscape potential, thus proving the resilience of the city’s urban palimpsest.

Raffaella Neri, Laura Anna Pezzetti

Open Access

Nature and Mixed Types Architecture for Milano Farini

The project presented here, carried out within a research framework on abandoned railways areas in Milano, faces the issues of building an urban part by looking at the future city with particular attention to the themes of living into the relationship with nature. The project, starting from the analysis of the urban role of the area, gives relevance to the main directions built by the city construction and to the north-west direction of the city expansion. A central importance is given to the park as primary element of the urban structure made up by blocks not entirely surrounded by roads fostering a significant internal traffic reduction. The second element concerns the deep research content of building typological natural experiments and the character of originality achieved by further examination carried out on the plan and housing design, with attention also to the solution based on the typological contamination. The park displacement in the plan central area is the decisive event of the project in relation to the urban reference scheme of which persist the main lines and the urban step rhythm, considered the most significant architectural elements along with the twin towers located in north-west. The studies on the patio-houses settlement and on the multi-storey linear building enrich the variety of building forms and characters together with the design of the mosque as element of a multicultural and open new city.

Adalberto Del Bo, Maria Vittoria Cardinale, Martina Landsberger, Stefano Perego, Giampaolo Turini, Daniele Beacco

Open Access

Rehabilitation Projects of the Areas of the Decommissioned Barraks in Milan, 2014

Projects and studies were born from a research and a workshop promoted by the School of Architettura Civile and continued through master thesis and a Convention with the Ministry of Defense. The paper deals with the role that these areas can play in the transformation of peripheral sites through the settlement of new activities and collective places, parks and residential activities, as well as the possibility of recovering existing structures. The chapter includes a selection of projects.

Raffaella Neri

Open Access

An Experience of Urban Transformation in Multan-Pakistani Punjab

This publication concerns studies, programmes and designs for the project Sustainable Social Economic and Environmental Revitalization in the historic core of Multan City in Pakistani Punjab developed by several Politecnico di Milano Departments and Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, an institution that cooperates with Politecnico di Milano in the research fields of architecture, engineering and industrial design. The activities are part of the Debt Swap Agreement signed in 2006 between the governments of Italy and Pakistan for development in the social sectors. Besides the extraordinarily valuable architecture of the Walled City of Multan and its dense and hard-working population, there is a physical and environmental condition that is extremely problematic and that may threaten the continuity of life in the historic part of a city, well known for being among the world’s most ancient settlements. The social and cultural interest and the academic challenge of a new opportunity to deal with great traditions pushed the researchers to face the urgency and delicacy of a very complex theme. After the analysis, the surveys and the proposals, the Politecnico group completed the first operational phase reorganizing one of the main City Gate Place, building a new open pavilion and restoring a huge public building and the Gate. The last activity, planned and not yet implemented, refers to the Sarafa Bazaar Project, an integrated system for the urban arrangement through infrastructures systems as sewerage, public lighting and shading, new paving and conservation of historic building’s façades.

Adalberto Del Bo, Daniele F. Bignami, Francesco Bruno, Maria Vittoria Cardinale, Stefano Perego

Open Access

The Transformation of the Great Decommissioned Farini Railroad Yard: The Research for a Modern Housing Settlement

The paper deals with the theme of the transformation of the large abandoned areas of the city, of their new destination, of the role of parks and gardens in the construction of the modern city, of the research on the housing units settlement principles. The essay collects several projects carried out over time: they are the results of a national PRIN research.

Raffaella Neri, Tomaso Monestiroli

Toward Sustainable Product and Process Innovation in the Construction Sector

Frontmatter

Open Access

Design Strategies and LCA of Alternative Solutions for Resilient, Circular, and Zero-Carbon Urban Regeneration: A Case Study

This paper analyzes the results and the methods applied to an environmental research activity within a team participating in the C40 reinventing cities call of the Municipality of Milan. The aim was to support the decision-making process in the selection of material, construction, design choices oriented toward the circularity of resources, and the reduction of impacts connected to the greenhouse effect (carbon footprint), through the verification of environmental performances (life-cycle assessment) of alternative solutions and to identify an innovative and efficient environmental model for low carbon buildings.

Andrea Campioli, Elena Mussinelli, Monica Lavagna, Andrea Tartaglia

Open Access

Circular Economy and Recycling of Pre-consumer Scraps in the Construction Sector. Cross-Sectoral Exchange Strategies for the Production of Eco-Innovative Building Products

The chapter reports the results of a research entitled “Ri-scarto”, conducted with the contribution of the “Fratelli Confalonieri” Foundation of Milan. The research investigates the conditions that can facilitate the cross-sectoral exchange (various manufacturing sectors-construction sector) of pre-consumer by-products and scraps, that can be used and/or recycled for making building products. The research proposes the framework of a cross-sectoral virtual marketplace, where the different stakeholders (manufacturers, possible users of by-products and scraps, industrial process planners, public administrators, etc.), organised in a network, can identify, locate and exchange available reusable waste.

Marco Migliore, Ilaria Oberti, Cinzia Talamo

Open Access

Re-Using Waste as Secondary Raw Material to Enhance Performances of Concrete Components in Reducing Environmental Impacts

This essay outlines the circular economy in the construction sector starting from the study entitled “Ethical concrete” in which techniques for the reuse of glass collection waste have been experimented to reduce the impacts of concrete products and improve their performances. In particular, the non-reusable waste derived by the separated collection of glass can find in the urban sector and in concrete production an interesting opportunity for application as a secondary raw material.

Andrea Tartaglia

Open Access

Bio-Based Materials for the Italian Construction Industry: Buildings as Carbon Sponges

This work brings together some recent research and results activities aiming at investigating the environmental benefits of using bio-based materials for the construction and refurbishment of residential buildings. The positive environmental effects of wood and other biogenic materials replacing other, more important, conventional ones, analysed through the application of Life Cycle Assessment methods, are here reported. Moreover, the investigated strategies for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are here discussed, to evaluate the potential of carbon uptake of fast-growing biogenic materials when used as insulation systems. The results show the effectiveness of bio-based materials in contributing to the mitigation strategies of the impacts due to climate change.

Olga Beatrice Carcassi, Enrico De Angelis, Giuliana Iannaccone, Laura Elisabetta Malighetti, Gabriele Masera, Francesco Pittau

Open Access

Sustainable Concretes for Structural Applications

For the production of a high-performance concrete (HPC) matrix, a large amount of binder is normally used. The production of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as the binder of concrete accounts for 7% of CO2 emission, which has notable environmental impacts, and subsequently results in unsustainable concrete. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of replacing OPC with calcium sulfoaluminate cement (CSA) or ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) as sustainable binders on the engineering properties of HPC. Additionally, the effect of introducing double hooked-end (DHE) steel fibers at a fiber volume fraction of 1% on the properties of HPC was assessed. The compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, flexural strength, and modulus of elasticity of HPC were evaluated. Moreover, a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) method was used to study the microstructure of the concretes. The results indicate that the replacement of OPC with CSA cement results in an improvement in the mechanical properties of HPC particularly at later ages of curing, while combination CSA cement with OPC and GGBS in the binary and ternary systems degrades the concrete’s strengths. The addition of 1% DHE steel fibers significantly increased the engineering properties of concrete. The results show that the bond between a cement matrix and steel fibers has been enhanced due to the expansive behavior of CSA cement. The SEM observation also shows the significant influence of CSA cement on the microstructure of concrete by forming a rich amount of ettringite which subsequently results in an improvement in the properties of concrete.

Luigi Biolzi, Sara Cattaneo, Gianluca Guerrini, Vahid Afroughsabet

Open Access

Closing the Loops in Textile Architecture: Innovative Strategies and Limits of Introducing Biopolymers in Membrane Structures

Biopolymers have been increasingly introduced in some application sectors, such as food packaging, fashion, and design objects, while the typical technical textiles for architecture remain polymeric composites, based on the use of non-renewable resources. In lightweight construction and textile architecture, the introduction of novel materials requires a long process of verification of their performances, in order to guarantee the safety levels required by building standards. The paper aims to focus on potentiality and constrains to the application of more eco-friendly coated textiles, woven, and non-woven membranes in architecture. The paper proposes a couple of strategies and best practices to be applied in lightweight architecture: (1) creating fabrics from recycled fibers, on the one hand, and (2) acting on the coating with biopolymers, on the other hand. Eventually, the paper focuses on some recent experimental research led by the authors at the ABC Department, on the environmental assessment of ultra-lightweight materials, based on the LCA methodology.

Alessandra Zanelli, Carol Monticelli, Salvatore Viscuso

Open Access

Performance Over Time and Durability Assessment of External Thermal Insulation Systems with Artificial Stone Cladding

The contribution describes an experimental programme on durability assessment using the accelerated ageing of an outer wall component consisting of plasterboard support, an external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) in polystyrene and a cladding that was realised half with natural stone and the other half with cast stone. The sample was placed in front of the climatic chamber by means of a special frame, in the so-called door configuration. During the accelerated ageing, this sample was simultaneously monitored over time using temperatures probes and flowmeter tests in order to evaluate the decay of the thermal performance over time. The experimental research was conducted with the aim of assessing the decay in thermal performance of an ETICS covered with artificial stone, comparing it with a similar stratigraphy but with a natural stone cladding.

Sonia Lupica Spagnolo, Bruno Daniotti

Multi-scale Approaches for Enhancing Building Performances

Frontmatter

Open Access

Circular Economy and Regeneration of Building Stock: Policy Improvements, Stakeholder Networking and Life Cycle Tools

This chapter shows the results of a study carried out on the application of circular economy principles throughout the building stock regeneration process, highlighting the challenges, the opportunities and several key themes for future research. The methodology of research is based on a literature review and on-field investigation through direct interviews with operators and stakeholders of the building value chain, on a European level. At first, the chapter shows the importance of applying the circular economy concept to the built environment and the crucial role of the building level. After that, the chapter looks into the parallel issue of the current necessity to renovate a large part of existing buildings. Consequently, the opportunities and the challenges in linking the circular economy to building stock regeneration are discussed. Secondly, the chapter identifies the strategies to support the transition towards a sustainable circular building regeneration process, identifying the policy improvements necessary to promote circular strategies during the building process, the strategic partnership useful to activate profitable and sustainable circular business, and the environmental and economic life-cycle assessment tools for supporting decisions and for verifying that the implementation of circular strategies is actually sustainable from an economic and environmental life cycle point of view.

Serena Giorgi, Monica Lavagna, Andrea Campioli

Open Access

Re-NetTA. Re-Manufacturing Networks for Tertiary Architectures

The paper introduces the on-going project Re-NetTA, which contributes to apply circular economy in the building sector, focusing on tertiary sector building components, characterized by rapid obsolescence and temporary uses. The Re-NetTA project identifies re-manufacturing and reuse networks and processes as tools to reduce the generation of waste deriving from renewals/transformations carried out on short-term cycles, applying Life Cycle Management and sustainable business models. The goal is to maintain over time the value of the environmental and economic resources, integrated into manufactured products, once they have been removed from buildings, extending their useful life and their usability with the least possible consumption of other materials and energy and with the maximum containment of emissions into the environment. At first, the paper shows how circular economy can be applied to the built environment, according to literature. Secondly, the problem of waste coming from renewal interventions, carried out on short-term cycles of the tertiary sector, is discussed on quantitative data. Consequently, the aims of the research and the methodology, based on an interdisciplinary approach, are introduced. Finally, the research output is pointed out, highlighting the related economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Cinzia Talamo, Monica Lavagna, Carol Monticelli, Nazly Atta, Serena Giorgi, Salvatore Viscuso

Open Access

Reusing Built Heritage. Design for the Sharing Economy

In the last years, the construction sector has seen a greater number of building interventions on existing assets rather than the realization of new buildings. The enhancement of urban property assets can become an opportunity both for efficient and effective building management and for the offer of innovative public and private services on the territory. With this approach, based on sustainable urban regeneration, the enhancement could be intended in many different ways such as recovery, maintenance, and reuse of abandoned or underutilized buildings. This phenomenon, present in general in building assets as a whole, is more evident in the management of the public ones. The reuse of these buildings acts as an answer to a change in the needs of the community regarding welfare, culture, and work, generating a new economic, social, and environmental value. In relation to their innovative features, the new functions related to the real dimensions of sharing are emerging, and with them a new approach to the project. The increase in these new kinds of sharing and the insufficient knowledge about design and management of the relative “box” have allowed for the development of the study entitled “Enhancement of abandoned or underutilized assets. Design for coworking.” The main goal of the study was to define, within the logic of environmental technology design, the key points of this framework. This was possible thanks to the collection of data which was useful to increase the knowledge regarding the design of these places within abandoned or underutilized buildings and their management.

Roberto Bolici, Giusi Leali, Silvia Mirandola

Open Access

Public Health Aspects’ Assessment Tool for Urban Projects, According to the Urban Health Approach

As part of the CCM2017 project titled “Urban Health,” this paper describes the experience of developing and testing a multi-criteria, quali-quantitative assessment framework for Public Health aspects. The tool aims to evaluate urban transformation and regeneration actions, according to Urban Health strategies.

Stefano Capolongo, Maddalena Buffoli, Erica Isa Mosca, Daniela Galeone, Roberto D’Elia, Andrea Rebecchi

Open Access

A Development and Management Model for “Smart” Temporary Residences

The text describes the features of the project for developing and managing smart temporary residences in a circular economy vision, Eco System, Temporary House—ESTH, winner of the Smart Living Tender in the Lombardy region. The research project aims to create a development and management model for “smart” temporary residences by applying a circular economy vision to the construction, furnishing and services industry. The development involves the application to an existing building subject to functional, construction and energy redevelopment through innovative construction and digital technologies. The property’s redevelopment is based on a centralised management model for building (property and facility management) and users, thanks to use of the IoT (Internet of things).

Liala Baiardi, Andrea Ciaramella, Stefano Bellintani

Open Access

Extra-Ordinary Solutions for Useful Smart Living

The project ‘cHOMgenius. PrototipeSystem and SharedProject. Soluzioni straordinarie per l’abitare intelligente’ studies a modular constructional system and experiments with design solutions, examining constructive, structural and plant engineering techniques for OFF-GRID dwellings featuring home automation control and managed by digital tools with relevant verification and monitoring instruments, in a logic of complete disassembly, reuse and recycling according to the most recent European directive. This project, which includes as partners two Lombard companies together with the Politecnico di Milano, is supported by 20 national and international companies and by the UNI ‘Ente Italiano di Normazione’. The OFF-GRID prototype consists of entirely ‘clamping’ technical-constructive solutions, digital management/energetic solutions, innovative maintainability solutions for seismic safety and economic sustainability, in relation to the high-energetic performance offered and the technical solutions adopted. cHOMgenius is a shipping container building totally placing itself within the circular economy, through the reuse of HC 20′ and 40′ containers made of corten steel as supporting structure of the dwelling. The approach to the theme of circular economy pursued is intrinsically linked to the 3Rs concept, understood as: (i) reduction of material in terms of quantity, embodied energy and time, resulting in a better use of products and giving them a multi-functionality character; (ii) recycling of products and materials through the use of dry technologies, offering the option to use decoupling materials in order to avoid not only dismantling costs, often uneconomical, but also to avoid polluting industrial cycles due to recycling; (iii) reuse/reapplication, seen as the most evident plus of the circular chain as it is considered synonymous with the increase of products’ life.

Elisabetta Ginelli, Claudio Chesi, Gianluca Pozzi, Giuditta Lazzati, Davide Pirillo, Giulia Vignati

Open Access

Rethinking the Building Envelope as an Intelligent Community Hub for Renewable Energy Sharing

The widespread use of electric vehicles is hampered by the lack of an adequate charging points network. Likewise, and depending on the use, there could be a lack of correspondence between energy use and production in buildings equipped with renewable energy production systems. For these reasons, a modular device, which could be fully integrated into the building envelope, has been developed. The aim of the project was both to regenerate the existing building envelope and to enhance the newest one, adding new functions. The main goal will be the support of the growth of an electric power-sharing attitude capable of promoting the widespread use of electric vehicles of electric vehicle (EV), supporting strategic actions to retrofit/convert a private building in shared spaces for EV mobility, ensuring enough coverage for charging devices and reducing costs for public administration.

Andrea G. Mainini, Alberto Speroni, Matteo Fiori, Tiziana Poli, Juan Diego Blanco Cadena, Rita Pizzi, Enrico De Angelis

Open Access

Adaptive Exoskeleton Systems: Remodelage for Social Housing on Piazzale Visconti (BG)

To promote the renewal and sustainable requalification of social housing in Lombardy means to carry out research in order to identify solutions as efficient and effective as possible, which do not involve the demolition of the building but promote its enhancement. Today it is possible to intervene on existing buildings with new strategies which give all-round and multipurpose solutions to the general issues, using techniques that go beyond punctual interventions and extend the useful life cycle of the built environment. The seismic upgrade must be at the basis of every project within construction. Thanks to an adaptive exoskeleton system it is possible to innovate the architectural image, to support an equitable and sustainable development based on the prevention and risk management connected to unexpected seismic events and to guarantee aspects of structural safety and physical integrity of the users, to improve the morphological, spatial and typological organization of buildings. By using an exoskeleton system, it is possible to innovate the architectural make-up, to support an equitable and sustainable development based on the prevention and the risk management connected to unexpected seismic events. A way to take into due consideration the now unavoidable aspects of structural safety and physical integrity of the users. This paper, part of a Departmental Study, presents the first guidelines to the renewal of social housing buildings owned by Aler Bergamo, Lecco, Sondrio on Piazzale Visconti in Bergamo.

Oscar E. Bellini

Open Access

Assessing Water Demand of Green Roofs Under Variants of Climate Change Scenarios

Green roofs are a resource for the city: they mitigate pollution, decrease the urban heat island effect (UHI), and regulate storm runoff. Within a climate change scenario, green roofs might instead become an issue, and in particular, in mitigating UHI at mesoscale level. The aim of the contribution is to define the water balance and thus the water consumption of a typical green roof, considering its variation when immersed into different climate scenarios that took place in the past five years (Linked with the following research projects: (1) Research title: 2016, Fondazione Minoprio/Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento ABC (ongoing), Research type: Convention, Responsible: Matteo Fiori. (2) Research title: 2018, Harpo Contract (ongoing), Research type: Funded by third parties, Responsible: Matteo Fiori. (3) Research title: 2018, Soprema Contract (ongoing), Research type: Funded by third parties, Responsible: Matteo Fiori. (4) Research title: 2018, ASSIMP T-dry Contract (ongoing), Research type: Funded by third parties, Responsible: Matteo Fiori).

Matteo Fiori, Tiziana Poli, Andrea G. Mainini, Juan Diego Blanco Cadena, Alberto Speroni, Daniele Bocchiola

Open Access

Comparison of Comfort Performance Criteria and Sensing Approach in Office Space: Analysis of the Impact on Shading Devices’ Efficiency

Indoor occupant comfort has been related to total building energy consumption, and some of its components (lighting, heating, and cooling mainly), together with carbon production, also with occupants’ productivity, learnability, and health. However, few works relate comfort to the circular economy and are barely related to the circularity of the selected building materials or systems. This work is intended to evaluate how the dynamism of a building envelope (triggered by different comfort preferences) disturbs the efficiency of the building and maintenance activities (Linked with the following correlated research projects: (1) Research title: Imaging processing on determining eye strain (ongoing), Participant research groups: VELUXlab & SEEDLab.ABC).

Marco Imperadori, Tiziana Poli, Juan Diego Blanco Cadena, Federica Brunone, Andrea G. Mainini
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