Skip to main content

Open Access 2023 | Open Access | Book

Cover of the book

Technological Imagination in the Green and Digital Transition

Editors: Eugenio Arbizzani, Eliana Cangelli, Carola Clemente, Fabrizio Cumo, Francesca Giofrè, Anna Maria Giovenale, Massimo Palme, Spartaco Paris

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : The Urban Book Series


About this book

This open access book addresses the pressing need for sustainability in urban development and the use of technology, with cities to serve as the main stage for strategies that seek to meet the targets and the cross-sector priorities indicated in the EU’s Next Generation program, all in pursuit of a solid recovery on the part of the European economy, along lines of ecological transition, digitalization, competitiveness, training, and inclusion to overcome social, territorial, and gender differences.
The international study encounter is meant to promote visions shared by architectural technology and other disciplines, which, though they may appear to differ, are closely interconnected, with the aim of achieving an open, interdisciplinary integration capable of proposing concrete projects regarding topics held to be of strategic importance to the future of the built environment. These are identified to draw up evolving scenarios of architecture and cities suited to reflection, at various levels, on innovative models of process and product.

Table of Contents


Open Access

Chapter 1. From a Liquid Society, Through Technological Imagination, to Beyond the Knowledge Society

The paper aims to introduce the Proceedings of the Conference “Technological Imagination in the Green and Digital Transition”, starting from the initial idea. The Scientific Community has been invited to propose visions of technological imagination, in a time of great uncertainty and fragility, so that they could be subjected to a highly interesting analysis. The theme of “fragile” cities and habitats highlights the necessary transition from liquid society beyond the knowledge society. For the purposes of conference, it was noted that these themes, each with its own in-depth considerations, are to be found, thanks to the different contributions, in all of the various sessions. The Conclusions are to upgrade national and international research systems and to change the training modalities.

Anna Maria Giovenale

Open Access

Chapter 2. Opening Lecture: Digital Spaces and the Material Culture

In this article, I will develop the following points: (1) The imagination is structurally technological as it is entangled with historically dominant technologies; (2) these orientate the reconfiguration of its multimodality, i.e., the fact that the imagination does not work only on the optical and visual level but extends its action to all of our sensorimotor system; (3) how this re-modeling is influenced by digital technologies remains to be clarified; and (4) in this problematic field, there are two opposing lines of development, which I will treat with some examples.

Pietro Montani

Session | Innovation


Open Access

Chapter 3. Innovation for the Digitization Process of the AECO Sector

The conference's Innovation session gathered more than 20 papers ranging from the digitization of the construction world to the digital twin of complex infrastructure such as port areas. The common denominator of the presentations was the methodological search for the best combination of physical reality and digital replication, always putting the functionality and operability of the built environment at the center of the study. In fact, the contributions, although coming from very different research realities, clearly highlighted the inescapable path toward the integration of the digital world in the AECO sector.

Fabrizio Cumo

Open Access

Chapter 4. The Digital Revolution and the Art of Co-creation

The digital transformation process is creating a system of new digital technologies that will give rise to an autonomous ecosystem capable of predicting and determining what will happen in the physical world. The digital twin seen as a moment of creation of a self-named digital model (digital alter ego) and guided in its design by an artificial intelligence can be a source of concern, questioning the central role of the person and of his intelligence in the creative process. The most important problems are: Artificial intelligence capacity to extend its capabilities in a unpredictable way and the inability to understand how artificial intelligence builds its solutions. After hinting at the roots of this problems, we will introduce co-creation as a new way of conceiving the collaboration between the human being and artificial intelligence. Co-creation requires to solve the problems outlined above and this could perhaps define new frontiers of creativity.

Maurizio Talamo

Open Access

Chapter 5. Toward a New Humanism of Technological Innovation in Design of the Built Environment

This paper offers a reflection on the dialectical relationship between technological innovation and the culture of design for the built environment, hypothesizing a scenario in which the outdated interpretation of the merely instrumental role of technology may be plausibly recognized and overcome. Because it is increasingly complex, sophisticated, and pervasive in the life of and in the space inhabited by people, technology requires a renewed, humanistic approach in order to be governed, selected, and used, for the purpose of improving people’s fragile living conditions on the planet. On the other hand, people are, in and of themselves, characterized by continuous exploration and invention to extend their abilities through technique, and given the uncertain future facing us, technique will once again be our friend, renewing a relationship that may be called one of philotechny rather than of pure fideism—or of anachronistic antagonism—toward technique. Although starting from a specific, low level of technology, the construction sector is absorbing the extraordinary, accelerated advances of the technologies belonging to the digital sphere; this may help guide the construction industry toward a new form of production, and at the same time, it may transform the designer’s tasks, roles, and responsibilities. The designer of the future that faces us will have to be able to operate collaboratively within a system of vast competences, which will be mediated by the potency and accessibility of new tools and methods belonging to the digital technologies.

Spartaco Paris

Open Access

Chapter 6. A BIM-Based Approach to Energy Analysis of Existing Buildings in the Italian Context

In the important challenge set at the EU level of doubling the annual energy renovation rate of buildings by 2030, building information modelling (BIM) represents a remarkable opportunity for its many advantages, in all stages of the process. For example, BIM allows for the creation of accurate models of buildings at both current and refurbished state that can also be imported in software for specialized analyses such as the energy performance study and, at the same time, constitute digital, easily searchable, and updatable databases of all sorts of information about a building. However, several barriers still hinder the full use of BIMs for energy analyses, such as issues in interoperability among software and lack of technical knowledge of professionals. The research, whose methodology and objectives are introduced in this paper, moves from these considerations and can be divided into two main phases. The first one (“from BIM to energy analysis”) focused on the identification of interoperability issues between BIM authoring and Italian certified energy analysis software, starting from the application on case studies. The aim is to draft recommendations, targeted at the professionals in the sector, for the definition of building as-is models, optimized to make the importation in energy analysis software as seamless as possible. In the second part (“from energy analysis to BIM”), a series of parameters, to be included firstly in the form of custom property sets, were individuated to populate those models with the main results of the energy analysis. The objective of these actions is to support and, at the same time, valorize the work of the professionals carrying out energy audits while highlighting the potential of BIM for greater knowledge and digitization of the building stock.

Marco Morini, Francesca Caffari, Nicolandrea Calabrese, Giulia Centi

Open Access

Chapter 7. Short-Term Wind Speed Forecasting Model Using Hybrid Neural Networks and Wavelet Packet Decomposition

Wind speed is one of the most vital, imperative meteorological parameters, thus the prediction of which is of fundamental importance in the studies related to energy management, building construction, damages caused by strong winds, aquatic needs of power plants, the prevalence and spread of diseases, snowmelt, and air pollution. Due to the discrete and nonlinear structure of wind speed, wind speed forecasting at regular intervals is a crucial problem. In this regard, a wide variety of prediction methods have been applied. So far, many activities have been done in order to make optimal use of renewable energy sources such as wind, which have led to the present diverse types of wind speed and strength measuring methods in the various geographical locations. In this paper, a novel forecasting model based on hybrid neural networks (HNNs) and wavelet packet decomposition (WPD) processor has been proposed to predict wind speed. Considering this scenario, the accuracy of the proposed method is compared with other wind speed prediction methods to ensure performance improvement.

Adel Lakzadeh, Mohammad Hassani, Azim Heydari, Farshid Keynia, Daniele Groppi, Davide Astiaso Garcia

Open Access

Chapter 8. COGNIBUILD: Cognitive Digital Twin Framework for Advanced Building Management and Predictive Maintenance

According to contemporary challenges of digital evolution in management and maintenance of construction processes, the present study aims at defining valuable strategies for building management optimization. As buildings’ and infrastructures’ Digital Twins (DT) are directly connected to physical environment through the Internet of Things (IoT), asset management and control processes can be radically transformed. The proposed DT framework connects building information model (BIM) three-dimensional objects to information about the planned maintenance of components, supplying system’s self-learning capabilities through input data coming from Building Management Systems (BMSs), ticketing, as well as maintenance activities’ data flow both as-needed or unexpected. The concept of real-time acquisition and data processing set the basis for the proposed system architecture, allowing to perform analysis and evaluate alternative scenarios promptly responding to unexpected events with a higher accuracy over time. Moreover, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) allows the development of maintenance predictive capabilities, optimizing decision-making processes and implementing strategies based on the performed analysis, configuring a scalable approach useful for different scenarios. The proposed approach is related to the evolution from reactive to proactive strategies based on Cognitive Digital Twins (CDTs) for Building and Facility Management, providing actionable solutions through operational, monitoring and maintenance data. Through the integration of BIM data with information systems, BMS, IoT and machine learning, the optimization and real-time automation of maintenance activities are performed, radically reducing failures and systems’ breakdowns. Therefore, integrating different technologies in a virtual environment allows to define data-driven predictive models supporting Building Managers in decision-making processes improving efficiency over time and moving from reactive to proactive approaches.

Sofia Agostinelli

Open Access

Chapter 9. Design of CCHP System with the Help of Combined Chiller System, Solar Energy, and Gas Microturbine

This work was conducted to design a combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) system with photovoltaic energy which provides simultaneous generation of electricity, heat, and cold for a high-rise office building (23 floors) in the city of Mashhad in Iran. Our strategy was to supply load electric, thermal, and refrigeration with the help of solar energy. In addition, its superiority over other systems was evaluated. Analysis and study of solar radiation and the maximum level of solar panels use, according to the architectural plan, were carried out at the project site. The analysis of shadow points, the use of inverters and electrical detectors to increase the maximum solar power, and its cost-effectiveness were carefully studied via PVSOL software. Additionally, the amount of heat, cold, and electricity consumption was accurately calculated according to international standards and utilizing HAP software. The criteria for saving on the initial cost reduction, carbon dioxide emission reduction, operating cost reduction, payback period, revenue, and the minimum life expectancy of the equipment compared to those in other methods were also evaluated. The results obtained from the designed system of simultaneous generation of electricity, heat, and refrigeration, which combines gas microturbines as the primary stimulus, a combination of absorption and compression chiller to provide refrigeration load, a boiler for auxiliary heat load, and a thermal photovoltaic system to produce both electric and thermal loads, were finally revealed. This is believed to be a cost-effective strategy for high-rise residential or commercial buildings with a geographical location like that of Mashhad. Based on the electricity sales to the grid, with the rate of increase in inflation in electricity tariffs, this design in the Mashhad project was estimated to have an annual income of 166.676 thousand dollars. Moreover, the initial capital return period in this project was calculated to be 5.19 years.

Samaneh Safaei, Farshid Keynia, Sam Haghdady, Azim Heydari, Mario Lamagna

Open Access

Chapter 10. Digital Construction and Management the Public’s Infrastructures

The purpose of the present paper “Digital construction and management the public’s infrastructures” is to propose an interconnected development approach, in the management of public infrastructure asset, that through of digital modeling (BIM*) and interoperability provides tools to support decision-making processes. In detail, this work analyzes the innovative process of developing digital tools for the institutional tasks of supervision and support for the management of land transport infrastructure in the Italian national system. Therefore, trough of one assumed a georeferenced network of “digital twins” have been valued the scenarios obtainable whit the digitalization of the public works and of the territory’s surveys. The principles for managing information flows for Italian’s public transport infrastructures have been developed in accordance with national legislation and the reference UNI standards. The assumed flow is on the exchange of data between the managing subjects with the owners’ authorities and surveillance bodies, taking as pivot element the Index public work (IOP) code attributed to each public work. Finally, a conceptual model has been proposed for the energy analysis of the road section and the identification of the best areas to create the “green islands” to produce renewable energy, for the management of infrastructure and for the recharging of electric vehicles.

Giuseppe Orsini, Giuseppe Piras

Open Access

Chapter 11. An Innovative Multi-objective Optimization Digital Workflow for Social Housing Deep Energy Renovation Design Process

Nowadays, the energy retrofit of the building sector is identified as a major instrument toward a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. In accordance with the European Renovation Wave program, deep energy renovations are needed, starting from public and less efficient buildings. Furthermore, the renovation of the social housing building stock is also an important response to energy poverty, as it could contribute safeguarding health and well-being of vulnerable citizens. In particular, buildings from the 1960–1980, which constitute a large portion of cities, often have high energy demand and low indoor comfort because most of them have been built before energy-efficiency regulations. In this context, the paper aims to propose a multi-objective approach toward energy renovation of the social housing building stock, by means of an innovative digital workflow. The objective functions are minimizing energy consumption, CO2 emissions, investment, and operational costs. Toward these contrasting objectives, numerous passive strategies are taken into account, which are compatible with the considered architecture. The optimal solutions are found by means of a genetic algorithm coupled with energy performance simulation software. The methodology is applied and verified on a significant and relevant case study, pertaining to the social housing building stock of Rome, Italy (Mediterranean climate). The outputs of the workflow are a set of optimal solutions among which to choose the fittest one depending on the need of the different stakeholders. The proposed multi-objective approach allows reducing the energy consumption for heating by 31% and for cooling by 17% and the CO2 emissions up to 27.4%. The proposed methodology supports designers and policymakers toward an effective building stock renovation, which can answer the urgent energy and environmental targets for the coming decades.

Adriana Ciardiello, Jacopo Dell’Olmo, Federica Rosso, Lorenzo Mario Pastore, Marco Ferrero, Ferdinando Salata

Open Access

Chapter 12. Digital Information Management in the Built Environment: Data-Driven Approaches for Building Process Optimization

In Italy, the traditional management of construction works, throughout life cycle, still dominates the market compared to a digital approach. This research aims at bringing out the potential and benefits of a digital management by developing strategies and methodologies able to optimize processes related to three different use cases. The proposed use cases have been developed by applying digital methodologies to different building contexts, aiming at both site management and management of the built environment. The first case deals with an important public building of 35,000 m2 located in a residential context in the center of Rome. The use of digital methodology made it possible to optimize and prevent problems related to large-scale works and construction sites located in central residential areas. The second case concerns a residential complex of 16 buildings located in Rome, where the BIM model supplies a constant flow of information for predictive maintenance system. The last one refers to port infrastructures located on the coast of Lazio region in Italy. The digital information model was developed to set up a risk management system capable of safely managing the port’s main assets. In conclusion, the results achieved through the implementation of a digital approach generated by a structured information flow integrated with the BIM model, allowed an optimized management of time and economic resources in the three case studies mentioned, although the diversity of objectives and types of construction works. This improvement is made possible by a shared and connected digital model, characterized by a high level of geometric and informative detail and cloud computing strategies to enhance process efficiency, supporting decision-making and information management.

Francesco Muzi, Riccardo Marzo, Francesco Nardi

Open Access

Chapter 13. Immersive Facility Management—A Methodological Approach Based on BIM and Mixed Reality for Training and Maintenance Operations

Innovation technology in industries including manufacturing and aerospace is moving toward the use of Mixed Reality (MR) and advanced tools while Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector is still remaining behind it. Moreover, the use of immersive technologies in the AEC digital education, as well as for professional training, is still little considered. Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR/MR) have the capability to provide a “X-ray vision”, showing hidden objects in a virtual/real overlay. This feature in the digital object visualization is extremely valuable for improving operation performance and maintenance activities. The present study gives an overview of literature about the methodologies to integrate virtual technologies such as AR/MR and Building Information Modeling (BIM) to provide an immersive technology framework for training purposes together with the Digital Twin Model (DTM)-based approach. Furthermore, the Facility Management (FM) tasks’ training on complex building systems can benefit from a virtual learning approach since it provides a collaborative environment enhancing and optimizing efficiency and productivity in FM learning strategies. For this purpose, the technological feasibility is analyzed in the proposed case study, focusing on the realization of a methodological framework prototype of immersive and interactive environment for building systems’ FM. Cloud computing technologies able to deal with complex and extensive information databases and to support users’ navigation in geo-referenced and immersive virtual interfaces are included as well. Those ones enable the DTM-based operation for building maintenance both in real-time FM operators’ training and FM tasks’ optimization.

Sofia Agostinelli, Benedetto Nastasi

Open Access

Chapter 14. A Digital Information Model for Coastal Maintenance and Waterfront Recovery

In the context of the global climate crisis and the resulting catastrophic flooding phenomena, the contribution looks at an innovative digital model for the coastal recovery, attentive to the protection of waterfronts and their stakeholders. By intervening in the relationship between transformation and conservation of built environment, it is necessary to establish governance support tools capable of foreseeing emergency scenarios to protect the population. The research looks at the port areas of coastal cities as a contemporary and collective public space in which to test the collaborative digital model proposed for waterfronts recovery and maintenance. The need-based methodological process used the human life protection, exposed to flooding danger, as the input of a design process. Through a survey and modeling phase, the waterfront breaks down into environmental and technological systems, specifying the extent of the failure. The waterfront digitization allows providing the governance with a sensor alert tool that gives the monitoring of the behavior and the state of the waterfront elements’ degradation. This information is simplified and given back to the users who both made responsible for the maintenance culture of the places they use and alerted to the possible danger they are exposed. The case is Atrani, where an internal flooding, caused by the estuary overflowing, degenerated in the entire coastal system up to the sea. The results provide a digital model capable of exploring and optimizing the coastal built environment to increase the governance capacity and the waterfront performance.

Francesca Ciampa

Open Access

Chapter 15. Sustainable Workplace: Space Planning Model to Optimize Environmental Impact

The construction sector is one of the main sources of environmental degradation in the world. Data demonstrates that commercial assets are the most intensive consumers of resources. Among those, the largest amount of buildings’ emissions comes from office building operations. Buildings’ impact on the environment does not depend only on energy and material consumptions; but several studies demonstrate that sustainable savings could be achieved through occupants’ trainings. To develop a model for assessing the sustainable performance of office buildings which accounts also for occupants’ behavior, authors worked with the Real Estate Center of Politecnico di Milano and the Joint Research Center PropTech of Fondazione Politecnico di Milano. Through this cooperation, a tool is under development that: I. Assesses the quantity of space needed by organizations, based on the employees’ ways of working; and II. Evaluates how much space occupancy and utilization may influence the sustainable performances of office buildings. This paper describes the general functioning of the tool and looks at the contribution that PropTechs (Properties Technologies) can give to its implementation. Even if PropTechs are introducing digitalization in several real estate processes, few of them are focusing on the environmental. This study reviews the existing Italian PropTechs and selects those that could add value to the proposed tool. The analysis allows to define strengths and limits of the existing tools, helpful for implementing a new tool based on real needs of building managers. The tool aims to reduce the environmental impact of office buildings by suggesting more sustainable and user-oriented strategies.

Alice Paola Pomè, Chiara Tagliaro, Andrea Ciaramella

Open Access

Chapter 16. Digital Twin Models Supporting Cognitive Buildings for Ambient Assisted Living

The rapid and global aging of population is outlining the need for environments that can provide support for these individuals during their daily activities. The challenge of an aging society is being addressed through the incorporation of new technologies into the home environment, which is nothing less than Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). To date, some of the AAL solutions exploit AI models to recognize the elderly’s behaviors through data collected by sensors. In recent times, Digital Twins (DTs) at building level have begun to appear on the construction domain. These are still under development but through the integration of users into assessments, they improve efficiency, prevention, and prediction of likely events through real-time AI computing. The integration of DT and AAL defines cognitive buildings which aim to learn at scale, reason with a purpose, and co-operate with users in a natural way. This research aims to develop DT models to achieve scenario awareness to provide support to elderly people living alone and suffering from cognitive disorders. The proposed multi-agent architecture is based on a five-layer system that autonomously develops high-level knowledge to detect anomalies in the home environment scenarios and therefore support the user. Bayesian networks (BNs) are exploited to perform high-level deductive reasoning on low-level multi-modal information, thus recognizing senseless or dangerous behaviors, environmental disruptions, changes in behavioral patterns, and serious medical events. Bi-directional user-system interaction provides user support by leveraging Speech-To-Text and Text-To-Speech AI agents. Three main functions were tested: real-time data integration, anomaly detection, and two-way interaction.

Alessandra Corneli, Leonardo Binni, Berardo Naticchia, Massimo Vaccarini

Open Access

Chapter 17. Less Automation More Information: A Learning Tool for a Post-occupancy Operation and Evaluation

Climate change and the pandemic generated an urgent need to have an efficient urban habitat that includes technological innovations to deal with the ecological and digital transitions. Italy counts about 14 million buildings, 12 of which are houses, responsible for more than 40% of final energy consumption, most of which is ascribable to users’ behavior and lifestyle. The increase in buildings’ energy performance is strongly related to a smart management of the demand and self-consumption, as well as a more effective and active involvement of the occupants: it is, therefore, pivotal to come up with user-friendly tools to measure and monitor the performance of the buildings and users’ habits. Tools to encourage the choices toward the environment’s comfort, rather than automation technologies, allowing the occupants and information systems to move in the direction of ecological transition. The aim is to create an aware “energy citizenship” for people living in efficient buildings. The proposal is a system that uses IoT technology and provides a global evaluation of the state of the house, from which can be extracted suggestions for better and virtuous behavior. The overall ecological footprint is measured based on five “cycles”: energy; environment; water; waste production; food. Collected data create an urban database that, along with big data, constitutes a set of boundary conditions that are crossed with single units’ data. The measures related to single units can be applied to a wider network in order to create a smart city, involving dwellers in a serious game on their homes’ performance. The proposal is part of the research on post-evaluation occupancy, in the belief that even the best model-houses perform worse in use, rather than the predictions expected on paper.

Chiara Tonelli, Barbara Cardone, Roberto D’Autilia, Giuliana Nardi

Open Access

Chapter 18. A Prosumer Approach for Feeding the Digital Twin. Testing the MUST Application in the Old Harbour Waterfront of Genoa

Supporting the settlement systems’ life cycle management through synchronisation of the real world with a virtual platform constitutes the horizon for the MUST team research (Maintenance Urban Sharing Tools) with the Departments of Architecture (DiARC) and Structures for engineering and architecture (DiSt) of the University of Naples, Stress Scarl and ETT SpA. Living digital simulation models are based on information analysis and constant data supply. The research identifies the involvement of the settlement systems users through creating collaborative information flows, one of the driving factors of the digital revolution. The paper introduces the connotative aspects of the MUST application (Smau Innovation Award 2019, Campania Start-Up 2020 funded project) to identify the building and urban system loss of functionality. With the support of an experiment conducted in the waterfront area of the old harbour of Genoa, the paper identifies strengths and weaknesses in using the MUST application to support and streamline the Digital Twin that ETT S.p.A. is implementing with the DSH2030 (Digital Sustainable Harbor 2030) project. A prosumer perspective is the foundation of this research focusing on the sense of responsibility of communities towards the built environment and on the willingness of individuals to invest in care actions. The paper returns the research results achieved to date with an open and public model design, equipped with different interfaces to meet the diverse needs of the groups involved, allowing expert citizens to interact and report in progress feedback.

Serena Viola, Antonio Novellino, Alberto Zinno, Marco Di Ludovico

Open Access

Chapter 19. Untapping the Potential of the Digital Towards the Green Imperative: The Interdisciplinary BeXLab Experience

The paper shares the experience of the building environmental eXperience Laboratory (beXLab) at the DIDA Department of Architecture-University of Florence, an interdisciplinary and open research group working on the experimentation of transferable methodological approaches and practical tools to support the challenging twin transitions, the green and the digital, starting from pivotal public buildings. As prototypical university Living Lab (born in the frame of the Med-EcoSuRe project, from here LL), beXLab is a shared space where researchers (architects, technical physicians, energy and information engineers, user experience designers, etc…) are experimenting integrated and innovative retrofit solutions, by involving key actors (decision makers, technical offices, energy managers), stakeholders (technicians, companies) and end-users (students, univerisity community). The LL place and space in the pilot university building of Santa Verdiana (in the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Florence) was equipped with a bulk of IoT sensors for the monitoring of real-time environmental parameters and used as a test room for innovative retrofit/refurbishment and advanced technologies application, as well as to capture and valorise the users’ experience. The beXLab physical space is coupled with a BIM model, as a base for the development of a Digital Twin intended to construct a reliable and shareable image of reality (i.e. energy performances and indoor comfort/well-being assessment) and forecast trustable future scenarios (i.e. simulations towards participative design processes). Our present research, based on a crucial interdisciplinary approach and focusing on the energy-economic-social-cultural implications in the Mediterranean areas, proposes a new way of imagining and representing a sustainable, healthy and green future for buildings and urban builtup areas, in compliance with the EU Green Deal, the Renovation Wave and the New EU Bauhaus initiative.

Gisella Calcagno, Antonella Trombadore, Giacomo Pierucci, Lucia Montoni

Open Access

Chapter 20. Digital—Twin for an Innovative Waterfront Management Strategy. Pilot Project DSH2030

In the era of smart cities, the digital twin of a settlement system allows not only the real-time control of the quality levers offers by the subsystems, but also the prediction of the future performance over the life cycle. This is feasible through the implementation of predictive models and the simulation of the impact that the design solutions can generate. The Digital and Sustainable Harbour 2030 (DSH2030) project, funded under the Liguria region’s POR FESR, sees the cooperation of the Innovation, Development, and Sustainability structure of the Porto Antico of Genoa, with ETT S.p.A. supported by the Department of Architecture of Naples, Netalia S.r.l., BF Partners S.r.l., Colouree S.r.l., AiTrust S.r.l., Circle Garage S.r.l., and the University of Genoa in the MaLGA structure. In particular, the research question expressed by the local authority of the Porto Antico of Genoa concerns the measurement and evaluation of environmental parameters, in relation to the consumption and production of renewable energy; monitoring of the flow of people and vehicles (land and sea) for both security and commercial purposes; the control of safety performances and usability of the built system. A complex virtual model is the answer to which the partnership is working on. The paper illustrates the criteria and principles that inform the design, testing, and validation of an enhanced digital twin for the tourist port of Genoa. Specifically, it discusses the work carried out by ETT S.p.A. with the Department of Architecture of Naples that, through the integration of sensors, measurement technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning technologies, intends to prefigure new models of sustainable management and maintenance of the port area.

Maria Giovanna Pacifico, Maria Rita Pinto, Antonio Novellino

Open Access

Chapter 21. BIM and BPMN 2.0 Integration for Interoperability Challenge in Construction Industry

Interoperability is a growing challenge for the construction industry in general, especially for the designing process, where it is exposed to many challenges due to the most critical part of this sector that related to heterogeneous information exchange. Particularly, during the implementation of a project where there is a need for sharing and exchanging a huge amount of data among several actors to accomplish the design process. Therefore, the need for real supportive tools has emerged to facilitate the process of data collection and digitalization in order to automate the whole process. However, different kinds of issues prevent improving the interoperability in the ACE industry. This paper focuses on the barriers of improving the interoperability in this industry sector and proposes a new method of linking and collecting the data from different actors. To this objective cloud storage for flowcharts and building information model “BIM” have been used. One of the best flowcharting languages—Business Process Modelling and Notation “BPMN” 2.0—has been adopted, where the data will be collected and the process will be explained and connected directly to the BIM model to be reviewed, used, and saved.

Hosam Al-Siah, Antonio Fioravanti

Open Access

Chapter 22. Digital Twin Approach for Maintenance Management

After years of slightest attention to the environment, low productivity, and least rates of technological innovation, the construction sector has started a slow but in-depth review of its statutes and priorities. The ongoing ecological and digital transition opens to new opportunities connected to the implemental policies of Industry 4.0—at now Industry 5.0—and related enabling technologies. Opportunities that strongly reaffirm the need for innovative, responsible, and sustainable governance of the life cycle of buildings, placing it in the new perspective of Digital Twin approach. Starting from this scenario, the paper presents some ongoing upgrade of a maintenance management model expressly aimed at optimizing activities in the operation and maintenance phase from which evident economic, environmental, and social extra costs arise.

Massimo Lauria, Maria Azzalin

Open Access

Chapter 23. Digital Infrastructure for Student Accommodation in European University Cities: The “HOME” Project

Finding reliable and safe accommodation is a key obstacle to students’ international mobility. While the European Commission plans a tri-fold increase of Erasmus+ participants by 2027, allowing international students to get suitable accommodation remains one of the main difficulties encountered during the mobility experience. European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are unable to cover the majority of student accommodation demand. Indeed, as stated by Eurostudent VII Report, only 17% of students in Europe find home abroad in student accommodation facilities. Moreover, in accordance with the Erasmus+ Impact Study 2019, 23% of the students involved in the survey considered very important to have support in finding accommodation abroad during mobility along with insurance and other practical aspects. This contribution explores the first results of the European project HOME (Home of Mobile Europeans). The project, currently ongoing, is funded by the 2019 Key Action 2 Erasmus+ call and developed by six European partners. According to the digital transition planned by the Erasmus+ Programme, HOME supports EU mobility by providing students and trainees with a digitalized infrastructure that integrates the search for accommodation within existing European digital mobility initiatives, such as the Erasmus+ App. Moreover the project defines a set of living “quality labels” to increase the transparency of information about accommodation offer at the European level. Furthermore, educational resources and a training toolkit will be available, in the HOME website, to spread and replicate the project’s learnings results. Once operational, HOME will represent an essential digital solution for a more accessible and quality student accommodation offer.

Oscar Eugenio Bellini, Matteo Gambaro, Maria Teresa Gullace, Marianna Arcieri, Carla Álvarez Benito, Sabri Ben Rommane, Steven Boon, Maria F. Figueira

Session | Technology


Open Access

Chapter 24. Technologies for the Construction of Buildings and Cities of the Near Future

The objectives and solutions that become necessary, within the green and digital transition, can radically interfere with existing methods for designing and producing buildings and portions of cities. The “factory” and the “construction site” were one and the same thing, in the production of buildings, up until the seventies of the last century. Following the advent of prefabrication, the factory has gradually been separated from the construction site, to the point where industrial manufacturing now accounts for much of the production value of buildings through the dry-assembly of factory-made products and components. The development of enabling technologies involves knowledge-intensive technologies associated with a high level of research and development, rapid innovation cycles, substantial investment costs and highly qualified jobs. The development of this field could produce a new chain of industrial services for companies based in our country.

Eugenio Arbizzani

Open Access

Chapter 25. The Living Lab for Autonomous Driving as Applied Research of MaaS Models in the Smart City: The Case Study of MASA—Modena Automotive Smart Area

The revolution of digital technology in the field of mobility generates a complex environment where information technology, vehicle engineering and urban planning cooperate in the design of sustainable cities.

Francesco Leali, Francesco Pasquale

Open Access

Chapter 26. Expanding the Wave of Smartness: Smart Buildings, Another Frontier of the Digital Revolution

Smart buildings can be considered the future development direction of constructions: IoT, which extended connections and intelligence to real-life objects, led to a revolution in building practices, making it necessary to obtain edifices equipped with new original features. Seeking to respond to climate-related challenges of the twenty-first century, the technologies triggered by the digital revolution led smart buildings to become the natural evolution of the “sustainable” or NZEB buildings, introducing a series of innovations toward positive changes, continuing the path of hybridization with other disciplines which characterized this digital era. Indeed, the term “smart buildings” conventionally refers to all buildings that show some kind of innovations, concerning technical plants but also building envelope components or the building system as a whole. Besides, it can be said that in the wake of recent directives issued by the EU concerning the Green Deal, the Renovation Wave, and the New European Bauhaus, the technological culture of architecture has evolved, affecting also the aesthetic domain. Therefore, the paper aims to understand the new paradigms of current architecture, analyzing the advantages brought in terms of innovative methods and tools for controlling the quality of construction projects and processes, but also considering new digital techniques for design and representation, smart high-performance materials, adaptive and innovative technologies and/or sensors; thus trying to understand how architectural objects became inspiring examples of the combination of technological innovation and design, and how they can play an important role in terms of environmental sustainability and reduced consumption of resources.

Valentina Frighi

Open Access

Chapter 27. Sharing Innovation. The Acceptability of Off-site Industrialized Systems for Housing

From the sixties, innovation and industrialization have been a returning mantra for the construction sector at every new building cycle passage after an economic crisis, as a tool of overcoming difficulties. This positivism has always been disregarded, especially for housing and for Italy. To avoid this dynamic recurrence even in the current ecological transition passage, research must provide, in parallel with innovative products and techniques, innovative cultural approaches so that extraordinary products and techniques can be accepted by the market, demonstrating how the synergy between them leads to a high added value for sustainable quality of living. Most of the actors (from designers to builders and maintainers) agree that innovative systems, especially industrialized off-site, are more sustainable, especially today when sustainability and resilience are the core of the construction sector; despite this, these systems are struggling to spread. This contribution focuses on acceptability and decision-making processes that lead to innovative choices, identifying the innovation of the functional, social and economic management of the buildings as the “missing ring” for housing. This acceptability has certainly increased today because of new form of “atypical” living, such as senior/student and temporary housing and co-living, which contribute to intensifying the demand of “industrialized”, flexible, affordable and reliable houses. Technological innovation, in fact, actives only if technical innovation is combined with strategies and new approaches in organization, marketing and after-sales services focused on sharing and participation. Through an example of a realized off-site transformable residential building and case studies of new form of management, this contribution proposes innovation perspectives capable of overcoming design and decision-making obstacles to the spread of off-site systems, also identifying in the institutional sustainability one of the cores of this subject.

Gianluca Pozzi, Giulia Vignati, Elisabetta Ginelli

Open Access

Chapter 28. 3D Printing for Housing. Recurring Architectural Themes

Our present era asks architecture to confront new questions; visions and scenarios that project social, economic, and environmental issues toward that particular intersection between the green transition and the prefiguration of housing solutions for the city of tomorrow. In this drive toward a sociocultural renewal, digital architectural tools play a crucial role in the optimization of resources, customization of building components, and promotion of participative designing-building processes. As an innovative technique of digital fabrication, Additive Manufacturing makes this mass production economically accessible, also on-site, and using local materials. While the topic of a ‘home for everyone’ has started to be addressed, experiments and applications often focus primarily on technical aspects. To be understood, controlled, and aimed at truly improving quality of life, these innovations require a reflection on the paradigms that inspire digital design. Can the adoption of 3D Printing change design theory and the ways of conceiving the spaces of the habitat of tomorrow? More in detail, is it already possible to identify some particular architectural features? Using a selection of case studies, this paper critically interprets and analyzes these questions. The return of recurring architectural themes—the concept of instant architecture, the relation between natural–digital ecosystems, or the issue of self-determination—offers different ways of looking at ‘printed’ architecture.

Giulio Paparella, Maura Percoco

Open Access

Chapter 29. Photovoltaic Breakthrough in Architecture: Integration and Innovation Best Practice

In the new context of the trialling and the development of the materials, buildings systems and innovative processes required to meet new challenges posed by environmental transition in Europe and across the globe, the construction sector urgently needs to define more sustainable development models to achieve decarbonisation, as is the case in other sectors. In this context, recent experiences of incorporating photovoltaics into architecture are a clear sign of a change in focus on how systems are integrated into architectural design: a new way of viewing the technological innovation of PV modules which is ever more closely linked to the architectural design right from the initial concept stages. The study we present is based on a critical analysis of the current international state of the art of architectural design incorporating photovoltaics, selecting case studies which illustrate best practice for technological innovation to demonstrate possible scenarios for future developments. Therefore, all the principle approaches identified by the international research will be described as well as the impact that these technological developments are having on architectural style and quality of life in cities. With regard to the aesthetic and formal properties that are the dominant feature of recent practice for the integration of photovoltaics, the study will highlight further areas of research with a view to defining a component of the building shell in which the generation of energy from renewable sources represents just one of the potential components of a system integrated into the architectural style. In addition, the intention is to demonstrate that the architectural designs analysed can be considered to be the result of a close relationship between designers, applied research and the industrial sector; therefore, technological innovation of photovoltaic products will inevitably be linked to a deeper and fundamental innovation of processes leading to these results.

Guido Callegari, Eleonora Merolla, Paolo Simeone

Open Access

Chapter 30. Reworking Studio Design Education Driven by 3D Printing Technologies

The advances and proliferation of digital technologies impact architectural practice asking for a revision of not only design production but also the education of future professionals. Using a case study from the University of Belgrade—Faculty of Architecture, this paper examines the efficient application of 3D printing as a design tool and opportunities for the implementation of this technology in architectural education. The research goal was to establish an educational framework for the studio course that was appropriate to local settings, starting with a review of educational approaches and usage of 3D printing in architectural design. Starting with the premise that there is a bidirectional relationship between design and its tool, educational framework for architectural design studio was proposed, tested in real educational settings, and evaluated. The results indicate that the use of 3D printing in studio course proved to be an effective tool for design exploration and presentation that supports (1) linking the logical way of thinking that requires parametric modeling with concept-based thinking; (2) change in mindset that occurs in the design process when students have a physical model in front of them to assess; and (3) improvement of deep understanding of spatial cognition among students as well as their competencies related to the use of the specific technology in the design process. The paper demonstrates how 3D printing technology improved educational methods, impacted students’ experiences in the design process, and elevated design exploration to previously unattainable levels of materiality, detail, complexity, accuracy, and aesthetics.

Jelena Milošević, Aleksandra Nenadović, Maša Žujović, Marko Gavrilović, Milijana Živković

Open Access

Chapter 31. The New Technological Paradigm in the Post-digital Era. Three Convergent Paths Between Creative Action and Computational Tools

The current evolutionary situation of the post-digital era is influenced by a scientific research based on an almost unconditioned technological positivism and requires a more agile a flexible built environment, adapted to the unpredictable changes and transformations of our planet. The building sector is going through an important evolutionary phase, mainly characterized by the use of new digital technologies which have considerable impact on the organizational dimension of the design and implementation, in order to adopt innovative solutions with the least environmental impact. While the architect is replaced by machines in the worksite, the use of digital technological instruments needs a new approach toward the project and the building procedures. Within this change, the draftsman, besides engaging with multidisciplinary specialized skills ranging from computational engineering to biotechnologies and neuro-sciences, has to be proactively able to control the current space, time, and technological processes which are offered by evolved and complex computerized instruments. These go beyond formality to create new constructive realities, which are being experimented. The inorganic computational instruments of the post-digital era afford the “Total Designer” a new opportunity to rethink composition not only in terms of productivity and efficiency but to also gain a deeper understanding of empathy and experience. It is pertinent in this situation to consider the possible convergence between design thinking and technical thinking based on the development of digital algorithms. With the help of some research and case studies, this contribution analyzes the relationship between creative action and computational instrument through three main directions—representation/simulation, communication/perception, and manufacture/materialization—that encompass the essential elements characterizing the role of the designer, a draftsman that is not only aware but sensitive to modern technology.

Roberto Bianchi

Open Access

Chapter 32. Technological Innovation for Circularity and Sustainability Throughout Building Life Cycle: Policy, Initiatives, and Stakeholders’ Perspective

The introduction of innovative technologies across the design decision-making leads to a change of entire management of operational and organizational models, lengthening the design time, as many more predictive and cognitive phases are introduced. Nevertheless, the traditional character of construction sector obstacles the introduction of new technologies which need an acceptance process that must be triggered. The paper identifies how the non-tangible technological innovation, towards sustainability and circularity, is promoting by policies and how it is perceived by stakeholders of supply chain, providing inspiration for further actions to increase diffusion in practice. The results, shown in this paper, come up by a dialogue at national and international level to stakeholders in the occasion of research works and participation to national and international working groups and co-creation groups, fulfilled by the author. To this end, at first, some emblematic policy measures, from national and international level, addressing the introduction of technology to enable circularity and sustainability in the building sector are shown. Secondly, the point of view of stakeholders regarding the difficulties linked by technological innovation is highlighted. Finally, necessary initiatives to introduce and diffuse acceptance of technologies within construction sector are discussed.

Serena Giorgi

Open Access

Chapter 33. Fair Play: Why Reliable Data for Low-Tech Construction and Non-conventional Materials Are Needed

The paper proposes considerations stemming from the analysis of twenty-two buildings that show different approaches to ‘vegetarian architecture’—a theoretical stance based on principles learnt from agriculture and nutrition. The first phase consisted in a systematic investigation of the constructional characteristics of each building, and the cataloguing of their components. The ‘cradle to gate’ embodied energy (EE) and ‘embodied carbon’ (EC) were then calculated, based on two open access databases: ICE and Ökobaudat. The applicability of these databases was considered, as they do not cover low industrialised bio-based construction materials. For some materials, data are missing; while in others, EE values are overestimated since high energy-intensive manufacturing processes seem to be assumed. In a second phase, the uses and production process of some non-conventional materials was investigated, evidencing their variability. Building technologies that are not just aimed at low operational energy but at a more holistic understanding of low environmental impact represent a paradigm shift in ‘sustainable’ construction practices. Despite ongoing actions and policies, as long as these materials and techniques are not suitably represented in reliable and accessible databases, it will be difficult to make such a shift happen. Manufacturers and contractors who produce and use such materials would benefit from the availability of easily applicable, scientific data demonstrating environmental advantages offered by non-conventional materials.

Redina Mazelli, Martina Bocci, Arthur Bohn, Edwin Zea Escamilla, Guillaume Habert, Andrea Bocco

Session | Environment


Open Access

Chapter 34. Technological Innovation for the Next Ecosystem Transition: From a High-Tech to Low-Tech Intensity—High Efficiency Environment

Technological innovation is the driver of the progress of the material culture of human civilization. A new balance between development and ecosystem requires the revision of the innovation drivers, in terms of efficiency and transformations of the anthropic environment to reduce the great divides. Sustainability and decarbonization of all production sectors are based on process management skills and optimization of technical knowledge and technologies, to move from a highly technological anthropic ecosystem to a low intensity and high efficiency managed environment. The frontier of innovation is marked by the reduction of the impact of technology and its remodelling, enhancing intangible resources and the design abilities of transformation of the built environment. It is therefore urgent to focus on the R&D models and project strategies for a low-tech environment and highly advanced carbon neutral building/plant integration, the regeneration policies of the built environment with low intensity and high energy and environmental efficiency, with the aim the recovery and inclusion of marginal contexts of energy poverty and economic, where digital and technology divide represent barriers to development and inclusion. The traumatic awareness of the material “limit” of the availability of resources involves a paradigm shift in the global system of the supply chain and resource management on which we have based the development of the “technosphere” and perhaps represents the definitive culture shock necessary to redefine a new relationship between man and the environment.

Carola Clemente

Open Access

Chapter 35. Technological Imagination to Stay Within Planetary Boundaries

Technological imagination has been, until now, a stronger driver of development and has permitted to scale economy and even to obtain increasing returns of investments. However, times are a changing. Humanity faces now societal and environmental changes that are pushing the planet Earth toward a danger zone, overpassing recommended limits for several critical processes, such as bio-geochemical fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus, greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere, biodiversity loss and land use change. The role of technology applied to built environment design should be redefined to stay within the so-called safe operation space for humanity, considering the limited resources we have and the need of low-energy solutions for buildings and cities. This chapter introduces the key concepts for the understanding the new role that we must assign to technological imagination to face the challenge of the Anthropocene epoch and discusses how to achieve the seven transitions objectives for transforming our world in a sustainable way.

Massimo Palme

Open Access

Chapter 36. Quality-Based Design for Environmentally Conscious Architecture

The discussion is focused on the view that technological innovation, in order to move toward a green transition, must take advantage of the opportunities and focus on quality-based design rather than quantity-based design. It is argued that true technological innovation requires a major mental shift. It is not about making processes better and more efficient, but about rethinking them outright. Three strategies are proposed at the urban and building level that support this higher quality as a way to go toward a sustainable approach as stated in the Brundtland report. The strategies proposed to reduce the amount of resources required to satisfy citizens’ demands are based on a more in-depth study of their real needs. Innovative design and technological solutions could lead us to a healthier and more environmentally friendly life.

Helena Coch Roura, Pablo Garrido Torres

Open Access

Chapter 37. Digital Transformation Projects for the Future Digicircular Society

The rapid technological development leads us to identify innovation with technology itself. This becomes the core piece of the innovation process in all sectors. In reality, digital transformation has the power to change the meaning of things (Epifani in Digital sustainability: why sustainability cannot disregard digital transformation. Digital Transformation Institute, Rome, 2020) and therefore needs to cultivate a strategic vision of systems and scenarios that can be implemented only through creative design. Designers, thanks to their ability to see, show, predict (Zurlo in Le strategie del design. Disegnare il valore oltre il prodotto. Libraccio editore, Milan, 2021), and design the future, have the role of meeting the challenges posed by digital evolution. This dichotomy between digital and sustainability is analyzed in the article thanks to the workshop “Space Transformation/Industrial Living Environment,” a pilot project for the valorization of productivity in the Valdelsa Senese area that involves, in interdisciplinary groups, students from the various design fields of the School of Architecture of the University of Florence. Another example of planning is the project SMAG—SMArt Garden (Tuscany Region Call RSI—POR FESR 2014–2020), which develops a product-service system equipped with an advanced technological set-up able to control vital parameters of public or private green spaces, using the Internet of things. These examples underline how the physical and digital worlds are interfacing more and more and getting closer. In this scenario, the role of the project is even more important because it allows to manage and direct the innovation and change processes in the direction of a “digicircular” transformation (Epifani in Digital sustainability: why sustainability cannot disregard digital transformation. Digital Transformation Institute, Rome, 2020).

Irene Fiesoli

Open Access

Chapter 38. The Regulatory Apparatus at the Service of Sustainable Planning of the Built Environment: The Case of Law 338/2000

It is wrongly assumed that the environmental sustainability of the building organism is only achievable thanks to the contribution of the systems and their ability to reduce harmful emissions and generate energy from alternative and natural sources. So, system projects have assumed an increasingly considerable importance both in terms of the quantity of documents and the cost of the building. The quantity and complexity of the most recent plant engineering solutions amplify the difficulty of dialogue between the different design levels (architectural, structural, and system design) forcing the professionals involved to compromise that end up disregarding the expected quality. Although it is now clear that the design levels must progress hand in hand from the first hypotheses, and that all must contribute equally to the overall sustainability of the intervention, this does not always happen by preferring to derogate from the system designers the choice of environmentally sustainable solutions. In summary, more and more, often we rely on the technical solutions of the machines used, rather than on the technological qualities of the project. This inevitably involves problems in the construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning phase of the building, especially in the public sphere where the low economic resources of the contracting stations are increasingly used in the purchase, maintenance, management, and disposal of plant engineering tools. A well-structured regulatory system can help to minimize these criticalities: this is the case of law 338, enacted in 2000 with the aim of increasing the availability of residences for university students, which is distinguished for the attention to the environmental issue, orienting the realization of accommodation places towards solutions able to contain waste, soil consumption, etc. The paper aims to describe and analyse the attention paid by the specific legislation to environmental sustainability.

Claudio Piferi

Open Access

Chapter 39. From Nature to Architecture for Low Tech Solutions: Biomimetic Principles for Climate-Adaptive Building Envelope

Building envelopes represent the interface between indoor and outdoor environmental factors. In recent years, attention to climate adaptive building envelopes has increased. However, some types of adaptive envelopes don’t always offer low-tech solutions, but require energy for their activation and high operating and maintenance costs. Nature has always proposed a large database of adaptation strategies that are often complex, multi-functional, and responsive. Transferring the functional principles of natural organisms and their associated adaptive modalities to technologies is the challenge of the biomimetic discipline (from Greek bios, life, and mimesis, imitation) applied to the field of architecture. In this article, various examples of biomimetic architecture that illustrate the relationships between biology, architecture, and technology, were considered. Various analyses of the operating principles of natural organisms are carried out, particularly with regard to self-adapting materials, in order to transfer them to the building envelope, and to propose technological solutions capable of passively adapting to external climatic conditions. Among all natural organisms, plants are prefereble to animals because, like buildings, they remain stationary in a specific location. Despite this, plants have developed different adaptation mechanisms to survive in certain environments. Buildings with biomimetic adaptive envelopes, characterized by passive and low-tech solutions inspired by plants, help limit energy consumption, and improve not only the indoor microclimate but also the outdoor environment. In line with the ecological transition, this work highlights the importance of biomimetic as a strategy to orient the new paradigms of built space design towards innovative and sustainable models of low-tech solutions.

Francesco Sommese, Gigliola Ausiello

Open Access

Chapter 40. Soft Technologies for the Circular Transition: Practical Experimentation of the Product “Material Passport”

The change of mind regarding waste conceived as resource is possible if the transition toward circularity is actualized. Design and build in a reversible perspective allow to enable circular strategies on a constructive system at the end of its service life. These strategies and solutions toward reversibility are defined Hard and Soft Technologies. If the first ones are the reversible constructive technics used on different elements of the building; the second ones consist in the operative aspects, regarding to tools and methods that allow the realization of reversible processes, projects and products. Specifically, the MP is a Soft Technology that facilitates the second use of a constructive systems that has residual performances once disassembled. As tool, the Material Passport collects the technical and operative information about the product, tracing the resources employed, maintaining their value over time and reducing the grade of uncertain about the circular potentiality of disassembled elements. The paper demonstrates the importance of Soft Technologies for the development of Hard Technologies and reports the outcomes of a practical experimentation developed. The application consists in the development of the Material Passport of a product of the manufacturing company Cel Components and in the definition of reversible practices for the generation of the circular transition of the company. The MP is processed within the BIM model of a company-produced panel, used for façade, false ceiling, internal partition or flooring systems, to elaborate a framework for the data entry. The application provides a user-friendly framework for designers and manufacturers.

Tecla Caroli

Open Access

Chapter 41. Imagining a Carbon Neutral University

Universities are the main centers where the drivers of innovation for sustainability and decarbonization of the built heritage are investigated and developed. But are existing university buildings sustainable? If zero carbon buildings are to be our goal in 2050 (EU Green Deal), what is the current carbon footprint of these buildings? How can we enhance post-occupancy evaluation and drive technological and energy retrofits for participatory environmental design? This is the focus of the research carried out within the MedEcoSuRe (Mediterranean University as Catalyst for Eco-Sustainable Renovation) Project, funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC MED Program, which analyses and compares a number of sustainability assessment methods for existing university buildings (Green Metric, Stars, GRI, …) in order to develop the most effective indicators, not only to highlight the really virtuous buildings, but also to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the university building stock and to implement the most appropriate redevelopment strategies. According to the Renovation Wave Strategy, these approaches are aimed at improving not only the energy performance of buildings but will also improve the quality of life of people living in and using university buildings. The research considered multiple aspects concerning not only the environmental and functional performance of buildings, but also the direct satisfaction of users (providing a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for students, teachers and staff) and the strategies to manage energy, water, green and material resources during the operational phase (Xue et al. in Sustainability 12(1):294, 2020). The evaluation of environmental and functional performance of educational buildings should ensure that the effectiveness of buildings is maximized not just in terms of occupancy costs but also with respect to user satisfaction (Ekekezie et al. in Int J Progressive Res Sci Eng 2(8/202):388–397, 2021).

Antonella Violano, Monica Cannaviello

Open Access

Chapter 42. Life Cycle Assessment at the Early Stage of Building Design

In view of the urgent need to construct informed and advanced vision of the built environment in terms of environmental impacts, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is even more emerging as the most recognized supporting tool for Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) practices. This is proved by Level(s), a voluntary framework established in Europe that is fully life cycle-based, looking buildings beyond energy performance to the whole life cycle, while fostering the implementation of circular economy strategies. To face buildings complexity, it recommends applying life cycle approach with an increasing level of detail and accuracy, shifting from the assessment of carbon emissions to complete cradle to grave LCA. In this context, many calls for competitions at the reach of environmentally sustainability include Level(s) measures as reference frame to deal with. The paper provides insights of building LCA application performed during the preliminary design phases, since crucial for the decision-making process especially if operating into competition aimed at minimizing environmental impacts. In particular, a sample of building projects developed to address an international architecture competition specifically committed to decarbonization issues in compliance with Level(s) is discussed. Starting from a concrete in situ scenario, the attention is on integrating dry assembled solutions composed of environmental-friendly materials. Results show range of carbon footprint of low-carbon buildings in relation to building shape and volume, outlining building parts that generally contribute to highest release of CO2 and providing effective technological solutions. The aim is to support AEC practitioners in the design and implementation of buildings embracing a life cycle approach starting from the early design process.

Anna Dalla Valle

Open Access

Chapter 43. Design Scenarios for a Circular Vision of Post-disaster Temporary Settlements

The construction sector has a considerable impact on the environment in terms of both exploited natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, converting the production process from linear to circular is essential. In increasingly vulnerable human settlements, post-emergency recovery can become an opportunity to develop innovative circular design strategies. The research focuses on how to strengthen the resilience of risk-prone territories through pre-disaster strategic planning based on a systemic approach. Post-emergency management of 2009 and 2016–2017 earthquakes in the inner areas of Central Italy is assumed as a case study. In particular, the tender specifications that guided the recovery revealed a deep lack of preventive programmes on the post-use phase of the settlements, which remain suspended between temporary and permanent. Starting from the analysis, the paper proposes a matrix of alternative scenarios for the end-of-life of temporary structures. The matrix allows connecting the recovery phase with the objectives of social cohesion and territorial regeneration policies, adapting the response to the needs of the specific context. Assuming that the artefact’s technological requirements depend on the different perspectives of their life cycle, the scenarios are oriented towards different degrees of reversibility, addressing the complete disassembly, with the reuse and recycling of components, up to the reconversion of temporary assets as local facilities and as resources for green and digital transition. Integrating post-disaster into ordinary tools would trigger virtuous synergies to optimise public funding use. In this framework, post-disaster temporary housing can become a field of experimentation for disaster-resilient communities and circular economy.

Maria Vittoria Arnetoli, Roberto Bologna

Open Access

Chapter 44. Towards Climate Neutrality: Progressing Key Actions for Positive Energy Districts Implementation

Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) represent an emerging urban transition paradigm, an advanced framework to effectively attain decarbonization targets, as well as a holistic approach to foster more resilient and livable cities. However, implementing PEDs is challenging, demanding substantial planning, design, and operations changes. Mainstreaming PEDs calls for innovative legal, institutional, business, and organizational frameworks, as well as an active involvement of the main actors (i.e., cities, municipalities, communities, investors, industry players, and service providers), to co-design and jointly progress ambitious agendas, multiscale plans, flexible instruments, and adaptive structures. Benefitting from the authors’ cooperation within the Horizon 2020 project, Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Action ‘Positive Energy Districts European Network’ (PED-EU-NET in PED-EU-NET | COST ACTION CA19126, 2020), the proposed contribution addresses relevant issues and opportunities characterizing the development of PEDs in Europe, relating attention to effective implementation, context-specificity, replicability, and upscaling. Among the results achieved in the first year of the COST research activities, the authors present an understanding of the PEDs policy landscape in Europe, and a catalogue of the key lessons learned from PEDs in progress. In detail, some comprehensive and interrelated aspects (stakeholder-oriented strategies and technological and system innovation) that have emerged towards enabling conditions for upscaling PEDs structure are analyzed. Through the investigation of existing framework conditions, barriers, and enablers of piloting projects, as well as emerging impacts at international level, the authors provide original insights, and formulate key recommendations for take-up and advancement towards climate neutrality, making a timely and original input to enhanced scholarly understanding of PEDs.

Rosa Romano, Maria Beatrice Andreucci, Emanuela Giancola

Open Access

Chapter 45. Remanufacturing Towards Circularity in the Construction Sector: The Role of Digital Technologies

Among the different circular strategies, remanufacturing proves to be particularly interesting since it aims to maintain the value of building components overtime extending their lifespan by guaranteeing multiple consequent cycles of use, overcoming in this way the most common down-cycling logics. However, unlike other industrial fields which already benefit from remanufacturing, the construction sector delays to adopt this practice due to barriers of different nature, namely organizational, information, technical, regulatory and economic. Among these barriers, the first two can now be addressed more effectively thanks to the support of Information and Communication Technologies. The latter offer the possibility of real-time monitoring, remote communication and scenario modeling, opening up to innovative solutions for remanufacturing. Hence, the paper aims to investigate how the application of ICTs can support the cognitive and organizational processes related to remanufacturing of building components. In particular, the paper explores the application of sensing technologies, digital twins and information platforms and assess their potential to support the implementation of circular service-based remanufacturing models in the construction sector.

Nazly Atta

Open Access

Chapter 46. Territorial Energy Potential for Energy Community and Climate Mitigation Actions: Experimentation on Pilot Cases in Rome

One of the conditions toward mitigation and a zero-emission economy is to plan the transition to a sustainable urban energy system. The dimensional and typological variety of urban pattern, and the functional contribution of inhabitants, represent an important potential to reduce energy consumption and climate-changing gases. Despite this evidence, many studies focused on the energy transition have given limited attention to issues of scale, space, and context in urban settings and how they can shape different energy systems. This article deals with renewable energy communities in the urban context and, by presenting some results of research that, through pilot cases in Rome, aims to test mitigation and adaptation solutions in proximity spaces. In particular, it investigates how the different forms of already built urban fabrics, together with social and environmental resources, can influence the form and implementation of the decentralized energy system and vice versa.

Paola Marrone, Ilaria Montella

Open Access

Chapter 47. Integrated Design Approach to Build a Safe and Sustainable Dual Intended Use Center in Praslin Island, Seychelles

A flexible multi-purpose center for a dual intended use—hospitality and observation and research related to climate change—has been designed in the fragile environment of Praslin Island, Seychelles. The technical solutions adopted for a low environmental impact LCA based in the designed center during the life cycle will be illustrated: starting from the local supply raw materials, the self-disassembling construction system, the described process is compatible with the site use that the owners have foreseen. Specific logistic systems have been chosen both to the transportation of the material on the site, and to the integrated structural and architectural solutions. In addition, a reconstruction of the natural characteristics of the building site has been developed both by google-earth observation and with a survey directly on the site through processing acquired images. The multi-disciplinary perspective through which the project has been conceived shows beneficial effects in terms of reduced impact on the original and resilient natural environment. Future developments of the work will be devoted to the optimization of this multi-disciplinary approach.

Vincenzo Gattulli, Elisabetta Palumbo, Carlo Vannini

Session | Climate Changes


Open Access

Chapter 48. Climate Change: New Ways to Inhabit the Earth

The text begins by proposing a critical reading of the climate crisis, aimed at pointing out the need for a collective consciousness allowing solutions to be found that are unbound by having to maintain the current economic model. After a brief history of the environmental issue identifying the commitment of the technology of architecture in this topic, a research framework linked to the environmental and technological design of the built environment is proposed. The paper closes with considerations on research prospects for the transformation of cities, of use for pursuing the reduction of climate change, as emerged at the conference.

Eliana Cangelli

Open Access

Chapter 49. The Climate Report Informing the Response to Climate Change in Urban Development

The IPCC Climate Report was published in three volumes in August 2021, and February and April 2022. An overview of the key findings, sourced from these reports that are relevant for the resilient development of urban areas, is summarized in this paper. It is the authoritative, comprehensive assessment of the climate change, including the physical aspects, impacts and adaptation, and mitigation. Human-caused climate change has affected global and regional climate, including extremes and drivers of impacts with consequences for human and natural systems. Cities, urban areas, and settlements, for example in Europe, are particularly exposed to future risks. At the same time, there are multiple opportunities to address climate change both through adaptation and mitigation action with urban development. There are multiple synergies and co-benefits the responses to climate change and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Anna Pirani

Open Access

Chapter 50. The Urban Riverfront Greenway: A Linear Attractor for Sustainable Urban Development

The strategy for sustainable mobility of December 2020 by the European Commission defines the alignment of the transport sector with the European Green Deal, for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions related to transport by 2050. This involves linear infrastructure of sustainable mobility in our cities. The research has a focus on strategies to increase sustainable travel, with a view to improving the quality of public space and reducing the weight of heavy transport. A coordinated planning directs actions toward mitigation tools and sharing of public spaces through necessarily systemic interventions, which identify a common scenario, involving increased use of city greenways connected with urban node. Working on the level of cycling in Pescara case study (IT) means to act to a systemic approach involving different kind of action on infrastructure and on active participation of inhabitants. Among all a focus was developed on the urban greenway on the riverfront, crossing stretches of great environmental and landscape quality with its seven kilometers, which potentially could connect peripherals part of the cities, currently in a state of semi-abandonment. The Biciplan guidelines, meeting the objective by a project involving youth activism, could help achieve sustainability objectives and improve environmental performance, starting from its integrated enhancement, developing the axis in an urban sense, reconnecting the city and improving the peripheral mobility of the city. The consequence of coordinated planning and directing actions toward mitigation tools are followed in the reduction of emissions at the local level, contributing to proximity of travel.

Luciana Mastrolonardo

Open Access

Chapter 51. The Buildings Reuse for a Music District Aimed at a Sustainable Urban Development

Reusing buildings must be ‘convenient’ for the environment and for people, therefore it must re-establish a balance between places and communities which, interacting, determine a continuous transformation of cities. The reuse of buildings is a sustainable development process that implies phases of adaptation and qualitative growth to create safe, healthy, useful, attractive and beautiful places. The objective of the guidelines for the music district of Pescara (research for the conservatory) is to establish activities linked to music, culture and socialization, for the expansion of the ‘Luisa D'Annunzio’ Conservatory (through the reuse of the former Muzii middle school owned by the municipality) and provides the city with inclusive and beautiful places for all. The needs of different users (students of the conservatory and citizens) and those expressed by the client (music teachers and musicians) are considered to ensure the sustainability of the initiative through the integration of activities fit for restoring economic and social ‘gain’, according to an ecological approach. In providing the addresses for the required spaces, it was important to hypothesize additional functions and spaces to reborn the city with inclusion and beauty. The reuse of the former middle school was deemed ‘convenient’ (just as music is effective in restoring social inclusion and cultural development) thanks to the resilience capacities found. The proximity between the former school and the conservatory does not require substantial connection works and the proximity to the urban parks, the sea and the most ‘lively’ area of the urban center demonstrates an aptitude of the place for social reception thanks also to pedestrian and cycle paths. The spaces of the former classrooms are suitable for music teaching and recording studios as other existing spaces are for a music hub and other functions for the conservatory and the city, with a view to sustainable urban development.

Donatella Radogna

Open Access

Chapter 52. Environmental Design for a Sustainable District and Civic Hub

The paper presents the results of a design-based research focused on a specific context in the city of Milan (Municipality 4), where a holistic approach to a fruitive and environmental regeneration was experimented. The proposed design-based approach integrates the functional and fruitive reactivation of public space with analysis, simulations and assessments on the possible application of nature-based solutions (NBS) to increase urban resilience, comfort and public space usability. In addition to increasing the environmental benefits (ecosystem services) at the district scale, the project aims to strengthen the ecological connections at the wide area, stressing the necessity of a systemic approach in the GBI’s development. The paper illustrates both the methodological and framing aspects of the experimentation and the project results, verified through a consolidated methodology for the assessment of the expected environmental benefits. The research project contributes in developing new approaches to the deep renovation of public space in urban and peri-urban contexts, that are a priority in the current Italian scenario.

Elena Mussinelli, Andrea Tartaglia, Giovanni Castaldo

Open Access

Chapter 53. Earth Observation Technologies for Mitigating Urban Climate Changes

Since 2010 United Nations declared that for the first time in history up to 50% of mankind is living in urban areas, implying that challenges connected with global changes need to be evaluated primarily within urban systems, using the most advanced available technologies. Earth observation is nowadays the most promising field of research assisting urban planners, city managers, and building designers in their work of improving urban resilience to cope with climate change effects, and the long-term changes connected with extreme climatic events. Even though the deep understanding of the functioning of urban systems is a key factor for improving the quality of life at all levels, urban development is still poorly monitored globally, and reliable and comparable satellite urban data across countries is still limited, slowing down international comparative research. The Copernicus UE programme, replacing the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, recognizes the strategic importance of Earth observation for emergency management. Copernicus programme provides global, continuous, autonomous, high quality, wide-area Earth and Atmosphere observation. Copernicus links Space observations to ground-based and atmospheric data collection and processing, providing operational services in the fields of environment, ground infrastructures, civil protection, and security, supporting the implementation of a large number of sectorial and transversal public policies. Of the six thematic macro-areas of the present programme observation and ground monitoring of the European urban systems lies in the first thematic area of the land monitoring service. The enormous and continuous data generation from the Copernicus programme is allowing the construction of an accurate and up-to-date database to the state of health of our cities and surrounding environments, providing research materials simply inconceivable only a few decades ago.

Federico Cinquepalmi, Giuseppe Piras

Open Access

Chapter 54. A Systematic Catalogue of Design Solutions for the Regeneration of Urban Environment Contrasting the Climate Change Impact

The article illustrates a research for the definition of a catalogue of design solutions for climate change adaptation in the process of urban regeneration, reducing the vulnerability to climate change impacts and increasing the city resilience. Based on the analysis of relevant case studies of architectural and urban projects in the main biogeographical regions of Europe, the paper describes the research methodology applied for the construction of a catalogue of spatial and technological adaptive design models mainly focusing on the category of “nature-based solutions” but also considering “artificial solutions”. In order to assess their effectiveness, different design alternatives are tested in a specific urban contest (a school courtyard in the City of Scandicci–Metropolitan City of Florence) prone to climate hazards of urban heat islands and pluvial flooding, simulating the impact on the more vulnerable user (children between 11 and 14 years old). For an adequate performance evaluation of multi-hazard effectiveness of the different adaptive design solutions, appropriate IT software and procedural models have been applied: ENVI-met microclimatic simulation software for thermal analysis and predictive method for hydraulic assessment. By comparing the results before and after the application, the climate-adaptive performance of alternative design solutions is measured through specific indicators. This approach is coherent to the design process management aiming to a predictive definition of performance evaluation through procedural models and digital instruments in order to properly address the complexity of architectural and urban project. The systematic catalogue of adaptive design solution offers useful tools and methods to designers and decision makers for the construction of climate change adaptation and mitigation plans in order to build a healthy and safe urban environment for citizens and drive an ecological and sustainable transition to green cities.

Roberto Bologna, Giulio Hasanaj

Open Access

Chapter 55. Digital Twins for Climate-Neutral and Resilient Cities. State of the Art and Future Development as Tools to Support Urban Decision-Making

The increased effects of climate change in the built environment require a rapid and effective response to adapt urban settlements to the main impacts related to heatwave, extreme precipitation, sea-level rise, and so on. At the same time, there is not much time to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change and limit the mean temperature of the planet within the 1.5 °C imposed by the Paris Agreement. In this perspective, cities around the world have a key role toward carbon neutral and resilient targets. In parallel in the last years, we are witnessing the impacts of a big amount of data and information available at the city scale. There are many data coming from different databases that can be processed and managed to support the urban climate action planned and designed by decision-makers and urban practitioners, for example, to assess the carbon emission of the building sector or to simulate the effects of extreme precipitation or urban heat island and consequence behavior of the built environment. In this scenario, in the last years, among many different digital enable technologies available in the Industry 4.0 ambit, it has gained more attention in the field of urban planning and urban design the digital twin concept that could synthesize in a digital representation of the real-world data and information flow that could exchange from the physical side to digital representation and vice versa. The aim of the paper is to analyze the urban digital twin developed in last years in Europe to evaluate if and how they consider the climate change issue, in order to understand the state of the art, the applications developed for climate change and which is the level of experimentation in order to study and develop guidelines to build urban digital twin as a support tool for a climate-neutral and resilient city.

Guglielmo Ricciardi, Guido Callegari

Open Access

Chapter 56. The Urban Potential of Multifamily Housing Renovation

Multifamily post-war middle-class housing in Italy represents a significant heritage which strongly characterizes urban landscapes. Although this huge stock has long been addressed by national policies as a major potential to pursue European climate targets, only the recent massive incentive measures (Superbonus 110%) have started to produce results for the energy upgrading of the buildings, offering alternatives and motivations (through the size of the public funding and the institution of the credit transfer) to the issues of the typical ownership fragmentation. However, these first partial outcomes are controversial from a life cycle, a social and an economic point of view. In addition, policies focus only on the energy performance of the single building, conceiving the interventions through a narrow-minded and generic attitude. The typological obsolescence and the multifaceted relationships between the building and the neighborhood are neglected, although important social, economic and energy efficiency benefits might emerge when addressing the renovation through a multi-scalar, multifunctional, and place-based approach. Stemming from the collection and analysis of ongoing initiatives and projects, possible models are outlined, enlarging the scenario of the transformations to include the urban scale. For example, underused private spaces can host new public or semi-public functions to contribute on the one hand to the management costs of the condominium and on the other hand to trigger local neighborhood regenerations. Moreover, widening the transformation perspective can envisage a group of buildings and the adjacent public spaces as a system to create energy districts where energy infrastructures introduce new amenities and added value.

Laura Daglio

Open Access

Chapter 57. A “Stepping Stone” Approach to Exploiting Urban Density

Currently, there is an increasing need to use ecological-environmental strategies that can contribute to human well-being and biodiversity in urban contexts that are complex systems with an increasingly diverse demand for ecosystem services. This becomes important especially for areas with high urban density which are those that determine the greatest impacts. Recent studies have related the increase of the COVID-19 pandemic to urban density, and the results seem to converge on the hypothesis that the lack of availability of urban space and high population concentration are factors contributing to the spread of disease. However, density constitutes both a problem and an opportunity to creating open spaces on a human scale, favoring the development and articulation of spaces that can more easily creep in and create the necessary conditions both for functional and environmental improvement and for mending the built environment. A dense environment suggests to work according to new logics that, starting from the optimization of existing spaces able to provide ecosystem services, experiment especially the “micro” and “interconnected” formula. The issue of interconnection in cities is complex as the continuity of connections, necessary to ensure the reticularity of spaces, is often inhibited by urban density. The idea is to replace the “structural continuity” with a “functional continuity” according to the “stepping stones” approach, borrowed from the ecology of the landscape. In analogy to the ecological networks approach, therefore, it is proposed to use this logic to enhance existing open spaces and create new ones with the aim of implementing overall urban quality.

Raffaela De Martino, Rossella Franchino, Caterina Frettoloso

Open Access

Chapter 58. Metropolitan Farms: Long Term Agri-Food Systems for Sustainable Urban Landscapes

In the past decade, urban agriculture (UA) has attracted significant attention from urban planners and city managers as a sustainable, nature-based, and smart solution that may generate positive impacts for resilience, self-reliance, and social, economic, and environmental sustainability of cities. UA appears as an effective means to address climate change while also fostering urban transitions to sustainability in many ways, such as creating new commons, amenities, ecosystem services, reinventing urbanity, and encouraging community building by growing local food. Since UA is a strategy to support the re-configuration of more sustainable and resilient cities, it can be considered a seedbed for innovation. Based on these premises, the STRutture Agricole MEtropolitane (STRAME) research project aims at defining an innovative interpretation of the urban farming. The research proposes a vision of the UA based on an intermediate scale compared to the more investigated and developed mega-scale of large vertical farming and the microscale of urban gardens. Conceived as an adaptive infrastructure, STRAME—a system based on modular Vertical Farming units—is organized to be translated and applied in different urban and metropolitan scenarios. The “terrain vague” of metropolises (intended as residual urban spaces) and climate change are two challenges—the first of a physical-spatial type and the second environmental-social—in which STRAME wants to build a capillary system of highly efficient agricultural production. STRAME, starting from deep analysis of the background of UA, aims at defining a physical infrastructure integrated with a digital infrastructure (IoT), able of responding to the challenges posed by the agro-industrial chain in densely populated urban contexts. Its core is a system of modular elements to be used for the construction and commissioning of a medium-sized network of inter-connected vertical farming applicable in residual voids and in the open spaces in large residential districts.

Giancarlo Paganin, Filippo Orsini, Marco Migliore, Konstantinos Venis, Matteo Poli

Open Access

Chapter 59. Resilient Design for Outdoor Sports Infrastructure

Cities, and with them the criticalities and opportunities that characterize urban contexts, are one of the main challenges in the transition toward environmental and social sustainability today. Within the contemporary debate dominated by reflections on the effects of climate change, the culture of design is increasingly oriented to measure itself against the concept of resilience: the limitation of land consumption, together with the technological, functional and energetic reorganization of areas and buildings, is the path taken by design to make the built environment adaptable to the changes taking place, so as to promote development, equity and social inclusion. Public space, defined as a system of open urban spaces, is assuming an increasingly important role in urban and environmental regeneration processes. At the same time, the topic of sport and the public infrastructure of cities for practicing physical activity is an increasingly important factor for urban and social quality, requiring strategies capable of redefining places and the way they are used in line with objectives of environmental quality and collective well-being. The picture that emerges from studies and research on the European and Italian panorama of sport infrastructures highlights interesting and innovative trends that show, also in this sector, an increasing focus on the themes of urban, architectural and social resilience. On the basis of this premise, the contribution aims to analyze the recent evolution of the design of public space in relation to sports practices as an area where resilience policies are applied.

Silvia Battaglia, Marta Cognigni, Maria Pilar Vettori

Open Access

Chapter 60. Sustainable Reuse Indicators for Ecclesiastic Built Heritage Regeneration

In the context of anthropogenic impacts on pollution and global warming scenarios, reject from the construction sector accounts for 36% of European waste. This waste percentage includes disused and abandoned buildings that have lost the value of their function over time. In order to reduce the ecological footprint they generate, the paper rethinks Recovery in its circular meaning to put these buildings back into a normal circuit of usability, improving the creation of resilient urban habitats. In particular, decommissioned ecclesiastical buildings constitute a huge quantity and significant quality heritage, as by cultural, perceptive, morphological and material values. The sustainable reuse of this heritage must act on its double impacting value: the tangible one linked to the material culture of the buildings and the intangible one, linked to the identity values of sediment instances. Through a comparison desk research of more than 140 cases of reuse on a European scale, the contribution arrives at a system of indicators that allow evaluating the reuse sustainable compatibility of these buildings, able to promote prosperity, inclusiveness and social equity. These indicators make it possible to assess the appropriateness of design actions aimed at mediating between the conservation of the built heritage and the transformative needs of contemporary instances. The results provide scenarios tool of sustainable recovery, capable of transforming waste into a resource, extending the life cycle of the ecclesiastical heritage and thus mitigating its environmental impact, as well as the cost related to the loss of cultural values and identity for the community.

Maria Rita Pinto, Martina Bosone, Francesca Ciampa

Open Access

Chapter 61. A Green Technological Rehabilitation of the Built Environment. From Public Residential Estates to Eco-Districts

The environmental quality of the modern city is a central issue in the Italian and international design debate. The pandemic and the perspective of a post-pandemic phase have accelerated the inevitable transformation of the living spaces—indoor and outdoor, urban and domestic—bringing out renewed awareness and new quality requirements. The need to achieve results to limit energy consumption, reduce polluting emissions, promote less land consumption, and conditions of urban resilience is becoming gradually urgent, according to European and national strategic, political and regulatory indications. Space quality requirements, which correspond to different conditions of quality of living, are generally identified in the physical and social accessibility of places and dwellings, in the production and availability of energy from renewable sources, in the availability of green public spaces, and in the opportunity to carry out leisure and sports activities. The paper investigates the transformation of public residential neighbourhoods, highlighting urban and technological design opportunities within the paradigm of eco-district and biophilic urbanism. Two case studies within the INA CASA Plan in Reggio Calabria—Sbarre Inferiori and San Brunello—will be the object of analysis and meta-design transformation scenarios to test with green quality requirements. The scenarios aim to explore microclimatic improvements for the districts, the redefinition of outdoor spaces, the implementations of technologies for clean energy production, and the containment of resources consumption. The object of the contribution goes towards principles of health and well-being of the communities, recognising the urban risk factors implicated in the global pandemic and the need to restore the existing building stock and residential estates. Eventually, the paper suggests a framework of actions, green technologies, and design options to manage those environmental concerns.

Lidia Errante

Open Access

Chapter 62. Adaptive Building Technologies for Building Envelopes Under Climate Change Conditions

Following the widespread recognition of the urgency of environmental and energy issues, cities, now under the influence of the pandemic crisis, are called to cope with them through adaptation strategies to future scenarios that are constantly changing. At the same time, the implementation of adaptive building envelopes seems to be a promising alternative to achieve higher quality levels in the built environment, especially to counter and mitigate climate change, in line with EU directives. Adaptive envelopes can modify physical or chemical characteristics, exploiting environmental stimuli such as solar heat, temperature, airspeed, or atmospheric humidity. In this scenario, the experimental research in progress wants to define a new adaptive model by using innovative materials. It can be applied to curtain wall systems, intended as an element vulnerable to the effects of extreme events in a Mediterranean climate and more stressed by external energy flows. In this work, the author presents some parts of the research results, in which a necessary phase involved the reasoned recognition of adaptive materials for extreme applications or materials that can respond actively to possible external stresses. Research efforts are focused on the choice of the most suitable material to define the levels of environmental adaptability of the model, its constructability, and technological characterization. Finally, the performance verification of the adaptive model will be carried out at the TCLab section of the BFL of the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria to develop prototypical lines that can facilitate the new approach to high environmental quality adaptive envelopes.

Martino Milardi

Open Access

Chapter 63. The Importance of Testing Activities for a “New” Generation of Building Envelope

The construction sector is considered, directly or indirectly, one of the pillars for the application of technological solutions to rise the quality levels of building envelopes. The need to realize new processes capable of “dynamically” reading the responses of the built systems becomes an essential action to understand how the dynamics of climate change determine and trigger evident effects on the built environment. In this scenario, the contribution describes the experimental research activities on a curved facade—carried out at the TCLab Section of Building Future Lab of the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria—to verify its performance responses to extreme events according to specific standardized protocols. Therefore, this study focuses on the building envelope, as the main subsystem through which leakage occurs, not only in terms of thermal and dynamic fluxes, but of air and water permeability. Testing activities, nowadays of fundamental value for climate change phenomena, allow to predict the behavior of the built environment and at the same time to evaluate alternative solution. The research efforts go toward defining a design methodology for a new generation of building envelopes, capable of reacting to different contextual conditions by raising the environmental and performance quality according to adaptive dynamics. From the tests carried out, the results take the form of test protocols, giving real added value to research and implementing applied experimentation actions with highly reliable results.

Martino Milardi, Evelyn Grillo, Mariateresa Mandaglio

Open Access

Chapter 64. Data Visualization and Web-Based Mapping for SGDs and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Urban Environment

To address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and face climate change effects, it is necessary to adopt multidisciplinary methodologies and strategies for risk prevention and mitigation of the impact in urban contexts. These phenomena represent a risk for cultural heritage conservation, with negative consequences for local economies. To move from the analysis of climate impacts to adaptation measures and governance tools, it is necessary to deal with the different characteristics of the urban context in its physical, historical, cultural, and socio-economic components. The paper focuses on the collaboration between UNIGE Architecture and Design Department (DAD), and Colouree S.r.l. that has developed an analytical platform that uses artificial intelligence, geo-referenced data, and automated analysis to define the characteristics of the urban context. The aim of the research is the identification of parameters and solutions to respond to the effects of climate change in the urban environment, considering risk levels and context settlement; alongside the climatic skills, also the architects’ skills in environmental technologies, urban landscape, and cultural heritage have been given relevance. DAD aims to capitalize on the previous and ongoing experiences of Colouree, offering scientific and methodological support, to reach the definition of a detailed settlement analysis, providing indications on the risks associated with the main predictable effects (extreme weather events, heat island effect, water availability). The expected results will define a methodological structure to create a sensitivity mapping to meteorological phenomena, based on the data support from Colouree towards the carrying capacity of the urban fabric, making information more accessible thanks to the data visualization and web-based mapping, including, among the stakeholders, not only experts but also professionals and citizens.

Maria Canepa, Adriano Magliocco, Nicola Pisani

Open Access

Chapter 65. Fog Water Harvesting Through Smart Façade for a Climate Resilient Built Environment

Water emergency is one of the terrible effects of climate change; it is defined as the Blue gold of twenty-first century. In this scenario, fog stands as a potential alternative water resource. Many territories are affected by fog phenomenon; here fog collectors have been developed to extract water from humid mass of air. The aim of this paper is to explore the application of this technology in building sector. The Large Fog Collector is the device commonly used for these projects; it is a textile structure, composed of a mesh, two poles and cables. The exploitation of conventional water resources implies a massive distribution system with significant energy consumption and costs. Otherwise, fog harvesting is a passive system; it relieves the stress upon freshwater resources. Nowadays, fog collectors are low tech devices, and fog harvesting projects are commonly developed in arid areas for agricultural and reforestation purposes. Nevertheless, taking advantage of the vertical development of the device, this textile structure shall be integrated in façade, to promote resilient constructions and make buildings water self-sufficient. The paper explores the design criteria for the development of a novel concept of smart water collecting façade. It can promote also shading effect, reducing the use of cooling system, energy demand, so lowering the ecological footprint. Depending on fog Liquid Water Content, the collected water can be used for the irrigation of green roofs, gardens or in an optimal scenario also for domestic use. The analysis of local weather data is crucial to extend the territories where this system can be applied; but, more important, the improvement of the device’s technology is essential to implement it in new application fields.

Maria Giovanna Di Bitonto, Alara Kutlu, Alessandra Zanelli

Open Access

Chapter 66. Building Façade Retrofit: A Comparison Between Current Methodologies and Innovative Membranes Strategies for Overcoming the Existing Retrofit Constraints

The constant expansion of the cities outside their borders, together with the rapid growth of new technologies and the environmental impact of the building sector, make existing buildings quickly obsolete, both in terms of their functions and their performances. Achieving the goal for greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 implies the necessity to improve the energy performances of the building stock and, for doing so, to overcome the existing constraints that very often prevent builders, tenants and residents from undergoing a renovation process. Given also that the building renovation contributes in the up-cycle strategy of the building stock, avoiding the production of unnecessary waste caused by demolition processes, innovative fast and average costly solutions must be shaped in order to encourage building façade renovation processes at different scales of interventions. Considering that membranes present some inherent properties (such as lightness, thinness, fast assembly, etc.) that make them suitable for both temporary and permanent façade renovations and valuable for overcoming current retrofit constraints, their investigation is of primary interest in order to promote and achieve an extensive building façade renovation. Starting by the investigation of Textile-based Façade Retrofit Solutions (TFRS), this analysis aims at comparing current methodologies with innovative membranes retrofit strategies, in order to evaluate the effectiveness and advantages of textile-based products in overcoming existing constraints to façade retrofit. The main goal of the analysis is to present innovative membrane existing solutions for making building façades resilient and adaptable to the several requirements expected from time to time. The research highlights future developments for TFRS with regard to both temporary and permanent solutions through their employment over existing façades.

Giulia Procaccini, Carol Monticelli

Open Access

Chapter 67. Technologies and Solutions for Collaborative Processes in Mutating Cities

The city, a place of contemporary living par excellence, challenges the planner by making it necessary to adapt progressively quicker to changes and to overcome the traditional design approach linked to the modern idea of the industrial city. Indeed, living in non-stationary contexts, the complexity of problems nowadays requires a new planning endeavor capable of testing future solutions ‘in the field’ rather than ‘on paper,’ involving citizens, but also continuously adapting processes to achieve the expected results. The proposed contribution aims to document possible ways to trigger virtuous urban renewal processes, sustainably activating tangible and intangible resources. The topic will be investigated from the point of view of the triad: ‘project, technology, and digital solutions,’ adopting a social perspective. The latter ensures the active involvement of citizens in strategic decisions, increasing their awareness and civic sense, but also supporting the proposition of evolving planning scenarios in order to develop solutions that will be concrete, achievable, and resilient. The core element concerns the way in which it is possible to promote the creation of an extended social mind through which collective behavioral change can be fostered. In some cases, digital technologies prove to be the effective ‘expert instrument,’ also for understanding the planned intervention, opening the design process for different stakeholders not necessarily familiar with technical conventions. According to Floridi, digital transformation ‘disconnects and reconnects specific processes,’ and the project represents the most powerful innovation element to promote the ecological transition. These dynamics will be explored through the analysis of some research and project activities that directly involved the authors of this article.

Daniele Fanzini, Irina Rotaru, Nour Zreika

Open Access

Chapter 68. New Perspectives for the Building Heritage in Depopulated Areas: A Methodological Approach for Evaluating Sustainable Reuse and Upcycling Strategies

The building reuse can reduce both consumption of non-renewable resources and production of construction and demolition waste, preserving the architectural and constructive culture. The progressive depopulation of the European inner areas is an opportunity to discuss the potential of reuse and sustainable adaptation of extensive heritage sites to cope with abandonment processes. The study of depopulation processes, as well as the investigation of case studies, allows to analyze the main strategies implemented to regenerate and repopulate abandoned inner areas, to highlight successful approaches and intervention criteria. In this scenario, “smart shrinkage” emerges as a powerful strategy to systemize resources and values embedded in the territories. On the basis of the economic-territorial interpretation of the performance decay process of buildings and settlement systems, developed by the research group of the Universities of Sassari and Catania, the paper proposes a multi-scale methodological approach for the evaluation of enhancement strategies and technological upcycling. The research links building performance with the urban and territorial values, integrating the Performance-Based Building Design in an axiological approach based on the solidarity between functions and values, referring to the economic category of human and urban capital. The model is tailored to the characteristics of Sardinia, the Italian region with the strongest population shrinkage in inner areas. The result is an analysis-evaluation-programming model, based on an iterative process of information/decision-making, allowing to steer intervention strategies toward a balance between the rehabilitation of the built environment and the enhancement of cultural and environmental resources, offering new opportunities for socioeconomic development.

Antonello Monsù Scolaro, Stefania De Medici, Salvatore Giuffrida, Maria Rosa Trovato, Cheren Cappello, Ludovica Nasca, Fuat Emre Kaya

Open Access

Chapter 69. Climate Adaptation in Urban Regeneration: A Cross-Scale Digital Design Workflow

Urban vulnerability has many facets. Among these, urban texture and plot pattern, building massing and density, greatly affect the microclimate. Thence, redefining urban regeneration design criteria for climate neutrality is crucial, including environmental factors in the design process at different scales. In the light of climate change, despite this urgent call, adaptive design approaches useful to assess trade-offs between urban regeneration scenarios and microclimate quality are lacking. This paper introduces a novel digital design workflow that integrates climate quality and associated indicators in urban and building design, adopting a cross-scale approach. The main goal is to increase the resilience of the built environment in the foresight of future scenarios, by promoting climate-sensitive design solutions. Environmental performances were analysed using digital tools and implemented in a design workflow, allowing urban microclimate analysis. Performance metrics were calculated using Urban Weather Generator and Energy Plus. With the former tool a climate performance comparative study has been run in different scenarios, by varying morphological parameters and computing the intensity of the Urban Heat Island. While, Energy Plus was used to simulate the impact of building form and UHI on building energy demand, highlighting the interdependence of different design scales and addressing optimal building performance. The results provide additional levels of knowledge, both in terms of analysis and design scenario evaluation: urban metrics and climate impacts, building form and envelope design, adaptation solutions. This workflow is tested and a scenario suitability for the Mediterranean city is shown, exploiting the research-by-design transformations of 22@ Innovation District of Barcelona. The paper highlights the correlation between microclimate and design solutions and lays the foundations for a climate/design cross-talk to help policymakers and practitioners achieve urban climate adaptation goals.

Michele Morganti, Diletta Ricci

Open Access

Chapter 70. Adaptive “Velari”

As it is known, the global phenomenon of rising temperatures causes uncomfortable and often harmful conditions for human beings living in moderate-climate zones, such as the Mediterranean area, especially in the hottest periods. Examinations of metropolitan cities can witness that high temperatures generate Urban Heat Island (UHI), due to population, buildings, vehicles and human activities in general. With the increase of rising temperatures in the latest decades, people living in big cities have gotten used to tackling heat discomfort with electricity charged cooling systems. As a result, the energy consumption for air-conditioning causes UHIs’ effects to further grow. It is scientifically confirmed that the behavioral habit of relying on artificially generated cold whenever temperatures rise will eventually make the climate crisis more problematic in the near future. Energy communities are used to producing, storing and consuming energy on site; therefore, power sources must be in close proximity to users. Albeit neglected in the Modern Era, the most proximate and sustainable energy supply is directly available to us: sunlight. The origin of hot temperatures, discomfort and energy waste is, indeed, the most exploitable power generator men can access to. In Southern Europe or Middle East cities, the use of veils as urban-scale shading devices is part of the consolidated tradition; a well-known example can be found in the Spanish city of Sevilla, where textile curtains named “Sevillans” are stretched between buildings. At the present time, we’re witnessing that the climate mitigation action of shading systems can be pursued in combination with energy production, with the development of membrane integrated flexible photovoltaic cells (PV). Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, designed by the Foster Studio, or the Solar trees of the German pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan and the Promenade of the EXPO 2021 in Dubai are some innovative yet relevant cases. The use of PV cells for sun-shielding purposes is optimal to respond to a double-sided problem with a single object. Manufacturing an adaptive velario using composite fibers (i-Mesh), could both allow us to design the shape and modulate the density of integrated PV cells as needed. Method: To identify the best position for the adaptive tensile canopies, it is necessary to superimpose different site-specific data: temperatures in the urban area, in particular close to buildings; surfaces that receive most of the daytime radiation; sunlight and ventilation. To develop the most suitable solutions to many environmental scenarios, three-dimensional simulations performed with virtual models must be used both at urban (Envimet) and at building scale (in-Sight). Expected results: An algorithm capable of determining the “Velari” best position and the proper shading/density factor. A model, applied to a case study in Rome, to serve an evaluation of the benefits of this technology in terms of decreasing surface temperatures of external horizontal and vertical surfaces of buildings and streets.

Alberto Raimondi, Laura Rosini

Open Access

Chapter 71. Temporary Climate Change Adaptation: 5 Measures for Outdoor Spaces of the Mid-Adriatic City

The paper aims to identify a set of systemic measures that, through the temporary use of devices, space configurators, and installations, is capable of responding promptly to the vulnerability factors of a given outdoor space, flanking adaptation plans which require time to be assimilated into ordinary territory management tools. Based on the INTERREG Italy-Croatia Joint_SECAP project data of 9 target areas located on the two sides of the Adriatic Sea the document refers to a reference framework on risks and vulnerabilities of urban coastal areas and recurring climatic events. From a case studies analysis, built on climate hazards and on outdoor space configurations, the paper extracts replicability features and attempts to propose feasible models based on reversible and reconfigurable matrices that can be exported into contexts with similar characteristics. It follows that a technological design sensitivity capable of enhancing elastic spatial setups must be consolidated in order to address the needs of a specific outdoor space, during a climatic—or non-climatic—event, assuming that the city is a continuously evolving organism, with an in-grown ability to accommodate the variability of events.

Timothy Daniel Brownlee

Open Access

Chapter 72. A Serious Game Proposal for Exploring and Designing Urban Sustainability

This contribution reports on part of the research carried out in the development of a digital serious game to explore and design urban sustainability. The work investigates the application of role-playing logics in urban transformation planning processes. Digital technologies support the participatory process and allow users to learn, interact and discuss the effectiveness of solutions when co-designing quality conditions for the everyday living environment and the sustainable development of their area. The method intends to develop procedures and simulations that aim to clarify and verify the results that transformations can have on the area’s ecological footprint. During the game, players gain knowledge and awareness of the individual behaviour changes and the built environment trasformations, necessary in order to impact their areas as sustainably and as little as possible. Prefiguring resilient and sustainable urban habitats, increasing user awareness of the need to adopt more responsible behaviours, increasing ability of the built environment to meet community needs by practising low environmental impact lifestyles: these key aspects are observing at all phases of the design process. This paper describes the progress of research carried out on the construction of the structure and rules of the game, developed prior to testing the method in the context of the municipality of Rescaldina, in the Milan metropolitan area.

Manuela Romano, Alessandro Rogora

Open Access

Chapter 73. Energy Efficiency Improvement in Industrial Brownfield Heritage Buildings: Case Study of “Beko”

Brownfield sites often form on industrial sites of once successful companies dating from the era of industrialization, due to loss of active function and despite their historical significance. Accompanied by urban decline, they contribute to continuous pollution, decrease in economic values, as well as loss of local identity. On the other hand, they represent a reserve of space of great potential in central urban locations. The main purpose of this research is to examine possibilities for improvement by their reuse, while preserving built-in cultural values and acknowledging contemporary requirements. A review of contemporary literature considering the concept of brownfield sites provides a starting theoretical basis for understanding their strengths and potentials, as well as the problems when redeveloping such sites. The subject of the research is exploring strategies for brownfield revitalization while reactivating industrial buildings through adaptive reuse. This includes sustainable solutions in accordance with modern requirements, especially energy efficiency, as one of the main concepts of existing building stock improvement that recognizes importance of responsible energy resources management. The paper includes a case study of the previously devastated brownfield site of “Beko” industrial building, located in the central urban area of Belgrade. Its former state, as well as parts of the documentation for reconstruction and its conversion into a modern business facility “Kalemegdan Business Center,” is thoroughly analyzed, emphasizing the positive results of energy efficiency improvements despite the restrictions intended for historic buildings alterations. The aim of the paper is to create a theoretical platform that provides firm arguments in favor of realizing the importance and potentials of industrial brownfield sites revitalization at present, as well as the constraints regarding its practical implementation considering buildings of cultural value.

Jelena Pavlović, Ana Šabanović, Nataša Ćuković-Ignjatović

Open Access

Chapter 74. Industrial Heritage of Belgrade: Brownfield Sites Revitalization Status, Potentials and Opportunities Missed

Being created during the period of intensive industrialization, industrial buildings and landscapes carry importance as birth places of rapid technological progress, social and economic changes, which has established their great significance for modern human history and identity. Termination of their active function causes symptoms of decline to appear gradually, and their number decreases as the time passes. They are often endangered regardless of their protection status. Implementation of adaptive reuse principles allows for less strict approach to conservation practice, and its benefits are demonstrated worldwide. Despite that fact, industrial heritage has not been revitalized enough through adequately treated sites in Serbia. That indicates lack of understanding of the value of this cultural and historical heritage, as well as its suitable future purposes, impossible without some form of active dialog between participants in the planning process. The legal preconditions for this collaboration exist in Serbian regulations, and they are examined in the paper, but other potential causes of the lack of consensus that result in failure are also explored. In Belgrade, industrial brownfields occupy attractive locations, often targeted for market-driven redevelopment. For that reason, the paper explores current practice of revitalizing brownfield sites of industrial heritage in Belgrade. It considers the achievements, probable missed opportunities, and remaining potentials where acquired knowledge can be utilized. Key results of the research define critical points in the planning process for the preservation of values despite the modernity of brownfield sites transformations. The purpose of this paper is to help safeguard industrial landscapes of Belgrade and Serbia, and their sustainable conversion, the most adequate for the present moment, as well as to contribute to urban reconstruction of declining landscapes to which these brownfield sites belong.

Jelena Pavlović, Ana Šabanović, Nataša Ćuković-Ignjatović

Open Access

Chapter 75. Challenges and Potentials of Green Roof Retrofit: A Case Study

Green roofs are becoming common practice in building new public buildings and are considered the roofs for the future since they address the issue of energy and environment simultaneously, providing social, environmental and economic benefits. Despite these benefits, retrofitting an existing building with a green roof is not widely practiced. Undergoing such a project is no small task since it requires a thorough investigation of existing building's constraints, functional, material, and technological to even begin considering design options. Therefore, this process requires specific, case-sensitive approach, especially with the aim of improving the building’s energy performance. This paper presents a methodological approach and design proposals of a green roof retrofit project, through a case study of Belgrade’s “City Housing” building. This retrofit project presents an interesting research topic since it incorporates three distinct roofs, of all of different types, different ways of accessibility and levels of privacy, varying top-to-bottom from a simple extensive roof through a semi-public semi/intensive roof garden to a ground-level public park with trees and intensive vegetation. Also, since this building provides socially significant services, it is frequently visited by general public which presents a potential for introducing educational and demonstration elements in the retrofit project, not only the functional and technological ones. That way, this project can be a showcase example, promoting greening the roofs of Belgrade’s existing public buildings as a way of improving their energy performance.

Nikola Miletić, Bojana Zeković, Nataša Ćuković Ignjatović, Dušan Ignjatović

Open Access

Chapter 76. Designing with Nature Climate-Resilient Cities: A Lesson from Copenhagen

Climate change is accelerating at a faster rate than previously anticipated, and a significant number of cities remain unprepared for this transition. There is a pressing need to reconsider the approach to the design of public spaces, directing attention towards the development of design concepts that can impart knowledge for adaptation to climate change. Landscape architects, through nature-based solutions, can emerge as key figures capable of regenerating urban spaces. The case study of this research is the city of Copenhagen, which has become the stage of the most innovative experiments to create climate-resilient urban spaces. It is evident that a multidisciplinary and site-specific approach can be the critical components for a successful transition. Such a transition necessitates innovative project management that involves the collaboration of municipalities, private stakeholders, and citizens. Natural-based solutions, through an ecosystem approach, can effectively address the environmental, social, and economic challenges presented by climate change.

Maicol Negrello

Open Access

Chapter 77. New Urban Centralities: Universities as a Paradigm for a Sustainable City

The urgency of facing up to the new challenges posed by climate change has relaunched the debate on the future of the city, a thought which points to public buildings as the way to promote the main processes of urban regeneration, both physical and social. Universities and their spaces are among the permanent architectures of the consolidated fabric. With their educational role par excellence, they are one of the most suitable urban institutions through which to promote an environmentally responsible attitude. The concept of sustainability is now an undisputed value which involves all applied disciplines, but the debate on how architecture should respond to this urgent need is still open. This paper proposes dialectical ecologism as an attitude to achieve significant environmental standards not only through the choice of sustainable materials and technologies, but also by rediscovering in public and community spaces, as well as in the character and language of architecture, the potential to make the built environment adaptable and resilient to contemporary challenges. In these terms, an initial theoretical reflection, whose main subject is the university campus and its contribution in terms of ecological impact and wise use of resources, will be followed by a description of the themes that guide sustainable design, which find application in the actions recently conducted on two Milan campuses of the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Camilla Maitan, Emilio Faroldi

Session | Health


Open Access

Chapter 78. Environment for Healthy Living

How do we build a healthy vision of the future? What interventions should architects promote to support human health and well-being, and from where do we start? The paper discusses the concept of health in a broader vision through international documents, focusing on the area of action for architects, and stressing the crucial role of collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approaches to achieving optimal health balance. Moreover, it argues that the various contributions presented at the Conference link them to a unique vision.

Francesca Giofrè

Open Access

Chapter 79. New Paradigms for Indoor Healthy Living

For some time, we have been witnessing a series of alarms that warn us that our wealth is leading to an exaggerated and increasing use of energy and resources, as well as the deep and irreversible transformation of natural systems and social inequality, causing a continuous growth of the overall impact of the human species. “Ecology” and “environment” have become the key words of the third millennium: a media bombardment that has helped to overcome the insurmountable barrier of indifference and insensitivity. Everything that has to do with architectural design, from the choice of materials to the technologies used, has been confronted with the term “sustainability,” whose meaning, despite the attempt to place it in a univocal definitional apparatus, always takes on different nuances and meanings. The text defines the complex system of principles that animate architecture today whether those aimed at greater attention to and protection of the health of users and the environment or also concerns social and economic issues when it is proposed as a cultural, social, ecological and economic change necessary to safeguard future generations. Today, we are often witnesses of an inadequacy and poor quality that concerns precisely the aspects of health and safety. The origin of this failure is attributable to attitudes, indifferent to housing needs, easily found in the majority of designers: the environmental scale of the project intended mainly as morpho-typological abstraction, the superficiality in technological choices, and the poor verification of interactions between technical elements and housing needs.

Alberto De Capua

Open Access

Chapter 80. Healthy and Empowering Life in Schoolyards. The Case of Dante Alighieri School in Milan

This paper presents a participatory process aimed at improving outdoor education in a primary school in Milan. The rationale of this work was that the psycho-physical benefits for children from outdoor living could be enhanced through outdoor education. Indeed, open-air environments are fit for supporting learning experiences, bringing out different abilities and improving well-being. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, schoolyards turned out to be a resource for overcoming physical distancing. Nevertheless, the availability of flexible physical environments and proper equipment for the educational goals is a basic condition for overcoming difficulties in the extensive use of outdoor spaces in schools. The purpose of this work was to support the school in designing new outdoor educational environments with a focused vision on the pedagogical context. Thus, the process was developed by a multidisciplinary team with the involvement of the students and the teaching staff. By the initial analytical stage, site and use conditions as well as emerging needs were enlightened. These outcomes were assumed to develop a design solution both suitable for the innovation goals and attentive to environmental aspects. The proposal was selected for funding by the Municipality and implemented. Finally, a three-year post-occupancy evaluation program started in the earliest stages of use. In conclusion, by the first monitoring activities, it emerged that outdoor educational experiences increased and diversified from the past, together with students’ perception of opportunities and benefits achieved from more frequent and longer work in external environments, and their expectation of involvement in proposing further implementations.

Valentina Dessì, Maria Fianchini, Franca Zuccoli, Raffaella Colombo, Noemi Morrone

Open Access

Chapter 81. Design for Emergency: Inclusive Housing Solution

The paper describes a study on the growing emergency of homelessness, of which alarming data are estimated at national and European levels and which the Cohesion policies of the European Community are addressing. Thanks to the recent launch of the Collaboration Platform on Homelessness to stimulate dialog, improve data collection and monitoring and strengthen cooperation between all actors involved in the fight against the phenomenon. The emerging concept of ‘Design for Emergency’ highlights the historical link between temporary and emergency living regarding the welfare and health implications of the weak. The aim is twofold: to define a theoretical and design model that can be repeated, contributing on the one hand to a process of social reintegration for fragile realities and on the other to the circularity of construction processes and the recovery of resources and components, through innovative housing solutions, with characteristics of modularity, disassembly and dry connections. The results, deriving from a deductive scalar methodological approach, concern: (i) data collection is inherent to the issues addressed, the emergency conditions; (ii) a critical analysis of the data acquired and systematized; (iii) methodological and design experimentation. The research hopes for repeatable results in diverse marginal contexts, respecting the disparate needs not only of the users but of the place where the temporary installation will be needed. This is an aspect in which the intervention of the municipal administrations and all possible stakeholders involved is fundamental and which at the moment may represent a limitation, albeit a surmountable one of the research.

Francesca Giglio, Sara Sansotta

Open Access

Chapter 82. Environmental Sensing and Simulation for Healthy Districts: A Comparison Between Field Measurements and CFD Model

Atmospheric Particulate Matter (PM) is considered among the main risk factors for cardiovascular, respiratory, and carcinogenic diseases. Besides, heat waves accounted for 68% of natural hazard-related deaths in Europe between 1980 and 2017 and many climate models project a global rise in climate hazards. Environmental Monitoring (EM) is a key resource to control health determinants, addressing threats arising from unhealthy external conditions. Forecasting models may need data coming from pervasive distributed sensor networks and computational simulations. Moreover, district-scale Environmental Sensing (ES) and Environmental Modelling Simulation (EMS) may identify criticalities and specific strategies to mitigate climate risk affecting physical health. This paper compares the output from ES, by field measurements during a “climate walk” joined by more than 60 people, with EMS, by a Computational Fluid Dynamic software (CFD). The assessment has been performed on a real urban district. For on-site measurements, data were acquired by low-cost IoT-based sensors developed by the authors. For simulations, we used ENVI-met, a prognostic non-hydrostatic CFD. Potential Air Temperature and PM 10-2.5 concentration parameters have been measured and simulated on a specific winter day. Results are presented and discussed through a visualisation matrix making the comparison direct. The analysis of the results pointed out the role of ES and EMS for high-resolution scenarios assessment. Although real-time monitoring needs extensive infrastructure at the urban scale, the use of low-cost sensors and a citizen science approach could provide precise input data to support even more accurate models, towards a healthy district site-specific design perspective. This may finally contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 11.6, aiming at reducing the adverse environmental impact of cities, thus paying particular attention to air quality.

Matteo Giovanardi, Matteo Trane, Riccardo Pollo

Open Access

Chapter 83. A Synthesis Paradigm as a Way of Bringing Back to Life the Artistic Monuments Inspired by the Motives of the People’s Liberation Struggle and Revolution of Yugoslavia

The artistic monuments inspired by the motives of the People’s Liberation Struggle and Revolution of Yugoslavia are stratified phenomena constructed through a multitude of meanings. They are an indispensable part of important movements of architectural thought: the Yugoslavian avant-garde and the synthesis of all arts as its distinctive operational mode; the process of how the modern non-figurative means became an official language to Yugoslavian socialist ideology as opposed to the soc-realist figuration of the Eastern Bloc; the popularization of the Yugoslavian heritage taking place in the last decade as a unique enclave of the world scene of modern architecture, etc. This paper aims to argument their conception and meaning as a complex synthesis of art, architecture, technology and nature, and at the same time to open a potential health paradigm positioning them in the context of open-air culture, new ritual practices of social memory and new museum-destination types of contemporary art forms. In terms of methodology, this study puts together architectural scholars who actively work on the problem of the synthesis of the arts, offers a detailed review of existing scientific knowledge on artistic monuments in order to provide a new conceptual frame, an instructive yet speculative material that can alter the perception away from the old ideological stand into a new and healthy synthesized experience. Apart from the theorization of this synthesis paradigm as a way of bringing back to life the artistic monuments inspired by the motives of the People’s Liberation Struggle and Revolution of Yugoslavia, this paper provides criteria for this new conceptual frame and showcases them upon selected case study.

Meri Batakoja, Tihana Hrastar

Open Access

Chapter 84. Social Sustainability and Inclusive Environments in Neighbourhood Sustainability Assessment Tools

Neighbourhood Sustainability Assessment (NSA) tools are voluntary rating systems for certifying sustainable neighbourhoods in case of new constructions or urban renewals. They consist of categories and indicators to value specific performances. Their purpose is to objectify planned interventions assigning a final score which identifies the overall performance of the district in terms of sustainability. However, is it possible to affirm that these systems actually contribute to the improvement of inclusiveness and healthy living in the neighbourhoods? This question arises as a reflection on the two main issues that contemporary cities have to face urgently which are urbanization and ageing population, focusing attention on developed countries. In this regard, “new” urban spaces are called to achieve inclusion and healthy living for all the people and the neighbourhood represents the right scale for reasoning about. The present study investigates some of the most commonly used neighbourhood scale tools (BREEAM Communities, GBC Italia, DGNB Districts, Living Community Challenge, EcoDistricts) looking at how these systems can help to create more inclusive districts. In particular, the analysis aims to understand how much the social pillar of sustainability affects on urban wellbeing. In fact, there is the evidence that in most NSA tools environmental dimension shall prevails on the others. Through a review of each protocol’s “social” categories and of the recent literature on these topics, the study wants to underline criticalities and potentialities of NSA systems and tries to understand in which way a new protocol should act in order to help municipalities, planners and stakeholders in designing inclusive and accessible environments for all.

Rosaria Revellini

Open Access

Chapter 85. Inclusive Neighborhoods in a Healthy City: Walkability Assessment and Guidance in Rome

With the increasingly global and European attention toward healthy inclusive cities, the focus on pedestrian-friendly environments, as a tool to encourage and support healthy lifestyles for people of all social groups and ages, continues to rise. This article aims to assess “walkability” as one of the main conditions of a built environment that enhances “healthy living”, a core theme of the Zagreb Declaration for Healthy Cities. Transit-Oriented Development Standard (TOD Standard) is used as a tool to evaluate the walkability level in San Giovanni area in Rome, Italy. Through urban plans and measurements of the pedestrian realms, the research evaluates the state of walkability through a metric scoring method of the walkways’ segments. The analysis demonstrates the percentages of all-accessible walkway segments and crosswalks that are safe in all directions; segments with visually active frontages; physically permeable frontages; and segments that incorporate adequate shade or shelter. The results show the pedestrian realm’s level of safety, completeness, accessibility to all; its activeness and vibrance; and its level of comfort. The conclusions provide guidance for areas of intervention to make walking accessible for everyone and support decision-making processes to develop inclusive neighborhoods, as a part of the future policies for equitable access and mobility in a healthy city.

Mohamed Eledeisy

Open Access

Chapter 86. Tools and Strategies for Health Promotion in Urban Context: Technology and Innovation for Enhancing Parish Ecclesiastical Heritage Through Sport and Inclusion

The relationship between the built environment and health is an increasingly important issue in the planning and regeneration of the contemporary city. The contribution reflects on the impact of sport and social inclusion on the population’s health and well-being, moving from the results of a research experience. The project involves the parish ecclesiastical heritage. It proposes methods committed to its regeneration and innovation, aiming to enhance the oratorio sports facilities in a multi-generation, inclusive, and health education perspective. The definition of a multidisciplinary and analytical tool is based on a set of qualitative and quantitative criteria, for assessing the structures in different aspects, to reconsider the pre-existing sport facilities, and suggesting strategies for the renovation and innovation of their spaces and services. The application of the tool to the parish facilities brings extensive reflections on the importance of promotion of physical activity and of the creation of accessible social environments, suggesting strategies for more liveable and healthy community spaces; moreover, it contributes to the definition of systemic strategies and scientific tools for the enhancing of built heritage in the urban context.

Francesca Daprà, Davide Allegri, Erica Isa Mosca

Open Access

Chapter 87. Nursing Homes During COVID-19 Pandemic—A Systematic Literature Review for COVID-19 Proof Architecture Design Strategies

The immense impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on older adults living in nursing homes (NH) and other long-term care facilities, who at baseline are at increased risk of infection due to fragility, cognitive impairments, and complex comorbidities, has renewed the attention of researchers to the unmet needs of this population. It is well known that the built environment can significantly influence human health, a reality which is often overlooked in the setting of NHs. Recognizing how qualities of the NH built environment can influence resident outcomes, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, can provide architects and medical professionals implementable strategies. As such, we conducted a systematic literature review from May to November 2021 to identify components of the NH built environment and their potential impacts on the health and well-being of NH residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Relevant articles were identified with a search of Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed scientific databases, as well as a search of gray literature. The initial search resulted 481 articles, though after the application of eligibility criteria and full-text screening, 17 articles remained for inclusion. From these, a total of 24 built environment features were identified, divided across four domain levels of NHs: Overall Facility, Building, Service Space, and Residential Room. These features were differentially linked to improved facility infection control, decreased COVID-19 incidence and mortality from COVID-19, better air quality, and enhanced resident health, quality of life, and socialization. This research defines a set of design/architecture strategies that NHs may implement to improve COVID-19-related outcomes as well as the overall health and quality of life of their residents. Additional research utilizing primary data and testing these identified interventions is needed to provide stronger evidence-based suggestions.

Silvia Mangili, Tianzhi Sun, Alexander Achille Johnson

Open Access

Chapter 88. A New Generation of Territorial Healthcare Infrastructures After COVID-19. The Transition to Community Homes and Community Hospitals into the Framework of the Italian Recovery Plan

COVID-19 disrupted existing processes and accelerated the rethinking of healthcare spaces, functions, and model of care, stressing the ineffectiveness of the territorial health network in the Italian National Health System (NHS). Within the framework of European Recovery Plan (Next Generation EU), Italy’s Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza (PNRR) allocated €15.63 Bn in the Mission 6 “Health” to strengthen proximity networks, facilities, and telemedicine for territorial healthcare. Aware of the importance that the physical built environment plays in the process of care delivery and health promotion and prevention, €3 Bn has been allocated to the planning, design, and construction of two new low-care typologies in a vision of person-centered healthcare: the Community Home (Casa della Comunità-CdC), and the Community Hospital (Ospedale di Comunità-OdC). It has been estimated that 795 new CdCs and 381 new OdCs will completed before 2026 as novel buildings or renovation of existing healthcare facilities. Although in European context several best practices are present in terms of integration of healthcare architectures into the urban context (Spanish Health Centers or Swedish Primary Care Centers), the Italian experience is generally outdated, with some regional exceptions; there is the need to understand the architectural characteristics of such new typologies. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to shed light on the spatial, functional, technological, and organizational needs and requirements of CdC and OdCs and to map the different regional requirements in a systematic and structured framework. The methods adopted in the study include a review of national and regional guidelines, data collection from National agency for regional health services (AGENAS) databases, and comparison matrix development of the different requirements in Italian regions. The results will highlight technological and architectural implications of territorial health centers implementation.

Andrea Brambilla, Erica Brusamolin, Stefano Arruzzoli, Stefano Capolongo

Open Access

Chapter 89. Wood Snoezelen. Multisensory Wooden Environments for the Care and Rehabilitation of People with Severe and Very Severe Cognitive Disabilities

The paper wants to present the progress of a research project focused on the study and design of a Snoezelen room made with wooden components. “Snoezelen” refers to closed environments capable of stimulating the senses in people with severe intellectual disabilities and non-self-sufficient people. Within these environments, multisensory stimulation takes place through various equipment and instruments such as optical fibers, water-powered light columns, systems for the reproduction of sounds or vibrations, and materials with different surface treatments. Many studies and researches have demonstrated the effectiveness of multisensory stimulation generated within a Snoezelen environment on children with autism spectrum disorder, and how this has led to beneficial effects such as the reduction in aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviors. The increase and diffusion of these environments, especially in schools, could lead to both an increase in the number of students who can undertake a rehabilitation process, and an increase in the sensory-perceptive aids available to the school. The rehabilitation and multisensory aspect of the Snoezelen methodology is, in this context, emphasized by the use of wood, thanks to its beneficial properties in terms of healthiness, comfort, and influences on psychological aspects. The goal of the research is the design of a wooden Snoezelen environment, the drafting of guidelines for its implementation, and an evaluation schedule for its use. In particular, the environment will be made by applying construction techniques in wood as a material for cladding, finishing, and components of the interior environment.

Agata Tonetti, Massimo Rossetti

Open Access

Chapter 90. The Proximity of Urban Green Spaces as Urban Health Strategy to Promote Active, Inclusive and Salutogenic Cities

Urban Green Spaces (UGS) have several positive effects on Public Health, environmental quality, and cities’ resilience to climate change; UGS are crucial in urban regeneration actions and urban health purposes. Moreover, to better define the UGS’ health impacts, it is important to define and guarantee UGS’ proximity, accessibility, and quality. Aim of the research is a quali-quantitative assessment of the UGS in Italian metropolitan cities, taking Milan, Turin, Florence, and Bologna as preliminary case studies. One of the 1st phases was to draw up dynamic and descriptive GIS-based maps of the relationships between density of population and of urban fabric, UGS’ availability, and their accessibility. Only the areas with a size greater than 15,000 square meters were considered; three buffer zones of proximity were defined: 250, 500, and 750 m. By combining the UGS’ availability with the population’s density, it was possible to quantify the citizens included in the three buffer zones. From the 1st analysis, it is observed that about 90% of the population is served by a quality green area within a buffer area of 750 m; 78% by the buffer zone of 500 m; 49% by the buffer zone of 250 m. Both the elaborated maps and graphs obtained show how population is not equally served by close and accessible UGS. Their geo-localization it’s a preliminary quantitative step (process started in Italy with the introduction of regulations like green areas’ census, mapping, maintenance legislation, and strategic plans), but it’s even more crucial to evaluate the UGS’ quality in terms of accessibility, safety and security features, provision of services and paths.

Maddalena Buffoli, Andrea Rebecchi

Open Access

Chapter 91. Environmental Attributes for Healthcare Professional’s Well-Being

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone and even more so for hard-working healthcare professionals. Contemporary hospitals are now endowed with environmental attributes that contribute to achieving well-being within their environment. However, these attributes tend to be focused on the patient and their experience. This paper examines these issues and describes the attributes of the physical environment that support healthcare professional’s well-being. Within a constructivist approach, the study was conducted in two care units in a mega hospital in Canada, before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data collection includes a spatial evaluation of these care units, healthcare professionals’ spatial behavior, and 44 semi-structured interviews with various healthcare professionals, completed by the mental images. Thematic analysis and triangulation of the data set were conducted. Key attributes identified as promoting healthcare professionals’ well-being include light-color in care units, corridors and public areas of the hospital, and the cleanliness and art elements. Furthermore, panoramic views from the staff lounge, corridors, or elevator lobbies provide access to daylighting. This study highlights the importance of providing healthcare professionals break areas that allow them to find respite, particularly during periods of extreme stress such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Zakia Hammouni, Walter Wittich
Technological Imagination in the Green and Digital Transition
Eugenio Arbizzani
Eliana Cangelli
Carola Clemente
Fabrizio Cumo
Francesca Giofrè
Anna Maria Giovenale
Massimo Palme
Spartaco Paris
Copyright Year
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN