Energy savings under the Italian sun with solar shading

© Joe Gough, #4241383, 2019, source:


Sustainability Energy Carbon
Investment cost:
High cost
Cost savings:
Solar energy covers 90 % of the energy demand
High cost
Co2 emission reduction:
Bio-based concrete captures CO2 from the atmosphere (60 kgCO2/m3)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

From the industrial to the modern age...

  • Residential buildings with passive energy standard are built on an abandoned industrial site
  • The complex was built with natural construction materials offering good thermal performance and high indoor comfort
  • Buildings are designed according to the natural sun cycle using solar energy in several forms

Case di Luce in Italy consists of three sustainable passive energy premises built on an abandoned industrial site. It is an example of innovative and energy-efficient construction.

The buildings utilise both passive and active solar energy. Facades are designed according to the natural cycle of the sun offering shading in the summer months and allowing maximum solar gains in the winter. Solar thermal and photovoltaic panels on the roof cover 90 % of the complex's energy needs. The buildings have passive cooling via natural ventilation (north-west orientation) and efficient water management with rainwater recovery.

Sustainable and local construction materials have been used. The concrete frame is made of ecological hemp and lime-based binder with good thermal and mechanical performance. In addition, the material is recyclable and provides high indoor comfort. It is also able to capture CO2 from the atmosphere.

To increase the quality and sustainability of the urban environment, the complex offers a charging station for electric cars and bikes. There are also green public spaces for the residents to enjoy.

Key benefits

  • Bio-based building material provides good thermal performance and CO2 capture from the atmosphere
  • Solar thermal and photovoltaic panels cover 90 % of the complex's energy consumption 

Davis, M. (2016), BuildUp: CASE DI LUCE: Urban Regeneration and Low Carbon Architecture.

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