We often refer to the “health and comfort” of building occupants. What does this mean? An ideal building would be one that you wouldn’t notice or feel, one that would allow the body to exist in a healthy and comfortable state and at a comfortable temperature, or even one which would improve your sense of wellbeing upon entering. How do architects know how to design for your comfort? How can that be measured?
Mold and condensation on the interior surfaces of a house's thermal envelope is a self-evident proof of poor quality and lack of comfort. It can happen on walls, roof, slabs and so on. These phenomena are symptoms of degrading building quality, and have immediate direct consequences on indoor air quality, health of the occupants and the overall comfort inside the house.
In our articles, as we write about Passive Houses, thermal comfort and energy efficiency, we often assign great importance to the term 'thermal bridge'. We'll try to explain here what all the fuss is about.
Last Thursday we had the pleasure of hosting a group of students from Boston Architectural College for a day of site visits and discussions about the ways in which modern and sustainable construction techniques are making their way into the traditional setting of rural Italy.
For fear of stepping too far outside of the box, we have remained in it for far too long. With this little article, I would like to remind you of a modern and beautiful way of continuing to respect the landscape that has made Italy so famous: vegetated roofs, or "green roofs".
We are interested in the idea of using green roofs in landscape heritage areas to reinforce the remaining historic structures, while returning all newly developed surface area into natural vegetation and effectively hiding the new building in the landscape.
The future of the construction industry in Italy is in the energy efficiency improvement of our existing building stock. We are often asked whether you should invest in external insulation or in new windows for the highest return of investment, as far as comfort and energy savings. The short answer is neither or both. Allow us to explain...
No one can argue that the green roof industry is still in an "experimental" phase. Speaker after speaker proved this to be true in the three days of excursions and presentations in and around Hamburg two weeks ago. While there was far too much information exchanged to repeat in detail, I thought I would mention just a couple of general topics of discussion that came out of this excellent conference.
With great delay, the Italian government has finally implemented the EU Directive 2010/31 on Near Zero Energy Buildings. This directive leads the way for the future development of the entire European construction industry: let's explore what it is, shall we?
We are pleased to announce that Emu Architects' very own Enrico Bonilauri has officially become a Certified Passivhaus Designer, after having passed the Passivhaus Institut exam in December 2012. This prestigious and internationally recognized professional certification is, without a doubt, a very important step in our continued education.