SOFT&GREEN Insights

Moving towards green building

Choosing a headquarters with green features is another way to enhance the environmental sustainability of a company.
Today those who decide to build or restructure their production site or headquarters can make sustainable choices for economic reasons, but also for the purposes of communication.
Here are two examples among many existing in Italy: the Habitat Lab by Saint-Gobain in Corsico, near Milan, and the new headquarters of Intesa Sanpaolo in Turin.

Habitat Lab (See here)
This building has long been considered one of the most advanced examples of sustainability; in fact, the Habitat Lab was the first building in Italy to obtain LEED® Platinum certification (voluntary certification program applied to any type of building and covering its entire life cycle from design to construction).
The building is close to zero consumption, its acoustic comfort is ensured by the insulation solutions adopted, and its lighting is excellent not only thanks to the use of natural light from the building’s orientation, but also thanks to the use of Saint-Gobain technological glass. The use of innovative glass that changes colour depending on the luminous intensity of solar radiation and the use of triple glazing guarantee maximum visual comfort and significant energy savings. Featuring an efficient home automation system, Habitat Lab is also a “laboratory building” that, thanks to 26 monitoring points, detects the performance of the parameters above in real time. Today Habitat Lab is a training centre available to organizations and universities who are interested in developing research on new materials and constructive solutions.

The Intesa Sanpaolo Skyscraper (See here)
The Intesa Sanpaolo headquarters that has been the workplace of more than 2,000 group employees since April 2015 has also received the LEED® Platinum certification. The bank’s headquarters is currently the only building of great height in Europe to be awarded this certification and ranks among the top ten in the world in the New Construction category. The skyscraper is powered with electricity from a renewable hydroelectric source and has 1,600 square metres of photovoltaic panels installed on its southern façade. In normal operating conditions, the skyscraper produces zero polluting emissions. The heating and cooling system by means of a heat pump does not use conventional fuels, instead exploiting the thermal energy of ground water. The rainwater collected in 2 special wells supplies both the green areas’ irrigation network and the cisterns for the bathrooms. The internal lighting system adjusts the lighting intensity depending on the amount of natural light and the presence of people. The suspended, micro-perforated radiant systems in the ceiling which are used for climate control allow optimum indoor comfort to be achieved.
Another peculiarity is its combination of workspaces with public areas, such as the auditorium and the bioclimatic greenhouse. A green area at the top of the tower welcomes visitors at three levels: the restaurant, the exhibition hall and the cafeteria with a panoramic terrace.

Green construction and renovation: the challenge today is to study innovative solutions that will improve quality of life while saving resources.