The Dopolavoro building in Carbonia. Conservation, renovation, reuse

Abstract

 

The Dopolavoro for the employees was designed in 1973 by G. Pulitzer Finali and it represents the most authentic modern building in the central square of Carbonia. It is an autarchic work where the wall structure supports prefabricated slender reinforced concrete trusses, adapted from mine industrial buildings. The renovation, started in 2001 by the local municipality with the consultancy provided by the DICAAR, has responded through diversified approaches on the issues arising from new usage needs, deterioration and modification to discrepancies with the original project, the implementation, and following improper intervention works.

Instrumental analysis and operational protocols for the evaluation of the quality of construction

Abstract

 

The paper shows three examples of research carried out at the University of Bologna which have the aim of defining the procedures for adapting the performance levels and using instrumental analysis and operational protocols according to innovative methodological criteria. Their specificity lies mainly in the attention directed toward those aspects of existing buildings that usually can not be investigated exclusively with quantitative methods. The three lines of research relate to: the expeditious assessment of the seismic vulnerability of building aggregates, the study of wide span wooden roofs in some churches of Bologna and the identification of hidden masonry textures through the use of the thermal imager.

“The design of a system”. Industrialized schools in Italy (1960-1975)

Abstract

 

The historical reconstruction shows how the industrialization of the schools building sector, was developed in Italy far from the corresponding European experiences. In fact, although the school building sector represented in Italy the most actual tender to stage a general process of industrialization of the construction process (for temporal extension and scale of production), the fragmentation of the planning horizon forces the outcomes on a small-scale production. The industrialization of building systems was, thus, deeply related to the single realization (or a small group of buildings). Today, this fact underlines the need to deal “case by case” (through the knowledge of facts and buildings) the actions due to preserve the buildings heritage.

Architecture in iron in the city of XIX century Roof structures of theatres and covered markets in Palermo

Abstract

 

In post-unification Palermo, components manufactured abroad were usually used for complementary iron structures (greenhouses and skylights, projecting roofs, staircases…), whereas, for more demanding works, more weight was given to the contribution of producers with experience gained in the field of metal construction. Analysis is here carried out on the works of greatest importance, from the roofs of the two major theatres to the roofing of food market structures; the finest technicians were employed and a critical debate was triggered in the city with regard to formal, static and building aspects.

Insulating materials in Italian modern construction: techniques and experimentation in the colonies (1925-1940)

Abstract

 

Italian colonial settlements (1870-1940) have provided the territories in which to experiment modern materials and construction techniques, in particular ready-built and standardized solutions, in African difficult climatic and logistic settings. This work focuses on the experimental employment of insulating (Eraclit, Cel-Bes) materials on light metal-frames in Italian colonies. Its object is to trace back the development of such construction techniques through case studies published in contemporary technical reviews and handbooks, underlining the mutual relationship between experimentation and industrialization, between theory and construction practice.

The assessment of environmental sustainability of industrial buildings: implementation and issues in an industrial district

Abstract

 

The research focuses on the sustainability of industrial buildings, providing a review of the main problems in terms of energy and environmental quality, through the application of the assessment tools in force in the territorial context. The general overview of industrial buildings in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is followed by the survey of the typological and constructive aspects of buildings in one industrial district (Maniago, PN). The identified building stock is analysed according to the sustainability criteria, on the basis of the energy and environmental audit of some sample buildings.

Cradle to Cradle:Architecture beyond LCA

Abstract

 

The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) approach is based on the eco-efficiency in accordance with strategies of expansion, up-cycling and enhancement of products both in environmental and social terms. Being this method currently under development, it has been mainly tested in the industrial production cycle, while in the building sector clear guidelines for the application and exhaustive reference cases are still lacking. This paper presents and discusses the application of the C2C methodology to a test building, designed for research purposes, the ZEFiRe – Zero-Energy Fishfarming Research module.

Experimental and numerical assessment of breathing walls performance for theimprovement of air quality and comfort indoors

Abstract

 

The construction of airtight building envelopes within nearly Zero Energy Buildings is likely to generate thermo-hygrometric discomfort indoors, that needs to be managed with airconditioning and ventilation systems. In countertrend, some researches developed in northern Europe countries focused on the construction of “breathing” building envelopes that let in the air (passively or with mechanical devices) through dynamic thermal insulations able to preheat and filter it from possible pollutants. This study reports the results of experimental and analytical assessments of dynamic insulation systems, aimed to the design of a breathing wall system for the application in building renovation interventions.

Parametric design tools and methods for an innovative constructive procedure

Abstract

 

Objective of the study is to analyze the potential of an innovative construction process and verify its applicability through the development of an architectural project in accordance with the principles of product and process sustainability, bioclimatic, economic efficiency and optimization of construction costs and dry-assembly. In particular, the research focused on the development of a methodology of computational analysis through the use of variational- parametric software, in order to aid to the designer in developing optimized solutions according to the criteria and requirements set by the construction process.

Techniques of windows correlation Control issues of the local and widespread thermo-hygrometric performances

Abstract

 

The European Directive EPB-D 2010/31 / EC provides that, from 2020, new buildings are “nearly zero energy”, whereas existing ones, undergoing redevelopment, already since 2015 must be subject to interventions aimed at energy saving. Efficient and properly installed windows frames are therefore a prerequisite for achieving the goals set by the legislation.
This paper, after reviewing the most recent frontier of laying techniques of the window frames, intends to focus on some issues of unsanitary environments, that their application has produced in this last years, in order to understand the causes and find remedial solutions.

Climate Oriented Urban Design.Thermal comfort in urban spaces and energy saving potential in built environments

Abstract

 

The volumetric configuration of the urban textures and the materials that constitute the external surfaces, are the main factors that influence the microclimate of a city. Comprehend and being able to transform in an adequate way the urban settings could contribute to the improvement of the thermal comfort in outdoor and indoor built environments. By using as a principal indicator thermal comfort the variation of the external temperatures in an unprecedented collaboration between different scales and different environmental simulation systems, this paper analyses the energy saving potential given by the use of green and passive techniques and shows the synergies that may arise between outdoor and indoor spaces.

Improving human safety in cultural heritage buildings: experiments on effectiveness of wayfinding systems in a theatre

Abstract

 

Current fire safety regulations in historical buildings are generally limited to the number and dimension of exits and evacuation paths. This approach clearly clashes with preservation criteria because of the need of invasive layout modifications. On the contrary, a “behavioural design” approach could solve this conflict by proposing evacuation facilities based on effective human behaviours. This work proposes an innovative wayfinding system based on phtoluminescent continuous signs. Experiments in a significant real world scenario demonstrate the possibility to considerably decrease the evacuation timing without building layout modifications.

The technical and technological knowledge as part of the restoration intervention

Abstract

 

The intervention for the conservation of an historical building, whatever its architectural and / or artistic value, is more appropriate as much profound is the knowledge of the building. The aim of the research is to reconsider the definition of the possibility of intervention on built heritage, planning restoration interventions as a system in which the technical and technological variables do not place themselves in a dichotomous contrast between them, but in a dialectical relationship within the same design process.

New materials and technologies in in architectural heritage restoration: masonry columns confinement using basalt fibres ropes

Abstract

 

This paper deals with strengthening and consolidation of masonry columns, a long developed issue that also in the past interested restorers and designers in their works. A typical past solution for solving this kind of problem involves the use of a jacketing of the column by metal profiles. Nowadays strips of composite materials have been substituting these last ones but, when it is wanted to maintain the original aspect of the brickwork, this technique cannot be applied, so an experimental campaign about consolidation of masonry columns using a flexible element located in mortar joints has been developed. The results show the effective of this innovative technique in enhancing compressive strength of masonry columns without compromising their aesthetical appearance.

Agro-Urban contact. Comparison between long lasting organisms and foundation villages

Abstract

 

Among the characters that characterize the relationships between agro and urban you place the exploration theme of the urban-function in relation to the rural context. Emerges the comparison between techniques-approaches belonging to the tradition, and those relating to the time of the reclamations where, technique and progress aim at the radical transformation of the processes of construction of places and building organisms, of settlements and agro fabrics. The objective of the research is to investigate the criteria for comparison within the scope of rural landscapes using as case studies San Vito and San Priamo, in Sardinia; identify resources and quality, which could serve as a reference rule for a future declination of contemporary construction methods in agro-contact function

Building Information Modelling: insights, applications, evaluation of limits, additional proposals and widespread strategies

Abstract

 

The acronym BIM identifies a computational method for the numerical modeling of the entire design process whenever there is a high risk of failure of the project or of waste of resources. Today is particularly important to understand the level of harmonization of this kind of systems with the different realities especially in the European context where a high density of not-performing buildings pushes for more and more sustainable redevelopment. In this sense, this research aims to give a contribution to the evelopment of the theory, the practice and the dissemination of this new method.

Evolutionary aspects of the technology of building wood

Abstract

 

The research has as its objective the analysis of the evolutionary aspects of the technology of wood in the planning and realization of the residential house building. Through the study of the architectonic and structural features of the heritage, and of the recent innovations of wood, the historical evolution of the construction methods is pointed out together with the possibility of using wood as structural material. These timber structures have elevated performances, both for their sustainability and energetic efficiency, and for their fire and seismic resistance.

Energy efficient office buildings in Italy

Abstract

 

In order to support the decision-making process and to face with the European Directive, it appears overriding focusing on the analysis of administration buildings because many constructions, owned and occupied by public authorities, enclose offices. These constructions are generally complex for typological aspects, their energy-needs are relevant especially for electricity consumptions and require highlevel of indoor comfort. Hence, the present paper presents the logic reference frame of a research that has studied the influence of some design criteria on the energy performance of office buildings located in Italy and proposes an example of low-energy office building.

Design and construction methods and techniques for the sustainable renovation of existing buildings

Abstract

 

This paper presents a preliminary phase for the study of some possible strategies for the sustainable renovation of a class of existing residential buildings located in Tuscany in the Florence area. The analysis of the building chosen for the research, conducted both from the functional point of view and from the energetic one, will lead to the choice of the most suitable recovery measures, taking into account the climate zone and the building structure.

Sustainability of compact cities: the SOS_UrbanLab activity

Abstract

 

Urban development is facing new challenges to allow the evolution of the environment, in accordance to sustainability principles. In this context, decision makers have to answer to three main issues: how to intervene on the existing compact cities? How to combine and develop interventions on different scales? How to move from requalification to regeneration? The SOS_UrbanLab (Engineering Laboratory for Construction and Environmental Sustainability) researches, starting from a multi-scale analysis, propose a set of ecofriendly solutions to support the potential and capability of territories, integrating their benefits to reach a full sustainable approach.

A new model for a comprehensive comfort assessment methodologyin buildings based on pre and post design procedure

Abstract

 

The research project here presented concerns the definition of a new integrated system for the evaluation and classification of indoor human comfort. In the present context, there is the need to develop a thermal comfort rating system for the building assessment, to be presented along with the energy certification. In order to do that, it is necessary to start off with the existing literature on indoor comfort evaluation models along with the analysis of some sustainable rating systems for buildings.

Application of titania nanocoating to clay brick fau00e7ades for biofouling prevention: efficiency and effect of substratum

Abstract

 

The goal of this study was to explain the influence of the total porosity and the surface roughness on the bioreceptivity of clay bricks by phototrophic microorganisms. This correlation was studied on both specimens treated with TiO2 nanocoating and untreated control specimens. An accelerated fouling test was performed by sprinkling a suspension of Chlorella mirabilis and Chroococcidiopsis fissurarum on sample’s surfaces. Results showed that specimen’s microstructure play a key role in the biofouling process. Finally, TiO2 was able to inhibit the biofouling of clay bricks irradiated with UV-A light except in the case of high porous rough specimens.

New building design through recycling materials

Abstract

 

The artificial aggregates represent the solution for solving the difficult problem of industrial waste disposal and, in addition, they can substitute natural aggregates. Concrete results with simple tools and materials can be produced, such as brick studying its properties and applications with a careful experimentation with productive character. As a consequence, the high environmental quality, if pursued with care for technological innovation, is not a constraint, but a real economic opportunity that increases efficiency of natural resources, energy and materials, for obtaining a final product with high performances

Materials for sustainable transformation of fragile contexts. Designing, building, layering

Abstract

 

The field of interest of this research is the design and the construction in historical contexts. This work has its conceptual structure in the theme of the dual capable of investigating a key aspect of the issues between old and new: their relationship. The lecture key allows a first important step: the interpretation of complex problems through their reduction to pairs of concepts and thus related relations, among which the project takes place. At the base of this research is the vision of architecture primarily as an outcome that may be investigated in its results and its foreshadowing premises and projects.

Panel for Building: a new typology of platform frame

Abstract

 

This paper describes the feasibility and engineering test made on the construction system patented with the name “Panel for Building”. This panel is made of vertical and horizontal profiles in thin pre-formed sheet and two stiffening plasterboard slabs located on opposite sides of the structure. Panel for Building represents an innovation in platform frame structures, because it uses cheap and easily found components. Forth more the use of plasterboard slabs reduces the layers of the wall and improves overall performance. This system allows to construct high performance buildings by optimizing construction time.

Concept of an hydrothermal energy heat pump system for energetic requalification of historical buildings

Abstract

 

Historic buildings are still excluded from the scope of regulatory framework concerning energy efficiency and environmental sustainability since European Directive 2002/91/EC and its following recast. Anyway, it is possible to provide renewable energy source systems in valuable historic buildings according to existing plants characters and possibly controlling complex safety mandatory framework requirements. A case study is presented in order to underline a development of sea hydrothermal energy use in high-value historic building heritage.

Materials for the transformation of weak contexts. Urban quality and new densities on the margin: complex sustainability and soil-occupation techniques.

Abstract

 

It is important to meditate on the essence of dwelling considered as the relation between human beings, spaces and places, and on building as the edification of places via the arrangement of spaces: isn’t it clear how the premodern knowledge of dwelling and building produced forms, simple spaces and complex aggregations able to mediate multiple contingencies that belong to the technical, performance, existential or social spheres? And how can the contemporary mindset convert the combination of the necessities, whether expressed or not, into spaces and places?

A Simulation Model for Building Occupancy Prediction

Abstract

 

At present, few computational methods exist that support architect in predicting how their design will be used and experience after its construction. The research described here aims at establishing a new approach for the computational simulation of building occupancy, focused on a clear definition of use scenarios as specific structures of active entities called Events. They allow the formalization of parts of building use process in terms of Actors involved, Activities performed and Space where these events takes place. This modeling framework is functional to simulation environment, where scripted building use process is effectively computed and simulated..

Precast Concrete Panels for Industrial Architecture in Northern Italy

Abstract

 

The research presented here concerns the use of precast concrete panels for the construction of ‘wide spaces’ and focuses on their presence in industrial architecture in Italy. The purpose is to carry out an analysis and documentation of the use of panels, the development and the present condition of these buildings, following the main research topics of the field of study. The first result is a database on precast concrete industrial architecture in northern-Italy, designed to collect information about the buildings, the prefabricated systems, the designers who worked on prefabrication, and the industry of precast concrete elements.

Analysis and methods of seismic risk in the historic urban areas: the case study in city of Salerno

Abstract

 

The research described in the abstract presents a procedure to address risk assessment of large-scale urban systems with the aim to contribute at the development of risk mitigation policies for downtowns buildings. The observation of the earthquakes effects in Italy clearly highlights the role of the high vulnerability of the existing building on the consequences in terms of casualties and damage, rather than the severity of seismic events, especially in historical contexts. The objective of this study is to propose a procedure and a tool for the assessment and mitigation of seismic risk in urban areas.

The construction of the historic theatres in the Sicilian area: knowledge as a tool for their rehabilitation

Abstract

 

In Sicilian area, as well as elsewhere in Europe, the theatres built between the last decades of the XVIII century and the beginning of the XX century are progressively disappearing because of integrations and substitutions required by the new “modernity”, the change of use of the building itself that do not respect the original purpose. Nevertheless, beyond the updates caused by the respect of the new laws concerning the security in public spaces and a great confidence in concrete, there are still many theatres witness of this very interesting typology. This study recognizes and analyses the peculiar elements of major and minor theatre structures.

Rehabilitation technology of traditional architecture: managing coexistence between conservation and innovation

Abstract

 

The study presented in this abstract focuses its attention on the rehabilitation by the technological point of view of traditional architecture that belongs to historical city nucleus. Which building technology characteristics are considered as constant, and which ones are considered as changeable, in today rehabilitation practice, with respect to the problem of managing the coexistence between conservation of the cultural values and innovation to respond to contemporary exigencies? This study tried to answer this question by applying a comparative case study strategy.

Urban Infiltrations: recovery and reinterpretation of local constructive characters

Abstract

 

A high thermal resistance and air tightness of the building envelope risk to create great internal moisture load with consequences for durability of materials and inhabitants’ comfort and health. The passive solution here proposed is a moisture buffering “active” device (MB-AD), to be integrated in the building envelope, which is able to measure the RH indoors and react by increasing the MB ability of a material forcing the passage of air inside it. The hygrothermal performance of the device has been experimentally tested and results showed that the Moisture Buffering Value measured in the “active” device increased until 29% more than the “passive” one.

M.E.T.A. – project: a software to retrain the historical buildings

Abstract

 

The research offers an easy-to-use instrument (expert system) usable during the stage of the preliminary design, to evaluate the prefeasibility of the operations aimed to the improvement of the energy performances of the building system, compatible with historic and artistic features. The expert system has been processed in collaboration with a partner, a producer of related software and services. The application of this expert system has been conducted on a typical rustic farmhouse, placed in Falciano del Massico and erected with grey tuff in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Reuse and recycling in construction: novel photocatalyticnano-mortars from valorised industrial wastes

Abstract

 

Production of novel eco-composite nano-mortars for architectural finishing, designed to combat environmental pollution affecting building shells, is reported. Specimens consist of a natural hydraulic lime mortar matrix doped with various kinds of nanophotocatalysts, produced from valorized industrial wastes: TiO2-hexaferrite from Fe3O2, and Ti(SO4)2-hydroxyapatite from Atlantic codfish bones. Samples were characterized and their photocatalytic activity was evaluated. Analysis showed that industrial wastes may be usefully reused to produce a new generation of sustainable, cheap and multifunctional novel building materials.

Works of Giuseppe Nicolosi in Cassino: history of the building process and restoration

Abstract

 

The town of Cassino, located in Southern Lazio and stronghold of the German defensive line Gustav, was fully involved in the famous wartime events of the Second World War and, as well know, was completely destroyed its building heritage and infrastructure’s apparatus. Therefore, just after the war the reconstruction of a city without its urban polarities and ordinary residential buildings began. From these issues, the design and construction experience in Cassino of Giuseppe Nicolosi got started. The paper refers this history and provides a contribution to the Italian engineering history of the late twentieth century

Materials for the sustainable transformation of weak contexts

Abstract

 

The structures, the forms, the relational subsystems, the permeabilities, the porosities, the spacial stratifications that define the systems to access and penetrate places are the subjects that direct the reading. The materials, the techniques and the wisely-constructed forms of those pertincences that are found in the most solid and well-preserved environments are the investigation subject with the aim to read the built example of a system of cozy spaces within them. Those places still can teach both a profound spatial and building design lesson.

Photocatalytic nanotreatments for architectural stone surfaces

Abstract

 

Transparent self-cleaning nanocoatings made up by titanium dioxide (TiO2) colloidal suspensions applied by spray on limestone have been tested in order to assess their influence on stone substrates and their photocatalytic activity. The deposition of TiO2 nanoparticles did not lead to damaging effects on substrate, on the other hand self-cleaning efficiency was evident. Furthermore, treated stones have been artificially aged to evaluate their behaviour over time and their possible lifespan. The efficiency of TiO2 nanotreatments seems durable over time, but further investigations are necessary to establish the real resistance of TiO2 on stones.

Analysis of cooperative interpretation of constructive and degradationinformations for the assessment of the state of physical preservation oftraditional architectures in prevalent vertical development. TheANVIV protocol

Abstract

 

The assessment of the conservation status of traditional architectures historical scale requires more extensive analysis tools, which make it possible to synthesize and process parameters of interest for the formulation of an opinion on the state of conservation of the same. The research proposes the development of a protocol for the acquisition of information and interpolation degradation and construction for each sub-system connoting the building, in a position to comment in an expeditious status global and local conservation of the same.

Cost-optimal analysis of building renovation strategies and the assesment of the renovation potential of a built asset

Abstract

 

Different building renovation options have been analyzed, both for energy performances (evaluated adopting the quasi-steady-state calculation method, adopted from national and local regulations, ISO 13790) and for cost of interventions. The economic convenience of different options has been evaluated through different parameters. Between all of them, the Global Cost of the intervention during the predicted economic life cycle appears to be the most suitable parameter to establish the renovation potential of a building and/or a built asset.

Application of LCA methodology to the CLT panels made according to a short chain production process and definition of the benchmarks for environmental impact indicators

Abstract

 

This paper describes the research activities related to the study of LCA methodology applied to the sector of construction and related to possible improvements and developments in this context. The research has provided a first step of analysis of the state of the art and a second one of verification of the methodology through the application to a case of study represented by the CLT panels produced by a company of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Subsequently, a critical analysis of the work was conducted and were proposed qualitative guidelines for the definition of benchmarks for the interpretation of the LCA results.

Proposed Methodology for the sustainable audit in the requalification projects

Abstract

 

The energy audit is a potential approach that can be taken solutions to solve in a coherent way a part of the problem of the redevelopment of existing buildings and its inefficient; a problem that can and must be transformed into a great opportunity. We would introduce a proposal methodology for a “sustainable” audit in which the rules of the sustainable design are applied. This methodology were developed over time and it was tested on several real buildings.

Sustainability in the restoration and management of the historic architecture in Palermo

Abstract

 

This research investigates the energy and environmental sustainability in the restoration and conservation of historic buildings. It focuses on the architectural heritage of Palermo, which can be a significant case study for the Mediterranean area. Its objective is to analyse the current energy performance of this historic architecture and its potential for energy improvement. Therefore, it aims at proposing a methodology to combine the enhancement of energy and environmental performances of the historic architecture of Palermo with the need of its material and aesthetic conservation, in the frame of the current regulations.

Masonry between Art and Science: guidelines for restoring hall buildings

Abstract

 

In this paper a methodology of analysis and intervention for masonry structures is proposed, with particular reference to hall buildings, whose composition is governed by a continuous space with a representative function. In a climate where the principles of restoration are to be respected along with those of structural safety, it is necessary to carefully study the historical, geometric and technological aspects of buildings and use models of structural analysis which allow to limit the consolidation works by interpreting the actual static behavior of masonry constructions.

Urban disaster resilience. The role of built heritage in historical Italian towns

Abstract

 

The concept of Resilience is now closely related to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The built heritage plays an increasingly important role in the definition and implementation of urban resilience to disasters. In particular, historical Italian towns represent a significant example of urban organism, evolved and adapted itself a result of the seismic history of the country, which has characterized morphologies, typologies and masonry construction techniques. The objective of the research is to provide a proposal for preventive strategies for the post-crisis reconstruction, aimed to the implementation of urban resilience.

Analysis of the construction elements of tholoi

Abstract

 

The aim of this study is to show that the analysis of features and construction elements of ancient buildings allow to provide to their correct preservation. A deep knowledge of constructive feature and static behavior allow to verify the hypothesis of tholos completion for the ruins of an ancient architecture, located in the sud-est of Sicily, and called “La Favorita”. Previously, the ruins were attributed by archaeologists to the trigona model, based on the contrast of vaulted spaces which are absent in the above ruins and in tholoi architecture.

A sustainable methodology for the rehabilitation of minor historic centres. A case study in the seismic crater of Abruzzo Region

Abstract

 

The doctoral research links the issue of rehabilitation of small historic centres of Abruzzo Region hit by earthquake of 2009 to the environmental issue, proposing the reuse of this heritage through a sustainable strategy that put in network its potentiality and investigates open spaces and energy networks. The research proposes the development of an operative methodology that helps to overcome the gaps of the reconstruction process and those related to the integration of energy efficiency in historical contexts, providing indicators of compatibility and a lot of compatible solutions.

Smart Mediterranean Neighbourhood: the adaptation of a contextualized strategy

Abstract

 

The smart approach to the built environment transformation is probably the most innovative strategy to join the technological solutions and the environmental conscious behaviour by developing effective and efficient actions. The smart neighbourhood actions are different from framed top-down policies but they are mostly characterized by dynamism, in terms of time and space variables. The research shows how, through this smart strategy, is possible to develop several human sized actions able to fit properly in the way they are structured to grow.

Strategies and technology solutions for the optimal management of building – HVAC system

Abstract

 

Despite increasing attention is paid to the development of strategies and innovative technology solutions for the energy efficiency of building components and systems, especially in the residential sector not much has been deepened on the optimal management of the building-HVAC system. In relation to the specific Mediterranean climatic context of the city of Bari, and in reference to a singlefamily-residential buildings type, different solutions for the energy efficiency and its optimal management have been evaluated through dynamic energy and economic analyzes.

Integrated envelope design process: innovative materials and technologies for a sustainable refurbishment of the existing building stock

Abstract

 

The research project seeks to investigate and promote a new energy efficient architectural strategy for the refurbishment of existing building stock, by proposing innovative and sustainable envelope solutions based on process by-products concept and bio-mimetic approach. The project aims optimizing the exploitation of innovative sustainable materials and technologies to develop a continuous and adaptive façade system that could guarantee high performance, by using a new class of materials (AAM), obtained through the alkali-activation process of ceramic industrial waste.

Technological qualification of building components

Abstract

 

The aim of the research is to operate a technological qualification of building components to guarantee the “suitability” between the existing and new material as well as the “durability”, through an “appropriate” intervention. An “appropriate” restoration should plan the reuse of built heritage and aim to achieve building performance comparable to new buildings. The above methodological approach was tested upon case studies, each of them characterized by different technical and technological aspects (concrete, masonry,mixed structure).

Life Cycle Assessment Applications To Construction Sector

Abstract

 

The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a method developed to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life “from cradle to grave” (from raw material extraction, materials processing, production, transport, use, maintenance until end of life). The LCA has been developed for the industry but can also be applied to construction sector. The research was developed in several stages in order to know the Life Cycle Analysis and to test its application at different levels in the construction sector: products, building elements and new or existing buildings.

The enclosure management in the sustainable construction site

Abstract

 

The research makes a review of identity issue of the mobile and temporary structures in relation to the consolidated urban fabric. In particular, the contribution proposes to examine environmental, energy, economic and socio-cultural impacts which originate from the area during the transformation phase of a urban construction site. The study is based on an exhaustive analysis of the recent developments from which arises the awareness of the criteria which must be considered to realize an experimental pattern to make sure of the essential preconditions for a “smart fence” installation.

Strategies, Technologies and Novel Components for the Architectural Integration of Photovoltaics

Abstract

 

The research deals with the architectural integration of photovoltaics (PV) for the energy retrofit of the existing building stock and the construction of new Zero Energy Buildings. The objective is the study and subsequent definition of strategies, technologies and novel components for the building envelope integrating photovoltaics, with particular attention towards new generation solar technologies. The work also focuses on the energy optimization and performance analysis of a novel BIPV component for sustainable translucent building envelopes, namely a panel made of glass blocks integrated with 3rd generation dye-sensitized solar cells.

Materials for sustainable transformations in weak contexts. Water and Land: technologies for a multiscalar infrastructure

Abstract

 

The research explores the topic of heritage between tradition and modernity, in particular water management technologies through a series of examples in different contexts of Sardinia. Through the study of that relation, the thesis provides an important item for the project of architecture in weak context where water and land are strictly related. The research has the aim to explore the multi-scalarity through that show the relationship between water and architecture, from the territorial system to the building object. The recovery of the objects in the territories could be an important way to recovery not only a building but also a territorial system.

Making buildings green

Abstract

 

Sustainable buildings are low impact elements in the world heritage. There is a biunivocal relation between the building renewal and the energy efficiency; in other words, it is necessary the former for obtaining the latter, and vice versa. In this research, the word “knowledge” gains two meanings: the first is related to the analysis of local resources and building constraints; the second, then, is to know the materials with which the technical solutions are designed. In order to ensure valid data, the numerical simulation represents a further step which takes into consideration variable climatic loads and different conditions of use.

New materials for smart envelope

Abstract

 

Research on building envelope highlights an important change about the concept of building closing: has lost its historical role as a defensive barrier against environmental impacts and has more and more taken on a role as dynamic interface, characterized by an increasingly enhanced performance. In fact, as a consequence of European and National regulations on the energy performances of buildings, many manufactures of building materials have directed their research to the development of highly energy-efficient components and systems. Building envelope is now a superposition of different specialized layers.

First experimental results about the main mechanical characteristics of cement mortar with waste glass

Abstract

 

The residual crashed waste glass is becoming a serious environmental problem because it can be disposed only in landfills. Landfilling is an undesirable solution because waste glasses are not biodegradable, so nowadays the reutilization of this glass has drawn more and more attention, producing strong efforts to find a sustainable alternative to reuse and recycle them. Several studies in the world have shown that it is possible to replace the sand with cullet, partially. In this paper are presented and commented first experimental results of experimental tests using waste glass as a replacement for river sand in cement mortars.

Recovery and reuse of the architectural and urban heritage of Carbonia, materials for a Handbook

Abstract

 

The research, currently underway, aims to outline the construction history of the company town of Carbonia, together with the satellite towns, Bacu Abis and Cortoghiana, in order to build the foundations and materials for a “Handbook for the Recovery”, focused primarily on the residential buildings and its urban fabric. It does not provide a catalogue of standardized solutions, but merely defines a knowledge base to guide the designers towards the recognition of the buildings’ invariant aspects and the understanding of the original architectural expression.

Architectural approaches for the enhancement of stone Alpine heritage

Abstract

 

The purpose of this paper is to show some of the results of the international project Interreg-AlpStone, whose main objective is the conservation and enhancement of the stone building heritage located in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The recovery of this heritage requires their adaptation to the current safety and comfort regulations, while at the same time the conservation of its traditional features. The work method of the research team is composed by the phases of documentation and analysis, laboratory and in situ experimentation and definition of architectural solutions.

The assessment of the school heritage of the early XX century from historical research to onsite investigation

Abstract

 

The paper is going to discuss assessment methods and technologies for historical buildings – from analysis of historical records to onsite diagnostic investigation – in order to point out how the correlation of available sources and data might address the diagnosis process. In detail, the paper is going to focus on the school heritage of the early XX century, where the requirement of high safety levels for so-called relevant structures implies high knowledge levels to guarantee the challenging and desirable balance between conservation and transformation.

Knowledge and experimentation for the maintenance and sustainable restoration of architectural heritage

Abstract

 

The existent building heritage’s retrieval holds the whole of the interventions aimed at preserving, recovering, rebuilding and using better the heritage itself. Any retrieval and restoration procedure and technique of the existing heritage cannot prescind from considering the materials and the building technology used to realize the architectonical work where a necessary intervention is required. The retrieval plan gathers chemical, structural, architectural, technical and functional aspects indissolubly. This knowledge is useful in planning the activities of maintenance and management of the interventions.

Project and prototype: industrialized and prefabricated construction in Italy (1945-1980)

Abstract

 

Based on archival survey, the study sheds the lights on a neglected story. The research track a line between the post war debate, the traditionalist turn of the INA Casa plan, to the main actions of the public planning for housing and schools. However them were false starts. The process, reduced to anachronistic use of foreign building techniques, will last only few years, dilated over time by constant discussion about the results. Once were given up expectations of an overall reconversion of the building sector, prototypes, remain, presently, witnesses of the foresight that Italian experience demonstrated on the small scale industrial production.

Traditional iron building elements in Etnau2019s territory: the front doors

Abstract

 

In the study of traditional construction equipment the building elements in iron are generally present little if neglected at all. In the historical centres, also in eastern Sicily, you can see the widespread presence of iron works such as railings, front doors, shelters. The documentation of their geometrical and constructive aspects, therefore, becomes an important factor for the preservation of the urban image. The analysis here conducted on the ironworks, in eastern Sicily, has been done to identify their formal and constructive aspects and define their mensiochronological parameters

The recovery manuals as operational instruments for intervention on the built heritage

Abstract

After a critical analysis of the context (by defining the state of the art and the conditions imposed by the environment), it could be
possible set the project, identifying different steps in the design process, aiming to synergistically conjugation the technological,
constructive and materical aspects, as well. The aim is to reconsider the definition of the possibility of intervention on the built
environment to design recovery interventions a system in which the technical and cultural variables not neglect in a dichotomous relationship between them, but as a part of the same process.

Historic ports of Apulia: methodologies for investigation and innovative instruments for the conservation and enhancement

Abstract

 

The preservation and management of historic maritime heritage have become critical, due to the interference of industrial, commercial
and logistic activities, which represent a high risk factor. The paper is going to describe and discuss methodologies and results achieved
in the study of historic ports of Apulia, proposing an additional level of research that leads, on the one hand, to the definition of a
methodology for risk analysis and, on the other hand, to the identification of guidelines and innovative instruments for monitoring,
preservation and enhancement of built heritage.

An agent-based simulation model for earthquake pedestrians’ evacuation in historical urban fabric

Abstract

The majority of Italian historical urban fabric is placed in earthquake prone areas. This study introduces the analysis of human behaviors in the earthquake risk assessment at urban scale: man-environment interactions in such conditions highly influence the inhabitants safety, especially in historical city centers. On these bases, this study proposes an agent-based earthquake evacuation simulator. Validation tests are performed on an Italian historical centre, demonstrating the validity of the model. Analysis on “human” behaviors should be combined to traditional evaluation in order to define integrated “risk maps” and “interventions maps”.

A sustainable methodology for the rehabilitation of minor historic centres. A case study in the seismic crater of Abruzzo Region

Abstract

 

The doctoral research links the issue of rehabilitation of small historic centres of Abruzzo Region hit by earthquake of 2009 to the environmental issue, proposing the reuse of this heritage through a sustainable strategy that put in network its potentiality and investigates open spaces and energy networks. The research proposes the development of an operative methodology that helps to overcome the gaps of the reconstruction process and those related to the integration of energy efficiency in historical contexts, providing indicators of compatibility and a lot of compatible solutions.

Basalt fibre stitchings: a new technique for strengthening masonry

Abstract

 

Rehabilitation of historical masonry is a demanding task, especially in seismic zones, where vulnerable buildings and structures can suffer severe damages and losses, as recent earthquakes testify. The idea of a strengthening technique able to connect masonry elements, stitching them, based on the use of basalt fibre ropes arise from the awareness that one of the worst structural defects of an historic masonry wall is the lack of monolithic behaviour. To assess the effectiveness of proposed technique, experimental (laboratory and “in situ” tests) has been performed. The main results show its potentiality and full sustainability.

Public and singular buildings energy consumption modeling on an urban scale

Abstract

 

The present paper illustrates the first steps of a study on one aspect investigated for the definition of the analysis – comprehension model of the relation between: city, buildings, and user behavior, for the reduction of energy consumption within the research project “Smart Energy Master” for the energetic governance of the territory (PON_MIUR n. pos. 04a2_00120 CUP Ricerca: E61H12000130005), at the Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering – University of Naples Federico II.

Evaluation of sustainability and energy optimization of existing buildings: the development of new technologies for Zero Energy buildings

Abstract

 

The aim of this research is to exploit the structural paradigm “tensegrity” at the level of secondary structures, in order to respond to the natural environment by changing their mechanical and HVAC properties. According to standards of European and Italian Laws, rating systems LEED and operating principles of tensegrity, technological, functional and prestational parameters are defined in order to design innovative Smart Facade System. A tensegrity plate – designed for a particular study case – will be developed, assembled and tested by different dynamic simulation programs to evaluate potentially the effects of applying this envelope technology.

Abandoned industrial buildings: methodologies and technologies for a sustainable recovery

Abstract

 

The theme of regeneration of the buildings and disused industrial areas is highly topical due to the significant implications on both a socio-economic level as well as an urban planning and environmental protection one. The proposed contribution presents a model for the reuse in which the aspects involved on an urban scale as well as the building are considered. The model is divided into the following phases: appropriateness of the choices with the policies of urban sector, analysis of the potential conversion, assessment of the degree of compatibility with the different technical standards, defining the criteria for the interventions to be implemented.

LCA evaluation methodology for multiple life cycles impact assessment of building materials and components

Abstract

 

The existent building heritage’s retrieval holds the whole of the interventions aimed at preserving, recovering, rebuilding and using better the heritage itself. Any retrieval and restoration procedure and technique of the existing heritage cannot prescind from considering the materials and the building technology used to realize the architectonical work where a necessary intervention is required. The retrieval plan gathers chemical, structural, architectural, technical and functional aspects indissolubly. This knowledge is useful in planning the activities of maintenance and management of the interventions.

 

The courtyards restoration in the Compact city: the case study of the Ensanche in Barcelona

Abstract

 

The hypothesis advanced in this research is that the courtyards can reconfigure themselves as nodes of a “lymphatic system” supporting the circulatory one made by roads and public open spaces. The verification of this hypothesis was carried out through a field survey on the case study of the Ensanche, a district of Barcelona. It represents a case of particular interest because the recovery of the courtyards as public spaces has been the engine of the regeneration of an entire neighborhood.

The assessment of energy behavior of existing buildings as a part of organic upgrade of their performances

Abstract

 

The reduction of buildings energy consumptions is a key factor towards sustainable development. The current legislation promotes and incentives upgrade interventions that involve only single constructive elements A holistic approach must play again a key role in improving buildings stock sustainability. In the paper different research experiences aimed at improving such an approach to assess energy performance and upgrade it are described and their results summarized.

An Overview on the Performance over time of Cool and Green Roofs as Countermeasures to Urban Heat Islands

Abstract

 

In the last decades progressively growing efforts were spent to identify strategies and to develop tools and techniques helpful to design sustainable, resilient, and low energy built environments. Green and high albedo roofs have been proved as effective countermeasures
to urban heat islands, but their performance may vary over time and depending on the environmental conditions. Herein, an overview
on recent advances about performance assessment of green and cool roofs is presented, after experimental activity and numerical
modelling.

Pre-cast concrete walls: techniques and technologies for performance optimization

Abstract

The paper is going to describe the studies toward construction and control of an innovative semi pre-cast composite wall, as efficient
system for energy saving, performance improvement and static optimization. In detail, the present paper focuses on technical and
technological issues for design and construction of semi pre-cast panels, in order to achieve both high quality of the final product, in
terms of tightness of connections and ease of assembly, and reduction of energy dispersions and thermal bridges.

Experimental assessment of moisture buffering active devices for indoor humidity control

Abstract

 

A high thermal resistance and air tightness of the building envelope risk to create great internal moisture load with consequences for durability of materials and inhabitants’ comfort and health. The passive solution here proposed is a moisture buffering “active” device
(MB-AD), to be integrated in the building envelope, which is able to measure the RH indoors and react by increasing the MB ability
of a material forcing the passage of air inside it. The hygrothermal performance of the device has been experimentally tested and results
showed that the Moisture Buffering Value measured in the “active” device increased until 29% more than the “passive” one.

Editorial: Discipline and research: borders and frontiers

I think that the research directions of our discipline, as they have been outlined in the last years starting from their historically determined framework, can be associated with two categories borrowed from Piero Zanini1, the “border” and the “frontier”. They become the organizing criteria through which we can reinterpret outcomes and development perspectives of these studies.
According to Zanini, the “border” “indicates a common limit, a separation between contiguous spaces; it is also a way to peacefully establish everyone’s right of ownership over a territory”. Thinking of a border and building a fence means inventing a field and enclosing it, highlighting its size, shape, and functions.
I believe the research that many of us are undertaking reveals the different ways of coping with the concept of border.
In a first interpretation, the border defines a known research field within which to explore its limits, always moving in a familiar territory that unequivocally leads back to a comfort zone. This confidence is a guarantee of a high level of knowledge of the field itself and reaffirms its “robustness”, even at the risk of falling into the cliché of déjà fait, déjà vu.
As the boundary becomes closer and closer, a second interpretation takes shape, leading to the perception of the border as too binding for the operational environment. As a result, this situation leads some researchers to go further, opening up gaps into neighboring disciplinary territories, thus facing the challenge – and the risk – of not always being relevant if they fail to “place all the information correctly” not only “in their own context” but also outside it2. The uncertain awareness with which the territories of complexity concerning this challenge are explored results in an adventure within different disciplinary fields. The scientific paradigm, entirely focused on the method, is not sufficient to guide this research; making the interweaving intelligible through the aid of simulations rather than experiments does not seem sufficient to restore its multiple facets and hybrid nature. This mainly happens when the attention is limited to topics whose scientific relevance should embrace the dimension of the exception – further accumulator of complexity3 – and not of the rule.
All this implies that research developed in several fields must start from here and bring a rethinking of the disciplinary field. A rethinking that introduces, in fact, a new condition of otherness able to cross our boundaries and at the same time preserve them from the risk of reaching a state of foreignness, trespassing, or ambivalence, which can also lead to the insidious misunderstanding of the “coexistence of two statements (I am this and that)”.
Then I would like to recall the Italian-French movie “La legge è legge” (The law is the law) starring Fernandel, in the role of an honest and responsible French customs officer and Totò in the role of a Neapolitan smuggler. The events, set on the French-Italian border in the imaginary town of Assola, show the character played by Fernandel as the victim of a comedy of misunderstanding: from being a respected French citizen, he first becomes an Italian outcast, and then a stateless person, and as such, unwanted by the authorities of both countries. However, the vicissitudes he goes through result from a deception: the old owner of the inn, in which the protagonist was born, is located precisely on the border itself. The innkeeper had arbitrarily moved the Italian borderline from one room to another to attract more tourists, thus transforming Fernandel, born in French land, into a fake Italian. The deception is revealed thanks to the smuggler Totò, who finds two bottles of wine of different vintages on whose labels are depicted the two different borderlines. At that point, the old innkeeper is scolded by the smuggler, who tells him: “are you crazy? Don’t you know that you can’t move the borders!”
The Neapolitan actor’s statement may be approved or not; however, I believe that moving a boundary is not always a legitimate operation and, in any case, complex.
The border, intended in the sense with which I proposed this kind of reasoning, can instead welcome the theme of ambivalence only in terms of reflection, of articulation of right questions, as Pascal4 himself reports. Considering that frequently what was true on one side of the Pyrenees was no longer true beyond them, he recognizes the need to know what there is in common between the two slopes of the same mountain system and, if anything, what it is and where is the truth that lies “beyond”.
It is necessary to introduce the concept of “frontier” to continue with the categories adopted by Piero Zanini. According to the architect, “the frontier represents the end of the Earth, the ultimate limit beyond which to venture”; to cross the frontier “means leaving a familiar, known, reassuring space and entering that of uncertainty”.
The frontier contains within itself the noun “fronte” (front). It refers in its etymology both to “affrontare” (facing), which implies the need to discuss with the other, and “fronteggiare” (confronting), which gives the possibility, in a challenging dimension, to overcome known boundaries, suggesting the direction and progression of change.
Unlike border, frontiers do not require being inside or outside a delineated territory, but instead occupying a strip of that extreme territory. In this unordered liminal space, everything often blurs and mixes without attribution of belonging to inside or outside categories; this is “the place where the norm, the rule that border establishes no longer applies, the land where everyone must take care of himself and everything becomes possible”.
The frontier is therefore not configured as a physical limit but as a meso-space with no name whose thickness is given by margins that are never clear, nor univocally definable, nor even impenetrable. A meso-space in which to operate, trying to redetermine the discipline’s operational fields through an osmotic potential identified each time. The condition of anomie leads to giving up the established system of rules. Therefore, the research methodologies must be reinvented with respect to tailor-made strategies and tactics.
In this perspective, “the problem is not to open the frontiers between disciplines, but to transform what generates these frontiers: the organizing principles of knowledge”. Investigating knowledge’s operational fields represents an impervious and elitist path, tackled only by a few who have accepted the challenge of moving in unfamiliar contexts, betting on trans-disciplinarity although being aware of the longer wait for the achievement of certain outcomes.
What stated so far highlights an interpretation aimed at provoking deep thought and, I hope, an open debate within our disciplinary field, on its roots and perspectives, in a framework of a significant change of society, in view of the ongoing transformations induced by the actual contingency events. The adoption of both debated categories of “border” and “frontier” seems, in fact, functional to describe their condition of crisis, with respect to the firmness of the border and the exploration possibilities of the frontiers. Both aspects exemplify the two risk scenarios in which researchers can incur: to remain closed in their enclosure or to be foreigners in the land of others.
Nevertheless, the scenario I have tried to outline and emerging from the territories of knowledge explored here represents the prerequisite for orienting towards serendipity. If, breaking away from the beaten paths, the research fields do not still find shared canons that can group them in an organic form, if “we are used to placing the sign ‘Various’ on them, it is precisely here that we must penetrate”5.
Therefore, I would like to leave the conclusion of this reflection open by quoting Piero Zanini once again. He stated: “borders and frontiers are cultural constructions that can take on many different meanings. They are at the same time the affirmation and the negation of themselves and of the dichotomies and ambiguities that they determine […] The ambiguity of the boundaries is all here, and the unpredictability of our behaviors in front of them requires us, perhaps, to play with them: the boundary is there, but it cannot be seen. At least as long as we are in the middle of it”. Staying in the middle, nowadays more than ever, implies at least one awareness: the oscillation of our actions has an amplitude whose points of inversion are, on the one hand, aesthetic capitalism and, on the other hand, scientific capitalism. Both of them are rules and not exceptions of a society that trusts in the myth of the circular economy to find a possible way of salvation.

Notes

1 Zanini P (1997) Significati del confine. I limiti naturali, storici, mentali. Mondadori, Milano
2 Morin E (1999) La tête bien faite, trans. Lazzari S (2000), La testa ben fatta. Riforma dell’insegnamento e riforma del pensiero. Raffaello Cortina, Milano
3 Ceruti M, Bellusci F (2020) Abitare la complessità. La sfida di un destino comune. Mimesis, Milano-Udine
4 Pascal B (1669) Pensées, trans. Allason B (1936), Pensieri. Utet, Torino
5 Debray R (2010) Éloge des frontières, trans. Favetto GL (2012), Elogio delle frontiere. ADD editore, Torino

Representation and knowledge of historic construction: HBIM for structural use in the case of Villa Palma-Guazzaroni in Terni

Abstract

A validated method for the digital representation of historic construction through HBIM permits assessment of compliance with workmanlike practices and structural performance. The construction of an appropriate model is closely linked to survey methodology, to the integrated application of multiple techniques of direct and indirect survey and non-destructive tests. The paper specifically deals with the complementarity between photogrammetry based on UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) with TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanner). Finally, through this methodology, the HBIM model set for structural use allows the analysis of local mechanisms in order to verify the performance of the building. The methodological approach to the relationship between constructive survey and construction of the HBIM model to understand and evaluate the building organism from a structural point of view is exposed using Villa Palma-Guazzaroni in Terni as a case study. The Villa is representative of architectural heritage resulting from an original unitary intervention and subsequently affected by several modifications that, without obscuring many of the original values, have nevertheless altered the building and its architectural characteristics.

Displacement and deformation assessment of timber roof trusses through parametric modelling. The case of San Salvatore’s church in Bologna

Abstract

The article investigates wooden trusses and their evolution over time, through the re-elaboration and interpretation of the data obtained through a laser scanner survey. From the point cloud of the entire roof, 3D models of the individual trusses are obtained through reverse engineering software and parametric modeling. Each model is rendered by setting robust constructive and evolutionary hypotheses to which these structures must respond and represents a regression over time of the truss from the “current” to the “original” condition. 3D models, therefore, become a reasonable representation of the original condition. Therefore, by comparing the models with the point cloud, it is possible to analyze these trusses in detail, highlight their movements and deformations, obtain precise and comparative information on their behavior and draw global considerations on the health of the entire roof.

Planned maintenance for architectural heritage. Experiences in progress from 3D survey to intervention programmes through HBIM

Abstract

The continuous evolution of 3D surveying and modelling techniques, using increasingly high-performance tools and applications, highlights the added value of these methods in the field of urban and architectural survey. In the case study presented, attention is focused particularly on applications useful for the planned maintenance of cultural heritage (CH). These tools and methods have a significant impact on the phases of interpretation and “physical” knowledge. They can also bring a critical contribution to the completion of models that are not only geometric but also semantic and informative, supporting 360-degree planning of the maintenance of our historical architectural heritage.
This support for scheduled maintenance has been identified in the HBIM methodology, based on an integrated 3D metric survey.
A three-year research project on this topic (Interreg Italy-Switzerland “MAIN.10.ANCE”, 2019-2022), partnered by Politecnico di Torino, is currently in the central phase. The main focus of the project is a UNESCO heritage site: the “Sacri Monti” (Sacred Mountains) of Italy and those in Canton of Ticino (Switzerland), with the need for a common and shared conservation plan.

An interdisciplinary approach for the investigation and dating of Roman thermal buildings: the Indirizzo Baths at Catania, Sicily

Abstract

Roman baths are not only fascinating architectural structures but also provide many insights into the ancient culture. They represent an emblematic step in the process of civilization, indicative of the importance of cities or the families that had them built. Their heating systems exemplify the outstanding level of technological progress achieved by the Romans. A novel interdisciplinary methodological approach is present-ed to bridge the knowledge gap that often still concerns Roman baths. It integrates in-situ analyses, laser scanning surveys, thematic 3D models, computational fluid dynamics simulations, thermoluminescence, and optically stimulated luminescence dating, providing an in-depth investigation of the 3D spatiality, the functional layout, the construction techniques, the operation, and the diachronic development of thermal complexes. In this paper, the proposed approach is applied and validated on one of the best-preserved thermal buildings anywhere in the Roman Empire: the Indirizzo baths at Catania (Sicily). The dating campaign confirmed that the complex was built at the end of the IV century and stayed in operation until the VII century. The outcomes are a fundamental premise for future conservation and exploitation activities, while the proposed methodology constitutes a useful approach that can be effectively replicated to better understand and promote other Roman thermal complexes.

Evolution of a patent work applied: formulation of sustainable mortars with a new natural hydraulic binder on site

Abstract

The present research study concerns the formulation of natural mortars with hydraulic behaviour, used for the restoration of the walls of historical buildings. The research aim – based on a patented procedure – is to provide an answer to the conservation of these buildings, often having archaeological and artistic interest. In accordance with Life Cycle Assessment principles, the production process of the mortar can also be carried out at the restoration site, involving a low environmental impact. Thanks to its characteristics, the natural mortar object of this research study can represent a valid alternative to Portland cement.

Forest products in construction: a comparative life cycle assessment of an Italian case study

Abstract

This work aims to investigate the environmental consequences of using forest products as a replacement for conventional construction materials. A cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was carried out to compare a semi-detached timber house located in Italy versus an equivalent building with conventional construction technologies (concrete and bricks). As a result, most of the ReCiPe environmental indicators resulted more favorable for timber alternative, which is mainly connected to replacing the reinforced concrete volume in the structure, while the pressure on the land resulted as a critical consequence for timber alternative.

Hospital architecture and the challenge of humanisation. Research and design

Abstract

The hospital may no longer be seen as a “health machine” but a complex system where care and training converge, ensuring higher levels of thermo-hygrometric and psychological comfort. The paradigm of humanisation, regarding both hospitalisation and collective and social spaces in the hospital, stimulates a wide range of morphological-typological and technological innovations. The present contribution, starting from this scenario, proposes both a critical analysis of some emblematic design projects and the specific outcomes of some applied research and case studies developed by the authors.

Innovative construction materials: graphene-based smart composites

Abstract

Over the recent decades, the cement composites sector has been characterised by experimentation and production of the so-called intelligent concrete, that can adjust their characteristics by reacting to external stimuli. The ultimate evolution of the concrete performance has been achieved thanks to the use of multifunctional fillers, transforming a traditional concrete into a smart concrete. Graphene, a two-dimensional material, is opening new avenues for innovative applications in the construction sec-tor. This paper reports the first results of using pure crystalline few-layers graphene as an additive in cement composites.

The effects of mortar on the dynamic thermal performances of stone masonries

Abstract

In Italy, an important percentage of historical buildings was built with stone masonry. It is necessary to correctly understand its thermal behaviour in order to evaluate suitable retrofit interventions. Stone masonries can present very complex and variable thermal fields, due to the different geometry of stone blocks, to the various type of stones used and to the presence of mortar. Twelve samples are analysed with a Finite Element Modeller to investigate its effect on dynamic properties. The results show that mortar positively influences periodic thermal transmittance and decrement factor of stone walls.

Bridging over bridges’ sources problems

To the victims of the collapse of the bridge over the Polcevera river

The collapse of the bridge over the Polcevera river on August 14th, 2018, triggered a profound rethinking of historical research in the field of structural construction. The bridge was one of the most iconic symbols of the Italian School of Engineering.

On the one hand, many doubts about its collapsing modes imposed with increased urgency the scientific ef- fort to study and carry out thorough historical research. On the other hand, the unawareness of the value of the Italian structural heritage, as well as of its construction experimentation, and average age, made its dissemina- tion among students and professionals, who will be in- volved in its future safeguarding, even more necessary. A thousand-stages tour de force, which was started to inform everyone about the cultural identity, the technical value, and the historical significance of the School of En- gineering, has not prevented a continuous, more private brooding related to the way of carrying out this research, so devoid of historiographic tradition.

Is our approach properly historical research? More- over, where does the history of structural engineering  fit into the broader overview of historiography? In 2005 Sergio Poretti included it in the history of construction, which he defined as the “material history of architec- ture”, referring to Eugenio Battisti, who already identi- fied the art of construction as a new frontier in the history of architecture in the 1980s1.

Nevertheless, Poretti recognized that studies on Italian structural engineering of the 1900s have never been part – or only marginally – of the history of archi- tecture. The truth is that these studies still need an es-

sential interpretative and critical synthesis operation to reconstruct their general framework; it is also true that this synthesis, as consolidated in all the more mature historiographies, must be based on the “slow, patient accumulation of precise surveys and specialist studies”. These are tiring, strenuous micro-stories that struggle  to find researchers interested in digging them out of the archives.

This is the primary concern about this research. For the usual atavistic problem: the engineer is not interested in history, in the past. He looks forward to the future, to the new.

However, in order to investigate Morandi’s or Zorzi’s intricate carpentry or Musmeci’s high-mathematical rela- tions, it is necessary to have an engineer’s education. An advanced education able to distinguish a hinge from a fixed joint, not because it is written in the technical reports but because it is evident from the geometry of the joint itself. The engineer must be able to recognize, in the still hand- written overly synthetic calculation reports, the starting hypotheses, skip the needless passages and understand the rough core of the conclusions. Moreover, the well-trained engineer should resist the temptation of recalculating old structures with modern software, the most useless hobby for a historian (necessary only for those who have to ver- ify and validate the current use – but this is a totally dif- ferent field) and instead make an effort to read the papers through the eyes of a pre-computer engineer, without eval- uating the project through modern parameters. He must, in brief, avoid the actualization typical of the “presentism” that affects traditional historiography as well. At the same time – and this is much more challenging – he has to know all the other histories connected to the construction: those of the materials, of the building site, of the construction companies, but also the political, economic, and social is- sues of the country where the work has been built.

There are no Degree Courses and related “Dublin De- scriptors” for these types of qualifications.

If they did exist, a branch of “Contemporary Dip- lomatics” would undoubtedly be compulsory teaching. What are the documents we are dealing with in our re- search? Are they “truthful”, i.e., are they what they claim to be? What do they precisely tell us? The dramatic re- cent events have required further reflection on this as well.

The historical work I have carried out in the last few years has dealt with peculiar documents that are rarely interesting for other researches. Working to reconstruct the history of reinforced concrete in Italy, I have thor- oughly examined, for example, the invention patents archive from its origins to the Second World War. Not searching for a specific patent attributed to a known au- thor, but merely going through all the ones relevant to the construction technique evolution. The history of the material has written itself: and not because the technique was a sequence of inventions but because the variation in density of patents dedicated to specific innovations has made the main stages of the entire process evident.

Moreover, most of the patents were deposited by un- known professionals who have remained so even after the investigation. Above all, in the patents there is no trace of their practical applications since they are often chimeras that are almost unachievable. Houses hanging like cloths from laundry threads – and therefore poten- tially unshaked by earthquakes – or hollow blocks for floors shaped like puzzle pieces, that should become resistant to tensile stress, even without rebar reinforce- ment. Nevertheless, from a statistical point of view, they provide a clear overview of the current debate and, there- fore, the evolutionary path of the materials.

This is not the only reason for which the patent is a peculiar document: the important ones, in fact, decisive for the history of the Italian School of Engineering, those of Nervi, for example, hide more than explain, general- ize instead of specifying, since the patent is intended to protect rights instead of providing instructions to those who want to copy the idea. However, for the construction historian, the patent is a “sound” document.

Other documents that crowd this research field are the official documents, protocolled, perhaps registered at the Court of Auditors. In order to find the dusty file of  a contract or a test certificate, we are willing to crouch uncomfortably, in a semi-abandoned dark archive, next to a dead mouse.

Yet the 122 pages of the “Report, minutes of visit and test certificate” for the construction work on the 24th parcel of the Genoa-Savona motorway, two and a half kilometers long and including the bridge over the Pol- cevera, report that, compared to the contract signed in September 1961, when no one had even imagined how to build the cantilever brackets for the balanced trestles, the only project variants would have involved the use  of half-inch strands instead of the 7mm cable initially planned for all prestressing operations. A few well-cali- brated sentences by which the commission relieves itself of all responsibilities for the execution changes made on- site concerning the 20 preliminary drawings attached to the contract, while the final drawings would be over 400! The testing certificate has a completely different institu- tional scope, not that of explaining to the historian what truly happened during construction.

One more example: the drawings attached to the con- tract for the construction of the Risorgimento bridge had already been utterly outdated upon signing. The design- er Hennebique and the Porcheddu company, in October 1909, were already working on a new and completely different project but could no longer delay the signing. Is that “contract” a fake indeed? Of course not: the amend- ment during construction is a constant in our databas- es, but whichever researcher found only those drawings (and not those that were later realized, but which would never be validated by any formal signing) could com- pletely misunderstand the real conception and behaviour of the bridge.

There is another typical problem we are dealing with in this research: sources may have been filtered. Not nec- essarily what we do not find in an archive has never ex- isted.

This is especially true for the queen of sources, the one that makes our eyes blink the very instant we find it, but which we ought to take with a grain of salt: the building site picture. It seems a contradiction: the photo or video of the building site, when fortune shines, would seem the most incontrovertible proof of the way the work was built. Nonetheless, even the well-stocked collection can hide rather than show.

The digital scan of about 500 photographs repre- senting the bridge construction site over the Polcevera are archived in the SIXXIdata: more than 250 of them, from the Condotte company’s archive, linger from all perspectives on the temporary tie rods and the thousand work equipment – from the harp for the temporary deck prestressing to the cast-in-place form traveler – which are absent in the drawings. Nevertheless, the day after the collapse, some American newspapers published a series of photos by Mario De Biasi, extracted from their huge database, and dated August 1967. The photojour- nalist authored a few very famous shots, as “Gli italiani si voltano” (Italians turn around) and made reportages for the weekly magazine “Epoca”. De Biasi reached the 9th pile early in the morning, dangerously climbed the stay, and reached the top of the antenna. Was he au- thorized or helped by someone, who knows? From up there, he took some unrepeatable images that document the construction site one month before the inaugura- tion. Five of those photos were then published in the August 13th, 1967 issue of the magazine. One important shot is missing; the one that at the deck level shows      a handsome worker, striking a pose while working on one of the stays of the 9th pile, just the stay that broke first. In the foreground, we can see a sheet metal cover wrapping the half-inch strands, which in the executive drawings are prescribed to be sheathed one by one. No document talks about this cover, no update of the draw- ings refers to this detail, no calculation considers this modification in progress.

Our photos skip from July 7th directly to ribbon-cut- ting by Giuseppe Saragat on September 4th: as if there was nothing to be documented in those two months of final acceleration of the construction site.

In short, the sources are “traces that the past has trans- mitted to the present and that we, therefore, find in the present”; they are not all we would like to know. And for the rest?

In the case of Polcevera, unfortunately, we have the autopsies of the bridge – the thin sections of exhibit 132 – which allow us to discover today all that has not been documented. However, we would obviously have all preferred that the bridge was still in place, perhaps after careful and timely maintenance that could have extended its life for many decades.

For all other chances, Manzoni explains: “la Storia è costretta a indovinare. Fortuna che c’è avvezza” (“it is a fact that History is doomed to guess everything. Luckily enough, it is used to that”)2.

 

Notes

1 Poretti S (2005) Storia delle costruzioni e storia dell’architet- tura. In: Teoria e pratica del costruire: saperi, strumenti, modelli. Edizioni Moderna, Ravenna, vol. 1, pp 25–30.

2 Manzoni A, I promessi sposi, cap. XIII.

OPERATIONAL ATLAS OF EXPOSED MORTARS AND CONGLOMERATES FOR INTERVENTIONS ON THE WIDESPREAD ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE

Abstract

When it comes to Science Heritage, the availability of refined investigation techniques, advanced knowledge of the characteristics of materials, the current technological capacity and the synergy of specialised operators, coordinated into multidisciplinary teams, guarantee, with the support of cutting-edge tools, excellent results for every conservative operation applied to monumental buildings of acknowledged interest. On the contrary, there are still strong limits to the likelihood that this excellence will reverberate on the multitude of interventions performed on widespread architectural heritage. The research project underway envisages the preparation of an operational atlas of reference for exposed mortars and conglomerates, based on the historical and technological knowledge of materials (particularly those available locally) complete with experimental data on constitution and performance, which is useful to support the development of compatible maintenance and conservation procedures.

H-BIM OBJECTS FOR MODERN STONE FACING. Genesis and informative contents for the shell of the Station of Messina

Abstract

The revolution of the BIM methodology lies in the informative component attributable to digital entities, more challenging to define for the historical buildings due to the need to resort to documentary sources and diagnostic investigations instead of datasheets or virtual «pre-packaged» objects. In line with a research about the shell stone facing of the Station of Messina, a stylistic feature recurring in the public buildings of the 1930s-1940s, this study aims to conceive specific «H-BIM objects» so that they can represent new channels for collection and processing of data, in support of adequate Building Dossier and Maintenance Plan for cultural heritage.

“LA FABRIL” RESISTENCIA’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE: RE-FUNCTIONAL CHANCE AND MANAGERIAL CHALLENGE

Abstract

The La Fabril Financiera oil factory, founded by Juan Rossi in 1888, became a pioneer factory in the production of furfural oil. In 1919 it was acquired by the Compañía General de Fósforos and in 1920 by the Compañía General Fabril Financiera, becoming one of the most important industrial companies in the region. When “La Fabril” closed, the abandonment began: at the beginning of 2009, the official decision was made to demolish the complex to build a housing district, but a popular movement was organized to demand the preservation of the buildings, which motivated the Authorities to review their intentions and find a better solution to the need of the people of Chaco people.

METHODS AND INSTRUMENTS FOR PREFABRICATED HOUSING REFURBISHMENT: THE FRENCH CASE (1960-70)

Abstract

The 60s and 70s housing blocks consisting of large two-dimensional prefabricated elements represent a sizable share of European building assets: their upgrading as regards architecture, energy efficiency, environment and social services is a priority for European Union aims by 2050. Prefabricated housing blocks total to such large numbers as to require new methodologies and technologies to be developed, in order to make upgrading technically viable and economically sustainable.

DESIGNED FOR MACHINES. ITALIAN BRIDGES AND VIADUCTS (1965-1990)

Abstract

This contribution is a result of the researches, carried out by the authors as part of the SIXXI project – History of Structural Engineering in Italy in the 20th Century (ERC Advanced Grant, PI Sergio Poretti, Tullia Iori – www.sixxi.eu), about the transformation of Italian Engineering after the second half of the sixties. It reconstructs the evolution of the building systems introduced in the building sites of bridges and viaducts, from the presentation of industrial patents to the first applications abroad and then by national designers and companies, to examine what impact they had on the production of Italian engineering.

ITALIAN BUILDING MODELS IN THE 1950s. THE AGIP MOTELS.

Abstract

The paper deals with the performance characteristics of the Model 59 of the Agip motels, which is highly representative of the Italian construction during the economic boom of the 1950s and 1970s. A large-scale study has pointed out the position and the current state of all the fifty Agip motels designed and built between 1954 and 1970, thanks to a precise archival and digital research. Among these, the most common was the Model 59, whose project was drawn up by the engineers of SNAM Progetti and built in at least 35 Italian sites, with slight differences from a standardized construction type.

THE USE OF “STRUCTURAL PREFABRICATION” IN THE FLAMINIO STADIUM BY PIER LUIGI AND ANTONIO NERVI. A TECHNICAL-CONSTRUCTIVE STUDY AIMED AT FORMULATING GUIDELINES FOR A FUTURE CONSERVATION PLAN

Abstract

The paper highlights the specificity and originality of the solutions adopted by Nervi in the construction of the Flaminio Stadium (Pier Luigi and Antonio Nervi, 1957-59), as well as his talent as a designer and engineer. The text presents both a summary of the research carried out on the terracing and the canopy of the Stadium (built using “structural prefabrication”) and draws attention to the research methodology, of which this study is a part. The research was funded by the Getty Foundation with the aim of formulating guidelines for the future conservation project of the Stadium.