LEED Platinum for the Richard Meier building
"The new i.lab will not solely be a building which symbolizes Italcementi’s experience, but a point of reference for sustainable architecture in Europe. The whole building will be constructed by utilizing a concrete developed by Italcementi, that makes use of the properties of self cleaning cement which is also able to reduce pollution" These were the words of Richard Meier before buillding of the italcementi's Research and Innovation Center, located in the Kilometro Rosso Science and Technological Park between Milan and Bergamo.
Designed and built to conform to conform to LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, i.lab has been rated Platinum, the highest LEED rating for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings. i.lab complies with very strict energy efficiency requirements, which allow it to save up to 60% more energy than a traditional building of the same size and end-use destination. This has been possible thanks to the special construction methods adopted, the materials used and the recourse to renewable energies, as the installation of photovoltaic/solar thermal panels and the geothermal energy system.
An innovative high-strength, pollution-reducing reinforced concrete mixture was developed by Italcementi specifically for the building. This new concrete is used for the exterior skin facing the highway, the north screen, the curtain wall mullion system, and the precast wall and roof elements throughout the building. In addition to the white photocatalytic “smog-eating” concrete developed for the project, the building employs some of the most forward-thinking sustainable design features.
The v-shaped building reinforces the boundaries of the triangular site and incorporates a program of technical and administrative spaces into two wings that surround a central courtyard. The “public” and “private” halves of the building hinge on a double-height entrance foyer, within which a long and elegant ramp allows circulation between floors.
Thanks to the aspiration of the project to be a benchmark of sustainable design in Europe it has received several Prizes; in 2010, the European Commission recognized the European Green Building Award as the best Italian building for energy efficiency in the “Best New Building” category, in 2009, i.lab had been honored with the Green Good Design Award by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
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