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Materials, technology, innovation and environment


by Giuseppe DE GIOVANNI


The rapid technological change that is affecting not only the construction industry leads us to reflect on the impact that it has on the definition of new technical and constructive solutions that take into account the benefits offered by new materials and environmental issues. The increasing amount of "evolved" materials, available on the market today, and the greater articulation of the building process have increased the level of the design’s complexity and of the building’s construction as well as the building product or the design’s object, requiring more specialized professionals able to work in synergy. The Thematic Network will provide valuable support to the updating of knowledge, combining different research experiences that may relate the use of materials and innovative technologies applied to the architecture and design with an eye towards environmental sustainability. The information spread through the Thematic Network should allow users to know innovative methods and instruments, 'suitable' to define and 'measure' the technological quality (not only) of an artefact and its management through the quality of design, product and process.

Giuseppe De Giovanni. Full Professor of “Technology of Architecture”, he has been teaching the Course of “Executive Planning of Architecture” at the University of Palermo since 2001 and the Course of “Architectural Technology” since 2012. He has been afferent to the Register of experts CIVR (Committee for the Evaluation of Research) of the Ministry of Education since 2004. He has been on the Editorial Board of EDA since 2006. He has been President of the Board of Studies in Architecture LM/4 for the Faculty of Architecture in Agrigento and Member on the Council of the Faculty of Architecture in Palermo since 2011. He has been Coordinator of the PhD in “Recovery of the Ancient Contexts and Innovative Processes in Architecture”.




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Elenco Articoli

Verifiche di stampa 3D nel restauro archeologico per Palmira
The archaeological site of Palmyra over the last decade has become sadly known for the destruction of the ISIS. After two years in which it remained under the control of the Islamic state, Palmira was freed. In Rome, from October 7th to December 11th 2016, some of the monumental finds seriously damaged in Palmyra were exposed. The most interesting reconstructive event involved two busts restored in Italy thanks to 3D printing. The restoration was made one layer on top of another, in a succession of successive layers. The main feature was to realize the object in three dimensions on the basis of a software presented in Rome in the MakerFaire Rome of 2013. Currently the two busts of Palmira have returned to Syria.

Inserito il 21/08/2018 15:53 - Leggi tutto »

Las Eichler Homes en California (EE.UU. 1949-1966)
Within the large number of examples of housing and developments that could explain the phenomenon of the middle class house in the American suburbs since the mid-forties (coinciding with the end of the II World War), Eichler Homes in California was especially interested in exploring multiple housing possibilities, recovering the patio or atrio as the fundamental piece of domestic functional and architectural organizations.

Keyword: Eichler Homes, Mid-XX century houses, Patio

Inserito il 04/07/2018 13:21 - Leggi tutto »

El patio de la vivienda rural
The text shows an analysis of the rural courtyard. To this end, the community of San Nicolas de Esquiros was chosen, since this is an ex-hacienda that was appropriate for its peasants.
The rural courtyard is a space that condenses the being and living peasant, result of a logic of the daily living and the needs of the family unit that has always needed of pluri-functions for its subsistence and of social events that reinforce the unit Family and the community. Then, the rural courtyard materializes and represents the practical-utilitarian function and the social-symbolic function. However, the spatiality of the former treasury and the institutional lines of housing programs, have significantly impacted the shaping of this space, although it seems to be struggling to keep.

Keywords: Rural courtyard, rural houses, social- symbolic function, ex hacienda.

Inserito il 04/07/2018 13:12 - Leggi tutto »

La sperimentazione del calcestruzzo armato monolitico in Inghilterra
This essay considers a new building technology: the monolithic reinforced concrete, invented by Ove Arup and used by different architects, applied to houses and residential buildings realized in England in the Thirties. The aim of this new system was to organize the project and the structure in the same period, with a plan completely free, and it will be analyzed also in comparison with uses of a traditional system of reinforced concrete by the same architects.

Keywords: Reinforced concrete; Houses; England

Inserito il 24/07/2016 11:39 - Leggi tutto »

Innovation and Technology
The identity consolidation which takes place in giving value to the historic and archaeological heritage, can find a key-point in the technological innovation, if this one is conceived as an instrument at the service of knowledge and of its widespread communication.
This contribution shows a design experimentation for the physical and virtual fruition of a singular proto-historic site: the Early Bronze Age Village in Nola. This discovery, unique of its kind, allowed the reconstruction of the physical and social organization of the Village. The design experimentation has been the occasion to verify the applicability of technologically advanced information tools whose aim is the realization of personalized knowledge paths. The use of the Augmented Reality increases the perception and interaction of the user with the environment which is enriched with visual, graphic and textual information, synchronized and developed in the virtual space, that the user cannot directly observe with its own senses. The perceived effect is that of a virtual space which coexists with the real one, in which the user is free to move, interacting with it. As a support of the system, the project expects the realization of punctual light architectures and organized paths, for a physical fruition compatible with the characters of the archaeological area. The project approach is shaped around the respect of the needs of conservation and defense of the archaeological heritage, but, at the same time, efficient for the widespread knowledge of historic, archaeological and social characters of these “valuable goods”. The support structures have the same generation matrix, modified according to the expected functions; they have been conceived as punctual, light and temporary sustainable architectures, designed according to the main rules of the eco-oriented building.
In this scenery, it is possible to read the signs of a new relationship between technology and archaeological environment.

Keywords: archaeological heritage, technological design, augmented reality

Inserito il 21/05/2015 14:38 - Leggi tutto »

Redesign of the Lenin Memorial Zone in Ulyanovsk, Russia
The degree project ''Redesign of the Lenin Memorial Zone in Ulyanovsk, Russia'' focuses on revitalizing the Lenin Memorial Zone and converting it into a museum complex titled ''The Epoch of the USSR.'' Designing the Interactive Center, titled the ''Global Experiment Laboratory,” will be a starting point for the creation of the Museum Complex in the Lenin Memorial Zone and to regenerate the whole city center. The field of interest of different parties, such as citizens, regional economic planners and federal authorities, will be discussed.
Urban development problems of the central part of Ulyanovsk, as well as their consequences, were analyzed and recognized as being typical for many cities of the former Soviet Union. Solving such problems as the degradation of environmental quality, city center decay, a lack of identity, lack of residents` involvement, huge unused spaces, inconvenience and the alienation of urban design will increase residents' quality of life, sense of security and participation and thus will make the city center attractive.
The central part of the city has long been in need of an upgrade, a new material-cultural layer, and the energy of the 21st century. But the near-positive effects of modernization that create a new identity can cause problems, including the definition of cultural value and handling the Soviet heritage. Aspects of maintaining a historical balance will be mentioned.
The degree project is also considered an example of the transformation of the Ulyanovsk cultural potential on the threshold of the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 and also as an example of the creation of a tourist destination.

Keywords: Ulyanovsk, Lenin Memorial Zone, Post-Soviet cities, urban space regeneration, cultural potential, museum of the USSR

Inserito il 19/05/2015 06:48 - Leggi tutto »

The research called “Smart Shading” aimed to show how an intervention on the last finishing layer of the exterior walls can lead to a significant increase in the value of the whole building in terms of environmental quality and improvement of thermal insulation performance. The project has been developed by Iuav University of Venice, “Color and Light in Architecture” Research Unit, Veneto Region, Materis Paints Italia SpA and CERT Treviso Tecnologia (now T2i).
In the first part, the paper aims to show a summary of the goals of the research for the development of “Smart Shading” facade finishing. In the second part it aims to deal with the possible applications of the finish. In particular we want to show the importance of these tool for the requalification, regeneration and valorization of the architectural envelope of buildings, realized in the second half of the twentieth century, that are worthy to receive interventions for improvement.

Keywords: Sustainable coatings, smart technologies, environmental quality

Inserito il 06/11/2014 07:18 - Leggi tutto »

The use of contemporary composite materials as a technological solution for façade systems has been increased and improved during the last few years. This because those innovative materials can assure high performances and environmentally friendly solutions. New generations of acrylic surfaces, laminates and aggregates panels are brought into trade everyday and more and more performant compositions are continuously tested.
Moreover, a specific attention on recycled materials is being paid in order to reduce energy building consumption and foster sustainable and avant-garde technologies. Consulting a material library like for example Material ConneXion, we can find thousands of different composites having a big variety of physical and aesthetical properties and made with infinite sorts of components (from carbon particles to bovine fibers!) and processes.
Unfortunately, only a small amount of these innovative materials are already used on the building construction field. Composite materials like artificial stones, solid surfaces (i.e. Corian Dupont), laminates (i.e. Alucobond) and other less known elements are nowadays commonly adopted for ventilated façade solutions and help projects reaching high levels of building sustainability certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) or KlimaHaus. The purpose of the following article is to analyze the thermic and physical benefits the application of composite materials on the building envelope generates in the sense of environmental design prescriptions.

Keywords: Composite materials, innovative façades, renewable cladding components.

Inserito il 27/10/2014 18:56 - Leggi tutto »

The static conception of a warp of ''curved beams'' according to a horizontal position plane, hypothesized in glulam, it has had to confront with the impossibility of achieving structural elements with the desired geometry; the productive scenery, at present, solves only solutions arc mixtilinear, the only type derivable from the glulam with horizontal arrangement of the slats. This study, including the reasons for the detected limit, has investigated the technological feasibility of the glulam with a vertical arrangement of the slats, the only one that would allow a curvature in the horizontal position plane. To proceed in this direction, it was considered essential, advance, characterize the new material under the theoretical-experimental profile, analyzing the technical problems, to be addressed through a review of the production cycle, and researching the failure mechanisms, through a program of experimental tests.

Inserito il 22/10/2014 16:27 - Leggi tutto »

In this communication are established some concepts and basic principles of the sustainable approach at an international scale. The criterions of the author are provided in this sense beginning from the specific examples of the Cuban scenario. In particular, it´s exposed the case of the Historical Center of the Old Havana and its development since the 80's, beginning from the establishment of its Master Plan as an organized guide of the work and integral management of the habitat.
The Historical Center of Havana was declared since 1982 as a Humankind Heritage. Since then the City Historian's Office and in particular its maximum leader the Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, have been developed a huge labor to achieve an improvement of that locality, taking into account a sustainable approach.
Some of the actions and results obtained in the Historical Center of Havana are presented as a singular case in Cuba, its successes and mistakes; but mostly, are examined the main objectives pursued in order to increase the life quality of the population living in the Historical Center and the vision of future that has the Office to find the solution for the most pressing problems of the place, as a approximation way to the achievement of sustainability in the cities and in particular in a high valuable location.

Keywords: sustainability, participative management, conservation, transformation.

Inserito il 02/06/2014 20:51 - Leggi tutto »

The result that is presented below is part of bigger investigation realized in the Municipality of Cerro inside of the research project “The University in the solution of the local bank of problems” which is directed by the University of Havana in conjunction with the Politechnical High Institute “José Antonio Echeverría” since 2011. It is a diploma paperwork which has as its main objective to propose solutions for the recovery of a property located in a valuable zone of the municipality of Cerro, that has been dedicated to different functions along the years and it´s pretended to refunctionalized to promote, from the activities that will be realized in it, the enjoyment of the local community.
In a brief synthesis, it is provided the methodology followed to obtain the final results, as well as the proposals and conclusions of the paper.

Inserito il 01/04/2014 20:31 - Leggi tutto »

… da luce a, Luce
Light, like the other elements of ‘fire', together with ‘earth', ‘wind' and ‘water' constitute the points of reflection upon which are based the research and activities of INBAR- the National Institute of BioArchitecture - that, with its first BioLaboratorio entitled “Let's catch the Sun” held Alcamo on 12.10.2012, saw the participation of various experts and academics in this field of study, chaired by the President of the Scientific Committee of INBAR , based in Trapani, Prof. G. De Giovanni. In particular, the contribution of E. W. Angelico has made an intense impact on the various forms of lights; between the natural and artificial; between the direct and indirect; between illuminated artefacts and luminous artefacts. Architecture often endows every action in direct proportion, light with the space - both for illumination (therefore, designed in relation to its dark and light) and to be luminous (therefore indicating the relationship between external and internal). Some examples permit the reading of the efficacy of light in a journey from the ‘natural' .

Inserito il 20/11/2012 11:57 - Leggi tutto »

The study consists of developing a methodology for the design of natural ventilation systems, based on information legislation, which has the scope of the school building. It configures as an instrument to support the renovation project, for the definition of integrated performance between the building envelope and natural ventilation systems through horizontal, structured in a set of sheets containing preliminary guidelines in terms of comfort, quality management and environmental compatibility.

Keyword: comfort, quality management, environmental compatibility

Inserito il 08/11/2012 20:49 - Leggi tutto »

The social-political reality areas of agricultural and town planning transformation in the territories of Lucania can be subdivided into newly founded rural villages, settlements dating back to 1940-60 built after the Land Reform and in addition to these there are also the architectural buildings spread throughout the territory, which are nonetheless linked to production and the economy. A critical study of these architectural buildings and technological innovations involved, is analysed in-depth by survey using scientific methods, documenting and classifying the architectural structures.

Key-words: rural villages - building types - construction techniques

Inserito il 08/11/2012 20:28 - Leggi tutto »

La riverticalizzazione delle colonne storiche in materiale lapideo
The cost of a verticalization work on columns depends highly on the value of the historical manifacturing, on the role the column plays statically and prominently on the geometry and dimension of the manufacturing. This present contribution aims at analysing the phases and the costs of the work either strictly in terms of the construction site and also considering the instrument diagnostic and precautionary checks.

Columns, diagnostics, costs.

Inserito il 20/07/2012 14:53 - Leggi tutto »

BICOLORI a INCALMO. Vidrio y agua, paisajes de Carlo Scarpa
Carlo Scarpa ‘s work couldn't be understood without Venice matters, glass and water.
As Louis Kahn said, “his designs ask nature in order to shape the elements”. That's the way he would create.
We propose a travel to Scarpa's works, showing his main creative matters. Water, in relationship with glass and Venice landscape, would be used by the “professore” in order to structure the space and transform our perceptions and feelings.

Key words: Scarpa, water, glass

Inserito il 30/04/2012 02:05 - Leggi tutto »

La produzione industrializzata eco-innovativa per il retrofit edilizio
The evolution in the design approach to sustainable building refurbishment is mainly due to an increased level of performance required to meet the targets set by current legislations in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The paper outlines the industrial production trends for the retrofit in Europe, with particular focus to the UK, where the development of eco-innovative construction products is showing substantial results in relation to mass retrofitting interventions onto existing buildings.

Keywords: Eco-innovation, construction products, mass retrofitting

Inserito il 10/04/2012 07:45 - Leggi tutto »

Technology retrofit interventions, combining innovation and attention to renovation and energy performance issues, represent an innovative driver for the economic recovery of the construction industry. These goals can be pursued through the use of innovative technologies aimed at ''updating'' the buildings with adjustment and improvement integrated measures, as well as with the performance increase and the ''modernization'' of the existing buildings.
Energy performance of buildings - technology retrofit – technology innovation.

Inserito il 12/01/2011 16:19 - Leggi tutto »

Il restauro come pelle: Villa Antonietta a Palermo
Of the many Liberty buildings in Palermo, this article describes Villa Antonietta, a building relatively unknown and of obscure attribution. Recently, restoration work has been undertaken. Here, for the sake of brevity is described solely a few issues related to the theme of colour in the Liberty style that in this Villa have been undertaken according to the principles of philological restoration, based upon the pre-existing examples in Mondello, where the Villa is situated.

Inserito il 06/11/2010 16:09 - Leggi tutto »

You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours. Or the question it asks you, forcing you to answer, like Thebes through the mouth of the Sphinx.” (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities p. 38)

Inserito il 14/10/2009 11:54 - Leggi tutto »

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