Milan is One Step from an Outstanding Sustainable New Building Courtesy with Metsolar’s Solar Approach
The new Unipol Tower or Torre Unipol in Milan, Italy, is an outstanding development in sustainable architecture and has been awarded the prestigious Platinum certification by the sustainable building system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This is the highest level of certification awarded by LEED and is at least in part due to the 1000 pieces of laminated solar panels that have been used to provide power for the building. Metsolar has shown it to be a worthy and dependable partner in the planning and development of the Tower’s sustainability approach.
The specifications for the Unipol Tower are worth stating as they demonstrate just how revolutionary the concept for the building is.
The main skeleton of the tower is made of a combination of steel, wood and glass. It has a height of 120 meters, with a total of 26 floors, 3 of which extend underground while the remaining 23 are above ground, shaped as an ellipse or oval so that it better blends into the surrounding environment. The floor area of the tower is over 31,000 square meters.
The tower is the new headquarters of the Unipol Group and is the last project in the Puorta Nova district, showcasing the redevelopment of Milan’s financial district. It has been designed to provide ample space for retail services, offices, a 270 seat auditorium and has a roof garden at the very top that offers a superb, panoramic view across the city that is available for cultural and other public events.
How the Torre Unipol exemplifies sustainable architecture
Italy is renowned for its beautiful and inspiring architecture, but the Unipol Tower has managed to combine grace, beauty and sustainability in its developmental concept. The three main features that have been incorporated into the development that have made it a candidate for Platinum certification by LEED are:
- the BIPV solar panel arrangement provided by Metsolar that provides much of the power used by the building, a potential total of around 112 kilowatts;
- climatic control that allows the building to remain warm in winter and cool at the height of summer;
- the tower’s rainwater harvesting system which reduces the need for an external supply of water.
How Metsolar’s solar technology powers the Unipol Tower
The Unipol Tower’s solar panel arrays cover the main façade of the building and are designed to mimic the shape of the roof. The panels are designed to be tilted by a series of installed motors that maximize the amount of power provided from the sun, while also control the amount of light entering the building. The design ensures optimal levels of energy efficiency for the whole building.
How the LEED certification system works
The Platinum certification awarded to the Unipol Tower is the highest of the four level LEED rating system. Platinum certificates are only awarded to building projects that achieve over 80 points out of 100. The other levels are Gold (60-79 points), Silver (50-59 points) and Certified (40-49 points).
The LEED certification system was designed to encourage architects and builders to design and build sustainable buildings that help to lower carbon emissions in a world experiencing atmospheric warming from excessive fossil fuel use, as well as save money and are healthier and create more equitable communities. Metsolar is proud to have contributed in the development of such an outstanding example of sustainable architecture.
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