Green building: what it is and where we are in Italy

Green building: what it is and where we are in Italy

There green building it could represent the future of civil and industrial buildings for an approach to urbanization that increasingly takes into account the needs of the environment. We’ve been talking about for a few years now ecologically sustainable buildings. Able to reduce their environmental impact not only during the construction phase, but also throughout their life cycle.

But what is actually meant by green construction and, above all, where are we in Italy? Green building should not be considered the simple construction of houses using sustainable materials. Instead, it is one 360 degree approachwhich studies not only ways to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, but also their integration with the surrounding environment.

A discipline that focuses on nature and its needs, so that man can adapt to it rather than impoverish the precious natural heritage. Here is some useful information.

What is green building

Also known as bioarchitectureConstruction is a discipline that deals with design, construction andenergy efficiency of buildings. It is a new way of thinking about people’s housing needs, where the buildings themselves become an integral part of the environment and support it, rather than exploiting its resources unnecessarily.

The goal of green construction is to build – or renovate, in the case of existing buildings – housing and industrial solutions that can low environmental impact possible. It is possible thanks to the study of the geography and habitats of the place where the house will be built, with the choice of eco-sustainable building materials, such as the analysis of the entire life cycle of the building, so that it is not only durable, but also autonomous from an energy point of view.

This purpose is achieved by planning ad hoc solutions for all the areas where the building is to rise, to prefer materials such as wood or bamboo – also recycled – and to use renewable energy both for the supply of electricity and for the production of hot water for sanitation.

The resulting construction must be perfectly integrated into the environment and must contribute not only to development and protection of the natural heritage, but also the social and cultural. A true virtuous circle, where man and environment can coexist peacefully and help each other.

The cardinal principles of green building

Wood, bio-architecture

But what is principles of green architecture, which factors are decisive for a house to pride itself on green building techniques?

  • 360 degree design: as already mentioned, bioarchitecture is not limited to the construction of buildings with recycled materials or autonomous from an energy point of view, but analyzes the entire context in which the construction will occur. This requires the joint work of various professional figures, from the architect to the expert in renewable energy, that passes through researchers who can analyze the natural peculiarities of the place;
  • Geographic integration: a green building construction will always respect the natural characteristics of the site and will therefore become part of it. Therefore, the composition of the soil, the natural resources found in the area, the local fauna and much more will be investigated. The house will have to interact in a virtuous way with the environment rather than dominate it;
  • Sustainable materials: As already mentioned, bioarchitecture makes use of sustainable materials and as much as possible of natural origin, including recycled ones. Furthermore, the discipline requires the use of materials compatible with local ecosystems, so as not to alter them with foreign elements;
  • Life cycle: From the first design, the entire life cycle of the house to be built is analyzed to know how long it will last over the years, what structural interventions will be necessary over time, how much the construction will be independent from the point of view energetically;
  • Human needs: In addition to protecting nature, green building also gives due consideration to human needs, especially in terms of comfortable and healthy living spaces. Indeed, one of the goals is to offer healthy spaces, without the use of paint or other products that can release dangerous particles over time.

How to build a house in green building


But how a green building house is built? The solutions are the most diverse and depend a lot on the original project and, of course, on the geographical and environmental characteristics in which the building will be inserted. Simplified, this process involves:

  • Examination of the target areafrom the analysis of the composition of the soil to the local flora and fauna, to understand the design methods that guarantee the lowest environmental impact;
  • House designaccording to characteristics that can maximize the use of renewable sources – for example, the right exposure to obtain the greatest possible efficiency from solar panels;
  • Choice of materials, which must always be compatible with the place where the building is to be erected. These usually include wood, wood cement, cellulose fiber, glass fiber, straw, regenerated or low-carbon building blocks, bamboo and derived fibers. There are also elements of reuse and recycling, always drawn from the destination environment;
  • Real construction, with techniques that have minimal impact on the land and the surrounding nature;
  • Installation of solutions forenergy independence of the building, for example using solar panels for electricity, solar heating for hot water or home cooling and storage systems to ensure a power supply even independent of the normal electricity grid.

How long does a house in green construction last?

But how long does a house in green construction last? Much depends on the materials used, which is why there are structures with a longer lifespan – which can easily exceed a century’s lifespan – and others that can guarantee even more than 50 years without special maintenance.

However, major manufacturers offer a warranty against construction or material defects at least 30 years.

But that’s not all, as bioarchitecture in almost all cases ensures that buildings are also anti-seismic from their foundations, an element that will make the house even more durable despite the possibility of environmental disasters.

What are the prices of houses in green architecture

Home, savings

On the frontpage of prices, there are no clear rates. It all depends on the size, the quality of the materials chosen, the amenities that were introduced during the design phase, the average prices for the destination area and much more.

If we consider these factors, a green construction house designed from scratch can cost between 750 and 3,000 euros per square meter. If you choose a prefabricated building, but always in green architecture, you go from 900 to 3,500 euros, always per square meter.

Green building in Italy Green building, interior

We talk more and more often about green construction in Italy, but how developed is this sector really? Rumor has it that it is growing and counteracting the normal real estate market, already severely tested by the Covid pandemic and the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that began in 2022.

If we consider only the houses made entirely of wood, in 2020 there were 3,070 of them in the entire Italian territory. If we only take the newly built houses into account, green construction – also in materials other than wood – today, however, makes up around 6% of all requests for the construction of new houses.

In 2019, the green housing architecture sector had a turnover of 754 million euros, with growth of 5% compared to the previous year. In 2020, this proportion has increased to €1.39 billion.

From a legislative point of view, there are no special restrictions in the construction of houses in wood or with several materials, always in green construction. However, we have to consider how to fix the building, with a very solid foundation, therefore Tiny Home style buildings are not included in the Italian calculation, as they are often placed on wheels and practically transportable using trucks suitable for this purpose. .

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