Nestled between two pre-existing structures in Rome, the Ghella Meeting Center is the first LEED Platinum V4 building in Italy. The building serves as a sustainable, energy-efficient and economical space for the Ghella Headquarters.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a well-known form of green building certification. It rates buildings and spaces under several categories that encompass aspects such as environmental quality, efficiency and innovation. LEED certifications range from LEED-certified, silver, gold and platinum. The latter applies to buildings that meet the highest standards of green construction.
The meeting center resembles a space constructed entirely of glass. However, the illusion of a fully-glass building is created by wrapping the cast-concrete space in large glass façades. On top of the building, a rooftop garden surrounds four skylights, which capture natural light and cool breezes from above. The skylights complement the frontal glass façade with its automated curtain system that regulates light intensity and air circulation. Hence, the space uses both active and passive systems to regulate indoor environmental quality, maximizing sunlight and airflow to suit user comfort levels.
Furthermore, they incorporated a green roof that enhances biodiversity in the area. It also helps reduce the heat island effect, which occurs when infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat. This process results in higher temperatures in urban areas. Plants help limit the heat island effect by providing shade and absorbing sunlight.
Alongside housing vegetation that regulates atmospheric conditions, the rooftop also harvests rainwater for irrigation. This maximizes the use of readily-available natural resources. Additionally, the building features high-efficiency faucets to lower average water consumption by 30%.
The building also considers carbon emissions of users and how they access the space. The meeting center’s location is easily accessed by urban public transport, thus minimizing the extensive carbon emissions produced by private vehicles. Energy consumption within the building is further reduced by its high-efficiency plant system, the atmospheric regulation systems integrated into the façades and solar panels that provide renewable energy. Through these initiatives, energy consumption for the meeting center is 47% lower than other similar buildings.
Images courtesy of Ghella