Environmental-friendly Building Components: Replacements for Eco-efficient Maintenance of Existing Buildings

By Cristina Allione.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Due to the awareness that in the Italian context the existing buildings lifespan performances are one of the main responsible of environmental impacts because they are made of technological-construction systems which are not fit to minimize resources consumption and emissions, this research is aimed at defining innovative building components for introducing eco-efficiency principles into maintenance activities of real building stock. Starting from a background analysis concerning the relationships between sustainability-maintenance activities and the state of the art of existing buildings, the study has examined several thermal imaging of existing buildings in order to detect building components where heat loss bridges are recurring.
After this, by adopting the Design by Components (DbC), which is an approach conceived at DIPRADI for developing environmental-friendly industrial products, in this research innovative building components for these recurring “weak parts” has been conceived in order to demonstrate that an environmental-friendly components replacements is a direct strategy for an extension of building life span with a high eco-efficiency level and it is an indirect way for improving environmental building performances along with whole life cycle.
The paper deals with the results collected so far by using DbC in order to design building solutions that are able to combine maintenance and eco-efficiency requirements.

Keywords: Building Eco-efficiency, Maintenance Activities, Building Components, Design by Components Approach

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.221-232. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.370MB).

Cristina Allione

Research Fellow, DIPRADI - Architectural and Industrial Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Architect and PhD in Technological Innovation for Architecture and Industrial Design. Since 2007 she has been a Research Fellow at DIPRADI (Architectural and Industrial Design Department) of Politecnico di Torino and lecturer of Environmental Quality of Industrial Product at Industrial Design Degree Course, 1 Faculty of Architecture, Politecnico di Torino. Over the years she has carried out teaching, research and professional activity in the field of ecodesign, with particular interest in the Ecotools, such as methodologies and weighting systems for evaluating the environmental performances of the industrial products and building components.


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