Project data:

Year and location:  2012 Vicenza, Italy
Surface area: 190 square metres
Volume: 940 square metres


Energy performance:

Total: 10200 kWh/y
Heating: 17.3 kWh/(m²y)
Total emission of carbon dioxide: 2.73  KgCO2/(m²y)
Mechanical ventilation: 4.2 kWh/(m²y)


Project team:

Client: Traverso Vighy Architetti associati
Architects: traverso-vighy – Giovanni Traverso and Paola Vighy, with  Giulio Dalla Gassa, Elena Panza
Energy concept and simulation: Department of Technical Physics – University of Padua – Alberto Zecchin, Michele De Carli, Valeria De Giuli, Giuseppe Emmi, Massimiliano Scarpa, Giacomo Villi, Angelo Zarrella
Structural design: Loris Frison
Systems planning and design: Lorenzo Barban, Marco Sabbatini
Partner companies: Clima Veneta, Coemar, Svea Group, SunPower, Vetreria Romagna, Pesavento Leganmi, Fabbro Carpenterie, Carretta Serramenti, De Grandi Costruzioni Edili, MP3, ORV, Rehau; Cortese Allestimenti, Cesare Bruno Impianti, Kieback&Peter

05. Mar 2013

The “genius” in the bottle and sustainability
TVZEB in Vincenza/I

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Chemollo, Joachim Ritter

Good lighting responds to architectural space. As does sustainable lighting. The use of daylight and the choice of materials and surfaces determine whether a space works – from the technical and energy point of view as well as visually. Lighting does not need to be especially striking or even noticeable. It can be low-key and unobtrusive. And it is not a question of how much energy is consumed, but rather whether the overall project generates excess energy. Architecture does not need to be ultra-technical. It can be human-oriented – and really feel that way.

The basis for the concept of such a project is a comprehensive approach from the initial planning phase. Even the location and alignment within a rural or urban context is important. That may all sound obvious, but reality tells another story, especially when we are not talking about prestige projects designed by “world-famous” architects, but about smaller, everyday projects. Small structures do not appear to offer sufficient volume to be able to deliver sustainable architectural solutions or generate energy rather than consuming it. A false conclusion if ever there was one, as the example of a small design practice in Vicenza, Italy shows.

The “traverso-vighy zero energy building”, for short tvzeb, is an experimental zero energy building realised by virtue of a cooperative endeavour between traverso-vighy architects’ studio and the University of Padua’s Department of Technical Physics.

Tvzeb is the last in a sequence of “light” buildings developed by the studio. The relation with the landscape, the use of daylight, and the prefabrication are consistent to traverso-vighy architects’ approach.

Around 15 years ago they designed a studio for a designer of glasses, a small, balloon-frame building comprising a glulam and stainless steel structure and with a view of a river. In 2006, their design for the Spidi showroom incorporated the meteorological and daytime mutation of daylight into the space. In 2011, with the Casa Ceschi project, they developed a complex, precisely prefabricated lightweight structure of laminated wood which was inserted inside a historical building in the mediaeval town walls of Vicenza. The architects themselves see tvzeb as a kind of synthesis of all their previous experience with daylight projects, with increased attention to energy and sustainability issues.


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 86.

TVZEB – Traverso Vighy Zero Energy Building from on Vimeo.

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