Delta Zero: hi-tech with a view
Donato Di Bello
De Angelis Associati
Commissioned to design a highly prestigious multifunctional building with a low environmental impact in Lugano, Switzerland, the project team made up of architects and urban planners from the practice De Angelis Associati was keen to adopt the most innovative comfort and energy-saving technologies available. The mixed-use building combines open-plan offices (including the De Angelis Associati showroom) with residential spaces of various sizes, from the smallest unit through to an apartment with a large centre-room whirlpool bath and a whole-floor penthouse. Christened “Delta Zero”, the project is the result of decades of research into buildings that produce as much energy as they consume, a condition that in technical jargon is referred to as “zero differential”, hence the name. Designed to generate the energy required for occupant comfort while at the same time eliminating the harmful emissions produced by traditional buildings, the “Delta Zero” project is the prototype for a new kind of building, a model and manifesto for an innovative standard of design and construction. Extending around the central stairwell, which has an anti-seismic function, the transparent glass and steel shell promotes a dialogue with the urban and natural environment.
Created as a collaborative project between the design team and experts in geothermal energy, solar energy, acoustic engineering and home automation, the building uses solar energy generated by high-efficiency photovoltaic cells and thermal panels installed both on the roof – where they are insulated by means of special vacuum panels with an insulating capacity ten times greater than that of traditional materials – and on the south-facing windows. The electrical power required by the building is generated by the solar plant and is guaranteed even in low sunlight. Electricity that is not used directly in the building is fed into the mains power grid, which serves as an accumulator. The building is equipped with an advanced home automation system featuring a simple user interface. Functionality is assured by a raised floor covered with large-format Kerlite planks from Cotto d’Este’s Avantgarde collection in the Bluestone colour version, an almost black stone. For the purposes of ambient comfort, a heat pump connected to the geothermal sensors provides heating in winter and cooling in summer. The system is sized to enable solar energy to entirely fulfil the total annual consumption needs for heating and cooling. Finally, a low pressure, low consumption ventilation system diffuses air inside the building, pre-cooled in summer and pre-heated in winter. The incoming air is filtered and ionised, allowing users of “Delta Zero” to enjoy the experience of breathing pure mountain air.
Cotto d'Este, Kerlite
31,9x142,7 cm, 31,9x31,9 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA - UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 146 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant