Technology and renovation for Tartarini Auto
With a business focused on the production of natural gas fuel systems for cars, the Italian company Tartarini Auto represents a point of reference for technological research into the use of alternative fuels. Originally part of the Automotive Division of OMT – Officina Meccanica Tartarini, founded in 1941 by Aleardo Tartarini, it developed a lively and pioneering artisanal business that is now a family-run company in its third generation.
The production site, a state-of-the-art facility in Castel Maggiore on the outskirts of Bologna, covers an area of 15,000 square metres in which it assembles components, tests natural gas and LPG systems and installations, packages products and ships them all over the world. Originally built in the 1960s on the border with the municipality of Bologna, it has been redesigned internally and externally by architect Silvia Baietti, principal of the Bologna-based practice Link Studio Stp, who took advantage of the need to improve the energy efficiency of the envelope to also redefine its image.
The envelope underwent extensive modifications to improve both aesthetics and performance. This included the installation of a new ventilated façade consisting of an external metal cladding with internal insulation provided by a layer of expanded polyurethane panels. The old doors and windows were replaced with new thermal break fixtures with aluminium frames and selective glass, which are highly efficient both thermally and acoustically.
The interior renovation work included reinstalling all the utilities and reorganising both the production area and the entire office space. Along with new partitions and more up-to-date finishes, the most important innovation adopted by Silvia Baietti was the solution chosen for the flooring, which involved dry installation of ultra-thin 100×300 cm size Kerlite tiles produced by Cotto d’Este. This solution avoided the need to demolish the existing surfaces, thereby speeding up the construction process and reducing the production of additional site waste. Kerlite Easy from Cotto d’Este is the first certified adhesive-free dry installation system for ceramic floor coverings. The ultra-thin tiles, reinforced with fibreglass to increase their strength for the same thickness, are part of the Kerlite Cement Project collection. Chosen in the Cem version, they emphasise the urban and industrial character of cement with grey shades and glossy/matt reflections. The same panels were used for the floor coverings in the entrance foyer and toilets.
The project also included the external areas close to the main façade. On the pavement and entrance steps, the asphalt was replaced with stone-effect ceramic tiles from the Limestone collection by Cotto d’Este (Oyster version, thickness 20 mm, size 60×120 cm) and a new strip of greenery was created at varying heights to signal the entrance of the building to visitors and to reinforce its image to passing motorists.