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CASE DI LUCE: Urban Regeneration and Low Carbon Architecture

Istaknut Je Slučaj November 2016
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Case di Luce is an example of sustainable urban regeneration in a densely urbanized area. The site, located in the town of Bisceglie Italy, was a former industrial site that was not in use. All old building structures were demolished and the area cleaned up in order to give way to innovative energy efficiency constructions. Case di Luce is exactly that.  The building features low carbon design which leverages seasonal variations of the solar path in order to optimise the comfort of its tenants. Façades are designed to generate maximum shading in the summer and to allow for maximum solar gains in the winter. This is done by using a set of overhangs and insets which are customized to every floor as each one has its own distinct solar orientation. A pitched canopied roof holds the solar thermal and photovoltaic panels for the energy renewable production.  A concrete frame made of hemp and lime-based binder (with good thermal and mechanical performance response) is used as the bearing system for the building in all the envelope elements.


Sustainable Highlights


Passive solar heating system

An energy concept based on solar design with bioclimatic greenhouse spaces which are opened in the winter and covered in the summer.


Passive cooling system

Natural cross ventilation with stack effect.


Rainwater harvesting system

Efficient water management with rainwater recovery from outdoor tank in the garden area.


Renewable energy generation

Solar thermal and photovoltaic roof is the active system and covers 90% of the energy consumption needs.


Nearly zero-energy complex

The replacement of an abandoned industrial site with 3 new sustainable buildings in passive standard: buildings A and C, north-south oriented (benefits from the passive cooling) and building B, south-east oriented (benefits from the passive solar heating).


Green urban area

A hybrid-integrated system of green public and private spaces allows a good level of evapotranspiration. The green public spaces are made up of gardens planted with local vegetation and a charging station for cars and electric bikes, in order to increase the quality and sustainability of the urban environment.


Resource efficiency

The use of local vegetation as construction material such as tufa and the low-impact production of hemp-lime concrete assures genuine ecological and sustainable infrastructures. These materials provide a load bearing system and insulation while at the same time, a high indoor comfort is also assured.





Via Sant'Andrea, 13, 76011 Bisceglie, Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, Puglia Region, Italy



Project team


Project management and main contractor: Pedone Working srl - Bisceglie

Architect design: Pedone Studio (Pietro Pedone, Pantaleo Pedone, Massimo Pedone, Annamaria Perruccio)

Structure: Pietro Pedone

Sustainability consultants: CFE – Centro di fisica edile – Gravina In Puglia

Photographer: Sergio Camplone



Time Schedule


Building A

Design: 2012-2014

Construction: projected date - 2017


Building B

Design: 2012-2014

Construction: 2014-2016.

Delivery and inauguration: February 2016



Building use and area


Total Plot Area: 6,422 m2

Green area: 1,971 m2

Type of construction: new residential multi-family building

Total number of dwellings: 61 units


Building A

Total Constructed Floor Area: 3,065 m2 (including balconies)

Total Treated Floor Area – TFA: 2,150 m2

Project status: This residential complex is comprised of two buildings A and C. The construction for Building A will start in 2017 and is characterized by balconies having double-height arcades and outdoor multilevel private gardens which will be screened by sunshades. The building will have 25 units spread across five floors as well as an attic floor. It will have a North-South orientation and, therefore, will benefit from summer savings due to the cooling effects of natural ventilation (so-called passive cooling). Building C, whose construction date is still not planned will have 15 units.


Building B

Total Constructed Floor Area: 2,523 m2 (including balconies)

Total Treated Floor Area – TFA: 1,850 m2

Project status: This residential building was recently completed in 2016 It has 21 units incorporated across five floors as well as an attic floor. It has South-East orientation for the best solar exposure and thus maximizes the passive solar heating in winter.



Construction costs


Whole building cost: 4.6 M€ (Building B)

Renewable energy systems cost: 100,000 €



Envelope performance


The building envelope is characterised by the use of bio-based construction materials: tufa, a local vegetation used for construction of the walls, and natural concrete composed by a mixture of chipboard hemp plant with lime-based binder (hemp-lime concrete). Internal walls are made of 1005 tufa and external walls have an internal facing of 10 cm tufa with a first sprayed layer of 25 cm hemp-lime concrete (ratio 1:1) and a second layer of 5 cm (ratio 1:4). The advantage of the use of the hemp-lime concrete is that it combines high insulation properties and thermal mass with high environmental compatibility, recyclability and hygroscopic control; it also has a negative balance of CO2 emission material capable of capturing 60 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per m3 of material.


Detail of vertical partitions

External wall façade: 0.18 W/m2.K

Internal walls between dwellings: 0.40 W/m2.K

Internal walls in the lift shaft: 0.33 W/m2.K


Detail of horizontal partitions

Roof: 0.27 W/m2.K

Ground floor: 0.40 W/m2.K

Floors: 0.21 W/m2.K

Windows: n.d.


Product brochure of the hemp-lime concrete:



Energy consumption


Primary energy consumption: 12.06 kWh PE/m2.year

Primary energy consumption for standard building: 48.73 kWh PE/m2.year

Calculation method: UNI TS 11300


Final energy consumption: 8.49 kWh FE/m2.year.



Energy systems


Renewable systems (90% of total energy production): Solar photovoltaic and Solar Thermal


Ventilation system: Natural ventilation, humidity sensitive Air Handling Unit (hygro A) and Double flow heat exchanger


Cooling system: Reversible heat pump, Floor cooling


Hot water system: Heat pump and Solar Thermal


Heating system: Condensing gas boiler, Heat pump and Low temperature floor heating


Air Tightness Value: 0.59 1/h at n50

GHG in use: 13 Kg CO2/m2.year



Awards and recognition


Winner of Green Building Solutions Awards 2016 in the Energy & Hot Climates category (


Project candidate of The Plan Award 2015 in the Innovative architecture category ( of The Plan Award 2016 in the Housing category (


Building certified with labels: national energy class A+ (CasaClima Gold Class) and sustainable level 4.1 from Protocollo Itaca Puglia 2011


Additional information


Brochure of the building (Italian):


Photo gallery:


Case study presentation Construction21 platform:


Videos (Italian):

-Project presentation:


-Hemp-lime concrete features:

-Acoustic test:

Lessons learnt

The balance between urban strategies, energy design and construction materials can guarantee indoor comfort and energy consumptions levels like a nearly zero-energy building. This building complex represents a pioneer study case in the region of Puglia for its innovative sustainable highlights. The use of natural and ecological materials in the building complex is one of these main highlights that also opens discussion as a high energy efficiency construction as opposed to conventional materials

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