Co-Housing Zero

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By ATIproject studio / Published by ATIproject studio
What happens when a group of friends decide to build their own condo?

A Co-Housing experiment in Pisa, Italy


ChZero is a 12 apartments condo designed by a group of young architects and engineers (all under 35) in search for a home. They decided to create a safe building, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient, developing architectural and technical solutions which address the needs of savings, comfort and sustainability. Despite their limited budget, this group of young designers was able to create a cozy, technologically advanced home, with high living standards and impressive energy performances. A dream pursued by cutting unnecessary costs and thinking out of the box of the real estate market, turning it into an economically sustainable reality.Using their experience and the interest accrued for green building and integrated design over the years, they drew inspiration from the northern European co-housing model. The project in fact has foreseen the sharing of certain spaces for common activities. 

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After just 18 months of design, planning and construction (a very short timeframe compared to the Italian construction panorama), the dream took shape: four floors house dwellings and common spaces with a strong ecological character.Great importance has been given to the building’s shape and orientation: integrated studies allow to maximize winter solar gains and minimize direct summer sunlight, reducing the need for extra energy. The remaining energy demand is covered by a photovoltaic system and solar thermal collectors. 

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The project has been developed emphasizing the use of natural, recyclable materials reducing the environmental impact. The most striking example of this design philosophy is the building main structure, made of cross-laminated wooden panels, which delivers excellent results in terms of wall transmittances’s reduction together with a high resistance to dynamic stresses, such as those of seismic events.

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The whole building has been built in X-Lam panels and dry walls systems and facades for thermal and acoustic insulation, with the sole exception of a concrete ground floor. This construction technology though, had an impact on the choice and the arrangement of technologic systems, which have been placed between the ceilings and the walls. Layered facades and highly efficient fixtures compliment domotic technologies. Finally, the building has won numerous awards like 2014 Viessmann design competition as well as a positive public attention.  

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