Efficienza energetica nelle costruzioni e comunità energetiche: intervista a Gianni Terenzi

What do we mean when we talk about building sustainably? Undoubtedly, sustainable building and architecture involve a deep knowledge of materials and the construction process, but it is also important to think about the impact each building will have on the environment over the years. One of the most important aspects of sustainability, in this sense, is energy efficiency. We talked about this with Gianni Terenzi, bio-architect and Green Communicator, who was among the moderators at GECO in our round tables on energy communities and on the climate crisis.

Are Italian companies interested in energy efficiency?

There are still very few companies that have undertaken a real growth and training programme to address the ongoing change in the way of approaching the energetic redevelopment of buildings and, above all, healthy indoor living. It is not just a question of nZEB standards or Kw/h and energy efficiency, but rather of the quality of living, creating the least possible impact on the environment, aiming at indoor living comfort and improving the quality of building materials, which do not necessarily have to derive from petrochemicals. And it is not even a matter of green building or bio-architecture, because there is no such thing, it is only a matter of effective building.

How do you energetically upgrade a building?

Transforming buildings by working on energy performance, decreasing their energy requirements as much as possible. This is not just done by changing windows, using insulation or, most importantly, using energy from renewable sources, including energy produced on-site or nearby. In order to have zero energy requirements, it is necessary to design an integrated energy efficiency scheme that includes heating, cooling, domestic hot water, ventilation and lighting. And then know how to take care of thermal bridges that can compromise the building's hygiene, its comfort and, consequently, increase energy consumption Thermal bridges are thermal discontinuities that generate an increase in dispersion at the building's critical nodes (geometric or material-related) and often occur when coats are placed without sufficient preliminary design to adequately insulate those elements. In my opinion, then, the first efficiency improvement actually comes from the design of the building and the way we build and, even better, if this design is then linked to a healthy and sustainable living project, using natural, circular and certified building materials.Transforming buildings by working on energy performance, decreasing their energy requirements as much as possible.

In your experience, how widespread are awareness and sensitivity on these issues in Italy?

It is better than it was 15 years ago, when I started working on communicating these issues, but there is still a lot to be done. I started over 15 years ago with the television formats produced by RAI Educational and the Ministry of the Environment and broadcast on RAI 1 and RAI 3, where I travelled the world for more than three years reporting on the best practices for green living and environmental sustainability. “S.O.S.tenibilità”, with which I won the Aretè award for best social and responsible communication programme on Italian television, and “La mia BioCasa” . I really believe that the whole supply chain needs to be educated, trained and made aware of these issues: end users, companies and technicians need to know about them. The aim of my approach to communicating these topics to everyone, also using storytelling and narrative techniques, is precisely to get this information across to as wide an audience as possible and not just in a purely educational way, which is more often than not boring and unappealing. In the web series “Architutto…in Green” I'm going to explore natural, low-emission materials that help sanitise and make our homes healthy as well as efficient (instead of using materials from chemical synthesis) and I am going to show the audience that... 'it can work'. I should go back to doing TV formats, by now these topics are the talk of the town and energy efficiency issues thanks also to the Superbonus are booming at last.

What are energy communities and why are they important?

Energy communities are made up of groups of people (citizens, public bodies and companies) who, instead of just consuming energy, actively contribute to producing it, distributing it, sharing it, working together. With the aim of providing renewable energy at favourable prices, tackling energy wastage, reducing CO2 emissions. Users are thus transformed from consumers to prosumers, participating in the energy production process. Energy communities have a number of positive impacts on the people, entities and communities involved: environmental benefits, avoiding on the one hand the production of energy from fossil fuels, and on the other hand the dissipation of energy in grid losses.

Why did you choose to support GECO?

Because, in part due to the lessons learnt from the pandemic, we came up with a way to engage with these issues by creating an experience that closely resembles reality, thanks to customisable avatars, 3D and high level interaction. A 100% sustainable platform, a virtual event that not only generates significantly lower pollutants, but also allows us to continue to share experiences related to renewable energy, green mobility, sustainable tourism and food, and circular economy issues. It has something in common with energetic communities.

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Published on 06-06-2022