Unicredit HQ and BIPV urban canopy
Piazza Gae Aulenti, 3, 20154 Milano
Photo credits: ©ISAAC-SUPSI
UniCredit’s headquarters is a trio of towers, designed by architect César Pelli (www.pcparch.com) that is a standard for excellence in sustainable architecture. All three towers are Certified LEED® Gold, delivering energy savings of over 22 percent, over 37 percent reduction in water use, and 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. A direct line of sunlight reaches 90 percent of the occupied spaces within each tower, and 100 percent of rainwater is recycled. The UniCredit’s main tower constructed by Hines Italia SGR is one of the tallest buildings in Italy. This 231-metre-high skyscraper in Milan is the headquarters of UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank by assets, and is part of a larger development of the new residential and commercial structures in Milan’s Porta Nuova district, near the Porta Garibaldi railway station. Source: Pelli Clarke & Partners. Close to the Unicredit Headquarters, there is an interesting example of BIPV urban canopy at Gae Aulenti square. The semi-transparent elements are integrated for harmonious continuity of construction elements with the building envelope, as shading element. The glass-glass PV plant use photovoltaic elements has been customized to match energy production, architectural and design requirements: “creativity and design should be able to express themselves in perfect tune with functionality, eco-friendliness and aesthetics, while ensuring people’s safety and compliance with standards”.
Gae Aulenti square is part of the master plan by César Pelli Architects for a mixed-use development north of Milan’s historic city center. It is one of the largest redevelopment projects underway in Milan, it will include residential, office, retail, and hotel components with a strong focus on pedestrian activity at the base of the buildings. This modern circular piazza, named after the renowned Italian architect Gae Aulenti, maximize natural light and ventilation, offering visual interest and connection to underground floors relates to one of Milan’s liveliest streets with iconic shopping and nightlife, Corso Como.
The total nominal power of the photovoltaic system is about 21 kW, that is generated by 17 kWp BIPV canopy system and 4 kWp traditional PV roof system. The entire photovoltaic system is connected to the electricity grid. The photovoltaic system consists of two distinct sub-fields with different generator types:
1. The first sub-field was made with structural photovoltaic glass as a cover for the canopies that overlook Piazza Gae Aulenti. The semi-transparent BIPV modules are developed in a semicircle, forming a concave arch with the building. the entire PV subfield is divided into three further subfields, each with its own dedicated inverter. The structural custom-made photovoltaic glass was developed with different tilt angles for the project with back-contact monocrystalline silicon cells. Active and inactive modules have a specific architectural design simulating an effect of
movement and water like a waterfall.
2. The second sub-field was made with traditional photovoltaic modules and placed on the roof of the building (Tower A).