traverso vighy: tvzeb zero energy building, italy
original content
mar 06, 2013
traverso vighy: tvzeb zero energy building, italy


‘tvzeb’ by traverso-vighy, vicenza, italy
all images courtesy of tvzeb



the ‘tvzeb’ architecture studio is a building which takes on all facets of sustainability from the physical construction and assembly to the use and feel
of the space. designed by a collaborative effort between italian practice traverso-vighy – for whom the structure is for – and the university of padua’s
department of technical physics, the project conforms with new EU standards whereby all public buildings as of 2020 must produce zero carbon emissions.
it is located in the mountains just outside of vicenza’s city center in nothern italy where hot humid summers transition into cold foggy winters
with an ever-changing natural landscape. tvzeb is designed with the principles of deconstruction in mind: only a subtle foundation of two parallel longitudinal
reinforced concrete beams are fixed into the ground with 30 mm-diameter bars, while most of the remaining components are CNC-milled or locally
handcrafted parts assembled on-site.



embedded within the forest landscape



the studio is conceived of as a ‘daylight funnel,’ creating an intrinsic relationship with natural and artificial lights to provide visual comfort, regulate
internal temperatures, and assist in the human perception of space and time throughout the changing seasons and circadian cycles. the entire
northern and southern facades are completely glazed; the north allowing panoramic views – the south accepting winter rays for passive heating.
the transparent thresholds are inset from the exterior corten envelope shading the interior in the summer keeping it cooler, and are meant to take
on an invisible nature to blend the exterior and interior spaces. the interior lighting scheme is made possible due to LED bar lights embedded into
the ground plane with adjustable color temperatures that mimic the natural light spectrum, reflecting off of the aluminum-clad interior walls to offset
exterior lighting conditions year-round. 





the envelope consists of a timber frame system on the concrete foundation clad in larch boards that are known for their natural weather resistance
and longevity, and are a traditional building material in the region. a double layer of 90 mm polyester fiber  made from around 40,000 recycled plastic bottles.
16 photovoltaic panels on the auxiliary structure are able to produce 5.6 kWh of energy which is enough to meet all energy needs in a year.
heating is accomplished through a geothermal heat pump, powered by the solar panels, and a natural wood-burning stove fed by garden pruning on site.
interior air quality is controlled through underground air exchange distribution channels that also dissipate heat.



timber cladding



southern glazed facade under overhanging eave



timber footpath leading from the parking to the studio






interior main space



reflective aluminum panel interior reflects artificial light



auxiliary structure with solar panel roof





wrap-around window blurs the distinction between interior and exterior





corten cladding assembled by hand with traditional crimping techniques



illumination at night









exterior materials allow the structure to merge into the landscape




frame assembly



timber frame



components are made to be disassembled



construction of wooden walkway



applying insulation to the larch envelope



interior volume



corten cladding




site plan









lighting systems study



changing color temperature to counteract exterior lighting conditions



follows circadian rhythms



sun angles at mid-day



light penetration diagrams







base and frame construction



water collection system



project info:



architects: traverso-vighy, university of padua’s department of technical physics (DFT)
traverso-vighy team: arch. giovanni traverso, arch. paola vighy, arch. giulio dalla gassa, arch. elena panza
DFT team: prof. ing. alberto zecchin, prof. ing. michele de carli, dott. ing. valeria de giuli, dott. ing. giuseppe emmi, dott. ing. massimiliano scarpa,
dott. ing. giacomo villi, dott. ing. angelo zarrella
lighting: coemar
insulation: ORV

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