The Italian Demonstrator “Villa Cuccoli” in Argelato, Bologna

“Villa Cuccoli” is the Italian demonstrator selected within Drive 0, aimed at the decarbonization of the existing building stock through the implementation of a circular strategy. The complex belongs to the private foundation Fondazione CARISBO, which finances the renovation project of the entire building complex, with the exception of the architectural and energy requalification of two façades (north- and west-oriented) of the manor villa, which are financed by EU funds. 

The Italian pilot represents a typical rural residential building with reiterated presence in different rural territories of southern Europe and Italy. This specific case study represents an example of renovation and refurbishment of historical buildings, fostering a cycle of requalification of this architectural typology according to a circular approach, which is completely innovative in the field of protected heritage. The interventions foreseen will concern the implementation of reconstruction and renovation interventions through the reuse of original materials and new sustainable and partially prefabricated components. 

The existing and territorial construction materials will be reused respecting the traditional and regional architectural standards. The retrofit of the existing rural building stock will meet a high level of energy efficiency, based on circular use of materials and building components with high technological solutions for energy efficiency improvement. 

This deep-renovation demonstrator will be developed based on the following circular actions: 

  • The roof will be totally reconstructed through the adoption of an innovative technology: it consists of 2D prefab panels with a structural wooden frame and different wooden thermal insulating layers. This construction system represents a circular, modular, and customizable product that allows the integration of roof and false ceiling into a single module.
  • BIPVs will be installed on the south-oriented portion of roof.
  • The two façades north- and west-oriented will be energy refurbished thanks to the installation of an innovative façade technology designed by ALIVA: it consists of 2D plug&play panels prefab panels with a structural aluminum frame, filled in with two layers of high density (internal) and low density rockwool (external) for a total thickness of 20 cm (equal to that of the ETICS panels used for the other two façades).
  • The new windows will be integrated within thermal insulated prefab frames, which also include the related window shading systems. 

At the end of the renovation process, the Municipality of Argelato will dispose of the renovated “Villa Cuccoli” building complex – that now is abandoned – consisting of the manor villa (Drive 0 pilot case) and a former hayloft-stable. While the manor villa will be transformed into a multi-user social residence for disadvantaged families and disabled people, the former barn-stable will host some social services for the use of residents and citizens, surrounded by a park of great landscape value. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been some significant delays especially in the process of obtaining permits from local authorities to carry out the intervention on the building complex that is protected. 

Once all permits were obtained, the construction works began in late June 2021 and the end of the works is scheduled for the beginning of 2023. 

In December 2021 ALIVA – partner of the Drive 0 Consortium – is expected to energy refurbish through the implementation of an innovative plug&play façade system. The design and production of the panels, after the development of a precise laser scanning survey of the façades, is in progress. The adoption of prefabricated components in the context of the protected building heritage is very complex: it must be compatible with the existing context and fit in coherently with it, also from a construction point of view, in accordance with the requirements of the authorizing entities. 

In the meantime, the construction site is proceeding with the initial stages of demolition, consolidation of the foundations and rehabilitation of the portions of the load-bearing wall structure that are damaged and deteriorated.