Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Southern Europe: Challenges and Design Strategies

Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Southern Europe: Challenges and Design Strategies

A. Boeri D. Longo 

University of Bologna, Department of Architecture and Territorial Planning – Faculty of Architecture ‘Aldo Rossi’, Cesena – Italy

30 November 2011
| Citation



The increasing attention paid to energy efficiency in buildings by researches has led toward solutions favoring the adaptation of the European passive house standard, developed and codifi ed mainly in cold contexts, to different climate contexts, in particular the Mediterranean one. In warm areas, energy efficiency is related to summer performance and the passive cooling of buildings. In southern and central Italy, the main factor is the heat control, which regards just the summer period during which situations of overheating occur – this implies significant energy consumption due to conditioning systems, therefore it has to be restricted. It may be possible that the energy required to cool buildings exceeds the requirements for heating. This implies that the criteria for energy efficiency projects should be revisited and adapted to specific national climatic situations, even by recovering and updating design criteria and techniques adopted in traditional building. Relevant experiences are also developing in Italy, where the Mediterranean climate has different characteristics compared to the cold climates of central and northern Europe. An interesting project is presented as an indicative case study of experimentation in this field.


energy efficiency, Mediterranean architecture, passive house, technology


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