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Rhome’s challenge

Solar Decathlon 2014, the international Olympics of the environmental friendly architecture (USA) has chosen the Italian Chiara Tonelli, architect and professor at UniRoma 3. Next June, in Versailles, she will bring Rhome the eco-friendly building: affordable, energy efficient and perfectly integrated in its own territory, i.e. the university where Tonelli teaches.

The word Rhome means “a home for Rome” and it is completed by the subtitle “for denCity”. The project aims at rethinking urban suburbs from a sustainable point of view: biodegradable and reusable materials (wood, sand, steel), with a strong thermal insulation power and passive criteria; solar panels and a parapet able to produce warm water, despite remaining cool in summer.

The building is earthquake proof and was projected to produce more than what it consumes, besides providing energy to the whole neighbourhood. Its performance is eight times higher than that of a standard house with a C energy-efficiency rating. «We wanted to combine energy efficiency and social housing, also preserving the territory – the architect explains – In the new area, born on the old one demolished, our building reuses waste water and walk and cycling lanes have been created». Rhome will be replicated in Trastevere, a more central area of the capital, owned by Ferrovie dello Stato. «The main objective is to re-densify the urban fabric. This does not mean, though, increasing the number of cubic meter, thus occupying public land. It means, instead, increasing the number of houses in the same area by offering small apartments so to satisfy young couples’ needs and temporary residents» (www.rhomefordencity.it).

Rhome’s challenge

A biodynamic life
by Giuliana Zoppis

Rhome’s challenge

News, events, products and services for an innovative and conscious lifestyle:
all that can give an ecologic shift to everyday actions with responsibility, curiosity, creativity and the desire of improving us and the world we live in.

This is the section led by Giuliana Zoppis, architect, journalist and expert of ecodesign, biobuilding and socio-environmental sustainability. In 2006, together with Clara Mantica , she founded Best Up the first chain for promoting the sustainable living.