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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Xeliox Energy Lab in Bergamo, Italy by marco acerbis studio

May 20th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Xeliox Energy Lab is the new headquarter building for Xeliox srl, an Italian company that produces solar parabolic troughs and that, through a new fully operational building, wants to achieve benchmark status with regards to production and energy consumption in line with the target of being a modern, hence sustainable, industrial environment. XEL is designed to be the first industrial building in Italy with an average energy consumption ≤ 6 kWh/mc: equivalent of Italian Class A.

The access from the parking pavement. The solar skin wraps the building and protrudes further to capture the visitors.

  • Architect: marco acerbis studio
  • Name of Project: Xeliox Energy Lab
  • Location: Bergamo, Italy
  • Client: Xeliox Srl
  • Area: 4700 mq
  • Software used: Rhino

The building elements have been all analysed to identify and coordinate their transmittance values. The envelope is highly insulated compared to equivalent buildings. Although the South-East axis of the building is not an ideal orientation it is maintained anyway to allow the existing grid of the industrial estate to continue. The 74m long and 10.5m high curved façade with diagonal modules compensates the ‘incorrect’ exposure to the sun. These modules alternate between solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels and glass panels. The façade is able to produce heat using solar thermal panels and electricity using photovoltaic panels.

Side View

Transparent glass panels will allow natural light into the public entrance space. Offices are completely independent in terms of electrical energy. Natural lighting will provide comfortable working conditions. On the roof a number of parabolic troughs will be installed. Some of them will be used for solar cooling in summer and solar heating in winter. The rest will heat up the oil used by production machineries. The Xeliox Energy Lab experience is not behind closed doors, the public will be welcomed and will be invited for seminars and walks through the building all the way to the roof with an architecture of strong impact that while not failing on its technological function is also able to communicate complex technological issues with a simple and clear language.

Side View

The stair is lightly suspended from the canopy secondary steel.

The view form the roof is magnificent as on the one side the sky is reflected in the parabolic troughs and on the other you can see the green landscape in the background beyond the solar skin.

Once inside the atrium the visitor will experience the full size of this artificial canyon. Natural light illuminates it through glass panels in the solar skin that break the pattern of the photovoltaic and thermal panels allowing for the light to come trough and project delicate patterns on the wall.

The main structure of the building is composed of the Italian typical precast concrete structure that helps maintaining a constant climate through the use of its thermal mass. The facades are made of a double skin wall composed of aluminium sandwich panels that are able to insulate the building extremely well. The internal aluminium ceilings are all radiant and will warm the air in winter while cooling it in summer.

On the roof, accessible also by the external lift, visitors will be able to see the parabolic troughs at work and then descend to the lower floors enjoying the view of the solar skin while walking down the suspended staircase.

External view of the solar skin while approaching the building entrance

Construction work

The building at work is like a machine sustaining itself where possible producing electrical energy, hot water, cooling in summer and heating in winter minimising impact on the environment. But this is not the end of the building, XEL is a Laboratory, constantly improving and testing new technology over time.

The building is located in an existing industrial estate surrounded by a very beautiful green area. These drawings show the analysis carried out to optimize position and shape of the building.

A number of prototypes have been put together to test all the technical solutions, in this case the prototype of the solar skin is on show during a yearly scientific event Bergamo Scienza.

Construction work

Construction work

Construction work

Construction work

Exterior View

Contact marco acerbis studio and marco acerbis studio

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Categories: Energy plant, Laboratory and Office, Rhino

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