Antoniucci V., D’Alpaos C., Marella G. (2015).
Energy saving in tall buildings: From urban planning regulation to smart grid building solutions. International Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications Volume 39, Issue 2, Pages 101.
In Italian urban planning, the economic issues addressed in new high-rise settlements are mostly approached in the developer’s perspective. In private-public partnerships, investments sustainability is usually valued by public authorities in terms of construction costs, market prices and public works and infrastructures built by the private developers. In case of high-rise projects, the main aim of the public authority is to guarantee that the project be accepted by as many local residents as possible before the project even starts. In recent years, there has been an ever-growing focus on energy saving and sustainability for buildings. Italian regulation has generally approached these issues as far as building structures and materials are concerned, and in the most advanced regional urban legislation, it also focuses on the construction site. There does not, however, appear to be any attention paid to the sustainability of new developments as a whole. Italian zoning does not deal with the energy issues related to investment projects and their externalities, neither in urban development nor economic perspectives. The English Leed protocol, which focuses on urban sustainability evaluation, is barley used, and when it is, it is because the private developers has chosen to do so, not because it has been required by law. Not one public administration in Italy has yet to implement it. This paper investigates the economic issues related to energy consumption in new metropolitan areas, with specific reference to tall buildings and high density developments. Due to the specific construction typology, dimension and complexity, tall buildings might be considered as urban developments in their own right. More specifically, the paper discusses how the energy demand and consumption of a single building can affect the energy tradeoff of entire cities.