During the interview, which has been streamed online on January, 31st 2022, Prof. Margani has illustrated the e-SAFE project and its innovative technology aimed at combining energy efficiency renovation of existing buildings with their adaptation to seismic hazard. The Project Coordinator has thus deepened e-SAFE’s most innovative aspects, clarifying as well the most technical elements of the project and making them accessible to a non-specialistic audience.
e-SAFE: innovation in a triple way
This side of innovation, which is the heart of the matter of the project, lies in the attempt to develop a technology which facilitates both seismic retrofitting and energy efficiency of buildings, providing a solution to many of the problems that currently limit a widespread renovation of earthquake-prone areas’ building stock (as in the case of Catania). A solution which, at the same time, is able to reduce costs, timings and discomfort for buildings residents.
How? As illustrated in the interview, e-SAFE proposes a less invasive solution compared to the ones currently available on the market, that operates mainly on buildings’ façades by applying prefabricated systems. The latter are thus realized in factory and, then, directly applied on buildings, in reduced times.
For more information on e-SAFE innovative technical solutions click here.
CO-PLANNING WITH RESIDENTS.
Among e-SAFE objectives, there is also the idea of involving buildings’ owners and residents in a co-planning process, instead of imposing the project in a top-down way. Therefore, a project team has been created in order to find solutions capable of matching everyone’s interests and preferences. The concept behind is the importance of finding a common solution, in particular in those cases where the property of the building fractioned between more individuals. In this way, e-SAFE intends to provide a solution to the “consensus issue”, which is often deal-breaker aspect.
For more information on this side of the project click here.
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION.
This latter dimension represents a recent development of the project, but not less important: e-SAFE’s attention on the most disadvantaged classes, that can struggle to find opportunities and funds. In this sense, e-SAFE intends to realize a non-profit foundation, whose incomes will be used to finance – at a very competitive rate – works of energetic and seismic renovation using e-SAFE technology.
Focus on Catania: e-SAFE pilot building and the Italian “Superbonus 110%”
Catania is without any doubt among the most interested stakeholders of the project: indeed, 86% of its buildings have been realized before the entry into force of the Italian normative foreseeing anti-seismic technologies in the earthquake-prone areas.
It is no coincidence that the pilot building on which e-SAFE academic partners (UNICT, UNIBO e NMBU) are currently experimenting the project’s technology is in Catania. These works on the pilot building are expected to be concluded by summer 2023.
Another hot topic as Catania – and by extension Italy – is concerned is the Superbonus 110%. This bonus is a tax relief established by the Italian government to promote interventions aimed at energy efficiency buildings renovation, static consolidation and seismic risk reduction. As pointed out by Prof. Margani during the interview, however, it is hard to think of a future combination of e-SAFE technology in the framework of the Italian Superbonus. The latter, indeed, is going to end in 2023, while e-SAFE is a four-years projects started in 2020 which is going to last longer. The fact remains that, in any case, it is necessary to continue to renovate our building stock, and this is all the more true for earthquake-prone regions as Catania and many other regions in Italy and in Europe.
The Superbonus 110%, as importante as it is, also has its limits: its use is in fact very widespread but not inside condominiums. It is mostly used in the context of single structures, villas or second homes, in which often the owner does not have to leave its own home or must not agree with others cohabitants.
e-SAFE, on the other hand, tries to respond to these other needs. For this reason, it is and it will be interesting to explore possible synergies with local authorities, for example through the focus on public housing.