SOFTECH  projects




1. Governance





ETERnot Casale - District Planning


A neighbourhood pilot project for an environmentally damaged urban district  – City of Casale Monferrato

2004- ...

AL VIA - Alessandria District

A neighbourhood pilot project for a new residential settlement in  Alessandria

2004- ...

The Gate - Porta Palazzo

The GATE - Living not Leaving

A revitalisation strategy for Porta Palazzo

European Union – City of Turin

1996 - 2002


Renewable Energy Strategies for European Towns

European Commission Directorate General XII APAS-RENA-CT940065

1994 - 1997


Energy Planning for the Cross-Border Region of Cuneo (Italy) and Alps Maritimes (France) - European Commission DGXVII

1994 - 1997
Black Sea

Energy Action Plan for the Black Sea Regions

SYNERGY Programme - Commissione Europea DGXVII

1995 - 1998


Sustainable, Alternative, Fluent Energy-Based Mediterranean Economic Development

European Commission DGXII

1993 - 1995


Ten-Year Energy Planning for

Umbria Region - TEP Project

European Commission DGXVII Thermie A

1990 - 1993


Turin Energy & Environmental Strategy

European Commission DGXVII

1989 - 1993


Bologna Energy STudy

Municipality of Bologna - AGIP Petroli

1982 - 1984

2. Involvement





Qui si sana

Vigevano Neighbourhood Contract

Scenario Workshop and Community Planning

1997 - 2000

Turin 2010: Environment Park

Local Scenario Workshop

Turin, 1995


RAVE : Regeneration in Urban Areas Via Energy

Renewable Energy Strategy for Torino

Local Scenario Workshop

Turin, November 1995



Energy Planning for the Cross-Border Region of Cuneo (Italy) and Alps Maritimes (France)

Local Scenario Workshop


Building Integration of Solar Technologies in Mediterranean Countries

European Design Atelier

Milan, 1995


Building Renewal Via Energy

Design Atelier

Perugia, March 1996


Sustainable Urban Projects

Community Planning

Turin, December 1994


3. Sustainable design






European Method for the Environmental Assessment of Buildings

REGENER Project – European Commission – DGXII

1995 - 1997

Environment Park

Design Guidelines for the Environment Park - City of Torino

1995 - 1996

QAL: Environmental Quality in Buildings

Building Demonstration Project on Environmental Quality Assessment

Ministry of Infrastructure / CIEPA Builders of Alessandria

1987 - 1993

A Green Vitruvius

The Practising Architects Guide to Energy Conscious and Sustainable Design

1996 - 1998


Building Maintenance Assessment Expert System - National Council of Research, Building Research Project  1989-1994

1989 - 1995


Quality, Economy, Environment as Building Research Topics - CNR PFEd

1993 - 1995


Technology integration of information systems in buildings: the new national library of the National Research Council

Building Research Project  1989-1994

1989 - 1995


BEAMES– Building Energy Auditing Management Expert System

European Commission - Joint Research Centre

1992 - 1994

Building Twins Method

Energy Retrofit associated with building maintenance of the Milano Housing Association building stock

1984 - 1987

Building  maintenance

Technologies for the association of energy conservation and building maintenance

1983 - 1986

Building  infiltration

Infiltration and air exchange in residential buildings

1983 - 1986

Building  equipment

Guidelines for the optimal choice of equipments in residential buildings

1985 - 1986

4. Innovative technologies






Renewable Energy Strategies and Technology Applications for Regenerating Towns


1997 - 2002

TEP Project Implementation

TEP Project Implementation – Building Demonstration Project of Umbria Region

European Commissione, DGXVII

1994 - 1999
Guaranteed Results of Photovoltaic Systems

Altener Project

European Commission DGXVII

1995 - 1997

Energy Conservation in OECD countries

Energy conservation and solar energy use in 10 industrial countries

IEA Paris

1987 - 1988

Ventilated facade of CMC

Innovative building component "Ventilated Facade"

CMC Industries - Italy

1986 - 1987

Building Energy Retrofit of Milano building stock

Building Demonstration Programme on Energy Retrofit for low-cost housing in Lombardy

Lombardy Region - Ministry of Infrastructure

1981 - 1987

Building Monitoring

Monitoring programme of solar demonstration buildings

UPSE - ENEA - European Commission DGXVII

1985 - 1988

UPSE: 500 solar dwellings in Italy

Integration of passive and active solar systems in residential buildings in Italy

UPSE - European Commission DGXVII

1980 - 1984

Energy Conservation Potential for Italy

Energy Conservation Potential for the Italian building stock


1980 - 1981




main projects


[^]1.1 Governance

 The GATE - Living not Leaving


Urban Pilot Project, Turin 1996

European Union ERDF – Ministry of Infrastructure – City of Turin – Porta Palazzo Authority, 1996-2001

An Urban Pilot Project for the City of Turin.

The Porta Palazzo district is part of the historical city which surrounds the Piazza della Republica in Turin. It is an important junction for city traffic, commerce and social relations. The octagonal piazza, 51,300 m2, is the largest in Turin.

The main objective of this intervention was to encourage capital to be invested into this area, by means of various measures and initiatives, which would eventually benefit the whole of the community. The sustainability of Porta Palazzo was promoted. Planning the revitalisation of the building contest of the area and the reinforcement of relations took place.


[^]1.2 Governance



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  Renewable Energy Strategies for European Towns



The RESET Project was carried out as part of the Science, Research and Development Programme APAS-RENA-CT940065 for the European Commission, Directorate General XII. This project intended to verify the feasibility of the penetration of renewable energies in four European metropolitan areas: A.M.Barcelona, Glasgow, Grand Lyon, Turin and St Petersburg. These five cities have particular conditions such as:

- large industrial infrastructure to be strongly reconverted in the future;

- increasing unemployment or the need for a major change in labour perspectives;

- high pollution levels and environmental vulnerability.

The proposal originated from the Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources worked out by the European Commission for the European Parliament. The cities involved were stimulated to develop an investigation on the feasibility of substituting 15% of the primary energy consumption with renewable energy sources, within the year 2010.

For further information on the RESET Project, see


[^]1.3 Governance


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TEST : Turin Energy & Environmental Strategy


City of Turin - European Commission 1989/1991

TEST Project aims at answering the need for tools on energy planning at the urban level, in order to support the evaluation and monitoring of the effects of the city development from the energy and environmental point of view.

Specific objective of this work is the organization of an information system on energy for the City of Torino able to give a picture of the relationship between the energy flows entering in the urban system and the final demand of the different sectors (building, transportation and industry), and the related amount of pollutant emissions, evaluated in a simplified way.

The three main sectors of the city energy system are separately considered:

- Building Sector

- Transportation Sector

- Industrial Sector

The general method of working, applied to each of the three sectors, can be summarized as follows:

1. Information about the sub-system structure and main features;

2. Development of an effective Data Base for the sector;

3. Information about the energy supply system;

4. Energy and environment indicators;

5. Development of a model for the sector


[^]1.4 Governance


Energy Planning for the Cross-Border Region of Cuneo (Italy) and Alps Maritimes (France)

Chamber of Commerce of Cuneo and SEMAM Nice

Directorate General for Energy - European Commission

A study based on the energy services of this cross-border region, which has been continuously developing for many years. Attention was paid to the themes of economic/industrial growth, the high differences in energy rates between the two regions, energy saving, renewable sources of energy and the creation of new employment.

The goals of this study were to

a. work out an energy balance of the cross-border region and build up a reliable data base

b. propose concrete initiatives, at a municipal level, for the rationalisation of energy policies

c. evaluate the potential of local, renewable energy resources

d. work out initial hypotheses for a long term strategy

e. create a simplified environmental reference system starting from regional energy uses.

A Scenario Workshop, aiming at the application and integration of a sustainable energy policy in a cross-border area, was organised with the local Italian-French community.

Objectives of the groups’ discussions and plenary sessions were to:

- define the indicators emerging from a strategy for renewable energy

- identify and discuss the identity and diversity of problems and solutions of the themes with the participants

- identify and discuss the main obstacles

- carry out a debate with the local community on the consequences that a choice of "sustainable" development causes

- generate new ideas and solutions for initiatives, decisions, tasks and actions connected to the strategy.

The thematic areas were summarised into four sectors:

Theme A: Quality of life, resources, and information

Theme B: Renewable energy and the energy market

Theme C: A cross-border energy agency

Theme D: Trans-actions between energy operators.

The participants involved in the Workshop were divided into role groups of Citizens/Associations, Administrators, Technical Experts and the Private Sector.

The role groups were asked to develop projects for the cross-border region in the year 2010 in the form of a negative scenario, a positive scenario and to prepare a presentation. The presentation incorporated publicity "slogan" to communicate the role groups’ project to the other participants





main projects


[^]2.1 Coinvolgimento

           e Partnership

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 QUISISANA - Urban Pilot Project for Vigevano

Città di Vigevano - ALER Pavia

Project Proposal under the "Neighbourhood Contracts" of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures for the Municipality of Vigevano and ALER Pavia.

Application of innovative techniques of involvement and partnership between residents, experts and city representatives.

Community Planning together with the inhabitants and local players of the district regeneration.

[^]2.1 Involvement



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  Environment Park

  Design Strategies and Guidelines

The Guidelines of the Design Competition for the Environment Park of Turin - City of Turin 1996

After the approval of the New Master Plan in 1993, many disused areas located in Turin could be reconverted.

The Spina 3 area was seen as an ideal area for the creation of an Environment Park. Located in the Northwest part of the city facing the River Dora containing a group of disused industrial buildings. The total area covered with buildings is 1,292,000 m2 and is divided into different properties.

The Technology Park was recognised as a suitable situation for a development based on technological innovations and scientific research. With the Park it is intended to actively promote the technological transfer from academic and research institutions to the businesses and organisations installed in the Park, in the City, in the Region and within Europe.

The reconstruction of the landscape, the ecological renewal of water systems and the construction of the residential and industrial sector all represent important barycentres within the project.

Contributions are given towards a democratic culture of planning and construction, the conservation and re-use according to the heritage of the past industrial culture and comprehensive effort for a landscape qualification, and different building environments.

International, and at the same time a conscious regional identity, Environment Park takes on the task of gathering together architects, urban planners, experts, people from other European Workshops for meetings and concrete projects.

Tenders for ideas, competitions between architects and investors, as well as interdisciplinary workshops are important factors for the qualification of activities for Environment Park.


[^]2.2 Involvement

  RAVE: Regeneration in Urban Areas via Energy

  Local Scenario Workshop


Città di Torino - Turin, November 1995

The Scenario Workshop of Turin confronted the specific theme of ‘the application and integration of systems which use renewable energies in an urban context.’

The case study in Turin interprets each of those general objectives of the instrument. Debated in a real decisional phase with the local community, the contents, opportunities and the bottlenecks, which this technology policy carries. Objectives of the groups and plenary sessions were:

- to define the terms of the feasibility of the RESET strategy;

- to identify and to discuss the identity and the diversity of the perception of problems and solutions that the theme carries from different groups of participants;

- to identify and to discuss the principal obstacles which are present;

- to promote a debate extended to the local community on the consequences that a choice of "sustainable" development really carries;

- to generate new ideas and solutions for initiatives, decisions, commitments and actions connected to the strategy.

[^]2.3 Involvement

  European Design Atelier

  Building Integration of Solar Technologies in Mediterranean Countries



Città di Torino - ENVIRONMENT PARK S.p.A. 1996

Organised by FAST in collaboration with CEEETA, Europlan, TUV Rheinland, and UCD. On behalf of the Directorate-General for Energy (DG XVII) of the European Commission as part of the THERMIE programme. Softech worked as the Editorial Team for the project. The following are also acknowledged for their involvement: J Owen Lewis, University College Dublin; R Serra, University Polytechnic of Catalunya, Spain; E de Oliveira Fernandes, University of Porto, Portugal; ATombazis, Tombazis & Associates Architects Ltd, Greece.

The "atelier" aims at low energy architecture, intending to explore design options regarding natural ventilation, natural cooling, daylighting, energy storage and recovery, passive solar heating as well as ecological issues, such as waste recycle, water re-use and roof greening.

The "atelier" was of a practical type. The participants, divided into 4 groups, and analysed and tried to re-design four existing buildings or settlements.

Each group leader proposed a case study and the four groups went through the design process again, discussing the design strategy, the technological features, the energy solutions, and making new proposals.

The results of each working strategy session were presented by the group leaders and by group representatives in plenary sessions with the support of sketches, calculations and operational schemes.

The Guidelines of the Design Competition for the Environment Park of Turin


[^]2.4 Involvement

 Sustainable Urban Projects - Community Planning


Città di Torino - Villa Gualino 1994

Professionals from 21 countries were called together to formulate an action plan based on the principles of ecological development for requalifying a huge derelict industrial area in the heart of the city.

A voluntary interdisciplinary team of nearly 100 experts was asked to prepare a plan for developing the area around an environmental science park which would serve as a reference for ecological development not only for Turin but for other cities seeking a more healthy form of development. This subject was offered as a factual base in which to anchor models and experience. The intention behind the process-orientated approach was to:

- produce guidelines for sustainable urban renewal projects

- improve the knowledge of each participant

- provide potentially useful outputs to the Spina 3 project

The fact-finding sessions led to formulations of problems and opportunities, which were then validated with local participants.

Problems included obsolescence of the site, pollution, the state of the river banks, the rapidly increasing population and transition, which causes problems for young people and unemployment.

Participants selected three approaches to the development of Spina 3:

- a primarily urban approach

- an approach giving priority to the city’s natural assets

- a convergent approach seeking an urban/green balance within the area.




main projects


[^]3.1 Sustainability


European Methodology for the Evaluation of the Environmental Impact on Buildings




The Regener Programme is a scientific partnership under leadership for the development of an applied methodology and its diffusion at the European level. The programme allows the development of an operational instrumentation and to progressively demand professionals of the construction sector to participate in the constitution of a built environment, which takes into consideration sustainable development of human activities.

The method of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been developed by scientific associations and has been widely accepted by industry and standardisation boards. LCA covers emissions and wastes associated with the life cycle, since the exclusive consideration of energy proved to be a too narrow perspective leading to sub-optimisations.


[^]3.2 Sustainability


 Environmental Quality Assessment of Buildings



CER Min.LL.PP / CIEPA Consorzio Imprese Alessandria 1987-1993

In 1987 Softech took on Scientific Responsibility for the Demonstration Project for the Association of Building Companies in the Province of Alessandria (CIEPA), funded by the CER Ministry of Public Building and Works. Softech wrote the Feasibility Project and subsequently the Final Intervention Project (PID) on the theme: ‘Demonstration Building Project aimed at starting up a Method for Assessing the Environmental Quality in Buildings’. The CIEPA Project, which provided the study, planning and the realisation of 7 experimental buildings with a total of 120 houses, which formed a relevant component of scientific activities in the following years.

The key topics of the methodology and the subsequent demonstration activity were:

- Designing for the Environmental Quality

- Building for the Environmental Quality

- Assessing the Environmental Quality of buildings


[^]3.3 Sustainability


Building Maintenance Assessment Expert System



Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche


During this research a Neural Network was used to represent the relevant problems associated with buildings belonging to IACPM, indicating the appropriate maintenance interventions and having the specific information available. In particular concentrating on a mechanism which, starting with a series of synthetic and important information, was already available to IACPM, in order to:

- evaluate maintenance interventions that can be needed

- evaluate detailed information for these buildings

- realise, by comparison with other buildings, which have more detailed information

The aim was to derive from the scarce information available some useful information for maintenance interventions for the whole of the IACPM property (2580 buildings).

Softech faced a typical problem of putting together the missing information from fragments of available information. This approach was based on the fact that: buildings which have similar characteristics, probably have similar maintenance requirements for those common aspects which they share, therefore it is very probable that they are characterised by state indicator analogues.

SEMPER is the name of the specialised Software developed as an expert system for maintenance programmes in residential buildings. The system is based on experience and helps and guides towards the maintenance diagnosis. Implementing PC DOS level 486 and using the "Windows" interface, the system guarantees the possibility of progression and expansion in the future.

The structure consists of the following nuclear bases:

- the statistic module

- the association module

- the list of intervention technologies

- the pre-diagnosis report


[^]3.4 Sustainability


 Building Energy Auditing Management Expert System



BEAMES - Building Energy Auditing Management Expert System / JRC 1992-1993

A Prototype Expert System for Large Scale Energy Auditing in Buildings.

A programme carried out in collaboration with Bruno Caudana and with Flavio Conti, George Helcke’ European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra (I).

The Prototype for an artificial intelligence tool was developed at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The tool provides energy auditing of existing buildings following the IEA Source Book developed in 1990. Sophisticated algorithms, such as Neural Network Pattern Associates, were incorporated, for rapid identification of the Energy Conservation Opportunities most likely to be suitable for the building under audit. The program indicated the audit procedures and measurement techniques needed for gathering the data required.

BEAMES was created as a flexible instrument in order to use the advantages of Building Energy Management systems also for older buildings. Designed to be adapted to a portable computer with CD-ROM for interactive multimedia information. A final report was compiled according to the identified ECO list and to the economic assessment of the ECOs.




main projects


[^]4.1 Technologies


Renewable Energy Strategies and Technology Applications for Regenerating Towns



RESTART Project – European Commission - Directorate General for Energy and Transport - Thermie Programme, 1993-1999

The targeted demonstration project aims at providing the public authorities, the institutions and the professionals of large industrial European Cities with some "Exemplary Urban Projects", concerning innovative energy-environmental integration on the city scale. The cities taking part in the project are: A.M. Barcelona (S), Glasgow (UK), Grand Lyon (F), Turin (I), Rotterdam (NL), Copenhagen (DK), Porto (P) and Dublin (IR).

Each city defines the area where the Targeted Demonstration would take place (generally areas needing to be re-converted). The area of influence of each City-Project is large enough to allow a strong impact on the decisional mechanisms of the city and a high visibility for the inhabitants. A mix of functions - housing, tertiary and commercial, institutional, recreational buildings, high-tech industrial settlements - are comprised in RE-Start, representing the complexity of urban situations.


[^]4.2 Technologies



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TEP Project

Ten Years Energy Plan For the Building Stock of Umbria


TEP Project – European Commission - Directorate General for Energy and Transport - Thermie Programme, 1993-1999

The TEP Project was carried out in conjunction with the THERMIE Programme, for the European Commission, Directorate General for Energy DGXVII.

The TEP Project is a demonstration project which assessed the actual potentiality of energy saving and environmental improvement.

The aim of this project was to verify the specific technical solutions, the legal regulatory framework and the financial and management tools used for developing such a strategy on residential building stock. With support from the TEP Project, the Region of Umbria will be able to implement energy conservation plan and involve local private operators within the areas of financing and managing the energy conservation and substitution measures.


[^]4.3 Technologies

Energy Conservation Program in association with Building Maintenance of the Milano Housing Authority stock


IACPM Demonstration Project - European Commission 1981/1987

The remarks on the benefits of a systematic association between building maintenance and energy efficiency originated as an important co-operation with the Low-cost Housing Authority in Lombardy which started in 1980, on the occasion of co-ordinating the work of a Technical Regional Commission of which the aim was to define the general lines of a scheme of regional regulations on the theme: The energy improvement of property belonging to public authorities in the Lombardy Region.

Afterwards, Softech prepared for the Federation of Housing Associations in Lombardy Region, the General Demonstration Programme for the energy conservation in buildings belonging to the IACPs of the Lombardy Region.

This programme was approved by the European Commission DGXVII, by the Italian Ministry of Public Building and Works and went on to become one of the most significant European operations in the sector.

Softech was placed in charge of co-ordinating the demonstration programme.


[^]4.4 Technologies

 500 solar dwellings in Italy



Solar Building Demonstration Project UPSE - 1980/1988

Softech co-ordinated a building demonstration programme funded by the Ministry of Public Works and the European Commission, promoted by the Piedmont Union for Building Development (UPSE), a syndicate of more than 100 businesses operating throughout the Piedmont Region.

The programme ‘Integration of passive systems and solar air technologies in residential buildings’ had as its aim the realisation of 500 houses with high energy conservation and which established one of the most appreciated demonstration by the European Commission and by the Italian Ministry of Public Building and Works.

A synthesis of the demonstration project is contained in the book entitled: 500 solar houses in Piedmont, ETA, Turin 1992.

Particularly significant was the experience of monitoring the Demonstration Programme.

The methodological aspects of data gathering and treatment were subject to intense studies, with original developments in the specific area of research.

The developed technique was used in order to minimise the number of measurement points to obtain a judgement of the building energy profile. The method, which was debated in the appropriate international seminars, constituted a remarkable contribution towards the simplification of acquisition and management of information procedures in experimental activities. The monitoring method was adopted in the ‘Measurement Campaign of the UPSE Demonstration Project’ (1985-1988)