Gioia 22’s surface comprises more than 64,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels from Onyx Solar Glass, which partnered with Permasteelisa Group for the project. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Gioia 22 is Italy’s first nearly net-zero building. Rising high above Milan, the 398-foot tower uses onsite renewable energy sources, including expansive photovoltaic panels, which generate 65% of the energy required for heating and cooling. Gioia 22 was the first building of its size designed and constructed according to Near Zero Energy Building standards. It is designated LEED Platinum.

The building’s surface comprises more than 64,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels from Onyx Solar Glass, which partnered with Permasteelisa Group for the project. Permasteelisa officials say the glass envelope adopted a “continuous curtainwall system of around 3,000 unitized units with a combination of vertical and titled low-emissions and high-selective glass lites incorporating external solar shading devices.”

The building also features high-performance triple-glazed glass units, insulated and thermally broken aluminum profiles and thousands of photovoltaic modules. Onyx Solar officials say the 2,345 modules needed were manufactured using crystalline silicone technology, which was integrated into the façade as spandrel. The energy generated is enough to power 300 homes.

The highly reflected glazed façade, inspired by the nearby Alps, also features several coated solar glass products from Guardian Glass, including SunGuard SuperNeutral, High Performance and High Durable. These three products improve energy performance due to their durability and various solar control and thermal insulation properties.

The project, completed in 2021, received the Award of Excellence (Façade Engineering Award) during the 2022 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Awards.

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