Following the earthquake which struck L'Aquila, Italy, on April 6 2009, Pierluigi Bonomo was tasked with building a replacement home for a family. The architect produced a three floor property, dubbed Energy Box, which features an unusual wooden box-like design, and energy-reducing technologies including passive ventilation, and photovoltaic panels.
Energy Box measures 300 sq m (3,230 sq ft) and features a living room, three bedrooms, a bathroom, a multi-functional room, and a garage. The home incorporates stone reclaimed from the site of the owner's previous house, but is a wholly new structure at a different location. Unlike the Woodcube, it's only the outer facade that's made from wood, not the entire building.
Bonomo reports that though Energy Box doesn't operate completely off-grid, but its low energy requirements ensure that the running costs and carbon footprint are kept low. The technology used to achieve this includes a southeast-facing solar paneled facade, a solar thermal hot water system with heat pump, and rainwater storage.
Wooden plank cladding affords thermal protection in winter, and the south-facing side also has large gaps inbetween the planks in order to allow natural daylight to filter through to the interior. Energy Box also sports an mechanical ventilation system with integrated heat-exchanger that's claimed to be very efficient.
The materials used in the build included wood, gypsum, wood fiber, and reclaimed steel and stone taken from demolition sites.
Construction of Energy Box began in 2011, and the home was completed earlier this year.