Construction starts on Milan’s renewable offices

By Dan Colombini24 September 2021

CityWave estate The CityWave officer tower in Milan, Italy, aims to be one of the most sustainable in Europe. ©Generali Real Estate

Construction is underway on a new office building powered exclusively by renewable sources in the city of Milan, Italy.

CityWave is a new-generation building that aims to go beyond zero impact with a design aimed at exerting a “positive impact” on the environment, according to developers Generali Real Estate.

Aldo Mazzocco, CEO Generali Real Estate and chairman of CityLife, said, “This new-generation building is a further ‘step up’ in the evolution of properties for offices: a container for managerial activities that brings together objectives of positive impact on the environment and quality of life with new ways of using spaces in the wake of the shock from lockdown.”

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, the CityWave’s exterior will be clad in 11,000m2 of photovoltaic panels that will help form the largest photovoltaic park in Milan.

The panels will provide an estimated 1,200MWh of energy a year, through an installed power of nearly 2MWh. The structure will also collect and reuse rainwater, and will provide a vast covered area of public green space.

CityWave - exterior CityWave’s design includes large covered areas of public green space. ©Generali Real Estate

The building is designed to consume 45% less energy than standard office blocks through solutions such as the thermal use of groundwater, and promises to save 520 tonnes of CO2 a year - equal to the emissions absorbed by 20,000 trees.

The construction of CityWave marks the completion of CityLife, a wider urban regeneration project that aims to turn the city’s Fiera Milano district into an area “characterised by sustainability, quality of life and services”.

CityWave, as well as the entire CityLife redevelopment project, is part of the European strategy of Generali Real Estate, which has assets of over €33 billion.

Due to be completed in 2025, the start of CityWave’s construction works were marked with a commencement ceremony, attended by the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala.

CityWave interior Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, CityWave aims to be a ‘workplace of the future’, with quality of life a key focus in its architectural design. ©Generali Real Estate

He said, “The start of construction works of CityWave at CityLife are a new strong sign of recovery that drives the whole city.

“The pandemic has forced all of us to slow down to get out of the emergency, but now is the time to move forward with determination and confidence in our abilities.

“This new project completes the iconic CityLife district and shows with its original design and its ‘positive impact’ building features the city we are building: we will have the largest urban photovoltaic park, a rainwater reuse system, and a complex that will consume 45% less energy than other buildings.

“It will be the symbol of the Milan we want: sustainable, international, beautiful.”

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