Barreca & La Varra presents a scheme for zero carbon housing

Barreca & La Varra has won a competition with their proposal for a zero carbon ‘Housing Sociale’ scheme in Milan called INNESTO.

The firm worked in collaboration with Arup Italia for the ‘C40 Reinventing Cities’ competition to put forward the groundbreaking INNESTO scheme.


Under the INNESTO scheme, Milanese suburbs are enriched by a new settlement principle, characterized by a range of open spaces around residential buildings, community food hubs and a zero waste food store. Between houses and public spaces, the relationship between the two is mediated by a series of green ‘diaphragms’, including educational gardens, woodland spots and mulberry trees.

The firm sought inspiration from forest landscapes with maximum biodiversity. They built upon this complex conceptual approach through variety of open spaces to allow for diversity in the interaction between people. This biodiversity is also charcterised in the shape of the buildings, built with different materials including timber and concrete across balconies, porches and terraces.

The scheme itself boasts an impressive array of sustainable features. The innovative heating system is powered by renewable sources including urban wastewater heat-recovery. The buildings are near-Zero Energy and are coupled with a preassembled construction technology made from bio-based materials which allow for the structure to be disassembled and recycled. Soil excavation has been minimized and any disturbed soil will be treated on site and repurposed for landscaping and preservation.

For more information please visit Barreca & La Varra

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