The Spark Business District in Milano Santa Giulia – MSG LEGO – is the first Italian project awarded with the LEED® for Neighborhood Development Certification – Built. The project is a new business district with office buildings, restaurants and connected public spaces within a mixed-use area. The three buildings that insist on the plot, namely Spark One, Spark Two and Sky 3, host mainly office functions but also community services at the ground level of the Spark buildings such as bars, restaurants, and a gym open to the public. The diversity of uses makes the environment alive, gathering people together by also offering public green areas with facilities that encourage people to stop and enjoy the place.
Sustainable Measures, Efficient Systems And Materials Solutions
The coordinated effort for urban regeneration has led to the development of a district characterized by the integration of highly sustainable measures, energy and water efficient systems, and materials solutions that aims at reducing the environmental impact connected to such development and improving the quality of life of users and people living in Santa Giulia.
The key words in developing the LEED certification strategy for the Spark Business District project were:
- Systems and design efficiency
- Emissions reduction
- Mitigation of the urban heat island
New Urban System Highly Connected To The City
Meeting the goal for energy efficiency and emissions reduction was also helped by the efficient systems of Sky 3, Spark One and Spark Two, and the location itself being well-connected to the city of Milan thanks to a dense network of public transport.
In addition, new bicycle paths connect the site to several functions, with possibility for users to reach the site by bike and park their bikes in secure parking spaces. The urban regeneration intervention of Spark Business District has indeed created a new urban system highly connected to the city.
Walkability within the area is also guaranteed by the design of public spaces and the connection with diverse uses located around Santa Giulia at walking distance from Spark Business District.
Hence, all these aspects together contribute to a less car dependent site, as well as safe and pleasant spaces to walk and bike through.
The design of the exterior spaces of the Spark Business District
The design of outdoor spaces played a key role not only in the creation of user-friendly areas, but also in the implementation of strategies for mitigation of urban heat island effect. Vegetation can indeed help reduce surface temperature by providing shade.Along with vegetation, materials choice also has great impact.
Through the selection of paving materials with high Solar Reflectance value it is actually possible to mitigate the heat island effect in the area and reduce cooling loads in summers thank to a lower outdoor air temperature.
The certification process of Spark Business District has demonstrated that LEED for Neighborhood Development in an effective tool to create more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods. The LEED Gold certified district is not only a statement of Lendlease commitment to shape a better environment butshould also represent an inspiration for future development to create sustainable, accessible and connected neighborhoods, which are safe and inclusive for people, focusing on issues such are resilience, efficiency and innovation.
The LEED certification
LEED – acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a certification that awards sustainable, healthy, and efficient buildings and neighborhoods.
The certification is intended to meet the growing need to provide a set of standards and construction practices and techniques in the construction industry to be followed respecting the environment and sustainability principles.
LEED certification applies to new construction, renovation, interior projects but also to neighborhoods.
In particular, LEED for Neighborhood Development was engineered to inspire and help create more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods and strengthen the sense of Community. It looks beyond the scale of buildings to consider entire communities, as defined by USGBC® (U.S. Green Building Council – LEED for Neighborhood Development ).
The relevance of the initiative
GET has given its contribution by supporting Lendlease as LEED Consultantover the certification process which eventually granted the district with a LEED Gold certification, with a team of experienced LEED Accredited Professionals, serving to facilitate a true integration of technical expertise, to achieve Clients’ goals.
LEED represents a powerful instrument to drive urban redevelopment, according to principles of environmental and social sustainability, that holisticallycoordinate different disciplines. LEED ND certification, contributed in futher enhnce the tremendous effort provided in making Spark Business District a unique case of regeneration