Environmental Engineering Reference
functional and technological program and decision-making process, relegat-
ing the formal architectural results of each single intervention to a minor
It is necessary to understand whether an architectural project, which
may be considered “weak” in offering services under a wide variety of con-
ditions, is instead capable of constructing a diverse and new range of more
useful and lasting values, as a function of the improvement of the quality
of life and the built environment.
Harvey LDD (2009) Reducing energy use in the buildings sector: measures, costs, and
examples, Springer Science + Business Media BV. DOI 10.1007/s12053-009-9041-2
Renewable Energy, Thermal Comfort of Open Spaces,
and Environmental Quality: Management of a Dynamic
Roberta Cocci Grifoni
Research on environmental comfort , in particular as linked to open spaces
and the design of public places in the city, is a theme that is still not dealt
with much in the literature. With increased environmental sensitivity, an
interest in improving the comfort of open spaces has recently been wit-
nessed; it is a theme closely connected to the politics of environmental sus-
tainability, the reduction of energy consumption, and greenhouse gases, as
evidenced by the growing attention to climate change in recent years.
Such research has always been substantially based on the consolidated
studies conducted in the indoor environment ; however, it has now been
demonstrated how this research cannot be applied to open spaces, since
indoor discomfort is much more controlled and resolved through engineer-
ing/installations . In the outdoor case, however, the correct design of urban
public spaces is necessary.
Environmental comfort can be developed starting from two different but
coplanar points of view, i.e., the well-being of people, linked to quality of
life , and the containment of energetic resources, linked to the sustainabili-
12 One of the most important experiences of energy retrofitting in Europe is in the Märkisches
Viertel, Reinickendorf, Berlin. See Berliner KlimaSchutzPartner, EUMB Pöschk/VME - Verlag
und Medienservice Energie (2010) Climate protection - Good projects from Berlin -
Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz - Öffentlichkeitsarbeit.