The VELUXlab zero-impact laboratory is awarded an Active House license

Established in 2011 at the Bovisa Campus, it is a pilot construction with extremely high levels of energy efficiency


Having already obtained the CENED CLASS A+ energy performance certification, VELUXlab has now been awarded the Active House label, a worldwide quality stamp for sustainable buildings.

Established in 2011 at the behest of the Politecnico di Milano and funded entirely by VELUX, this is more than a simple research laboratory.

Its advanced technology and innovative engineering relies on the use of leading-edge materials and systems. Conceived as an experimental module, VELUXlab is a construction boasting extremely high levels of energy efficiency. The building’s shape and orientation, combined with its bioclimatic architecture and innovative building envelope, exploits free solar power as well as natural lighting and ventilation to ensure comfortable interiors with no any energy contribution.

The mechanical ventilation system and radiant floor heating only operate in extreme weather conditions, when the temperature or humidity reach peak values, so as to restore the desired indoor climate conditions.

VELUXlab is constantly monitored to evaluate not only actual energy consumption, but also the thermodynamic behaviour of the envelope, thereby validating the analytical models adopted. Moreover, the building has been fitted with a set of temperature sensors (on the surface and in cavity walls) which, together with further meters, provide real-time information on the final energy consumption of this “cognitive building”.

I am delighted that VELUXlab has received this further certification. In addition to being a useful experimentation laboratory for our students, VELUXlab fully reflects our mission to achieve a sustainable Campus

said Emilio Faroldi, the Politecnico di Milano Vice Rector for Building, Spaces and Sustainability.

As a fully-fledged active lab of the Politecnico di Milano, VELUXlab is subject to continuous experimentation, the latest of which, completed in August 2019, led to its becoming one of the first green roof buildings in Milan. Indeed, a large part of the 105 m2 variably inclined roof has now been covered by a green mantle of sedum.

VELUXlab is a smart, user-friendly, sustainable building capable of adapting actively to internal and external factors and of interacting directly with the building’s users through communication platforms based on augmented reality and data-visualisation, but also through simple apps.

Moreover, as a result of its architectural lines, its natural lighting and the recent addition of a green roof, VELUXlab undoubtedly reflects the Green New Deal vision of Active House, beyond 2020, while also complying with the European Union’s new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

In addition to hosting the young researchers and students of the Politecnico di Milano, VELUXlab is a living laboratory designed to experiment with manufacturing technologies and innovative materials. In the past eight years, we have implemented many projects, completed numerous graduate and PhD dissertations, and designed experimental buildings built in various parts of the world, often with social objectives

said Marco Imperadori, Professor of Design and Technological Innovation at the Politecnico di Milano and Scientific Coordinator of VELUXlab.