At the age of 651, this astonishing Venetian palazzo is officially the oldest holder or LEED certification in the world. It thus taken over a record that was previously held by Fay House of Harward (350 years old).
Sede Centrale ca Foscari, initially built as residence for Venetian doge Francisco Foscari, now serves as headquarters for Ca Foscari university. The extraordinary palazzo is situated right on the Grand Canal and belongs to one of the most magnificient historic buildings there are to be seen in Venice.
The growing trend in construction today is to reduce the energy consumption and resources needed for reconstruction and maintainance of buildings. The goal is thus to lower their impact on our environment. With that set, green buildings undeniably play an essential role in sustainable development. Sede Centrale proves that it is possible to turn a historic building into green structure without drastic construction interventions.
However, there are still countless historic buildings out there who are in desperate need of upgrades. Appropriate ingineering alterations can spare our environment a large amount of emissions each year. As we can see in the case of Sede Centrale, this can be reached without distrupting the integrity of several centuries-old invaluable historic objects. As Rick Fedrizzi, a president and CEO of U.S. Green Building Council, says, if over half millenium-old building can acquire a certification then to retrofit that 50 year old high-rise might not seem so intimidating after all.
Let us hope that Sede Centrale will serve as true motivation for other countries to follow their footsteps. We truly admire members of Habitech and GBC Italia who had courageously decided to take up this challenge and became a true inspiration for us all. Just imagine how big potential there is in our “hundred-spired” Prague decorated with countless number of historical buildings. As Fedrizzi says, everything is possible “with little ingenuity, effort and out-of-box thinking”.