Guardini presents its sustainable business centre in Volpiano
Guardini, the historic Turin-based company, market leader in the production and marketing of baking moulds and bakeware for household use, opened its new business centre in Volpiano (TO), designed to interpret the values and the green philosophy of the brand.
The inauguration of the new building is the result of the growth of the company founded by the Guardini family in 1947. In recent years, the firm has been able to conquer new markets worldwide and grow both in terms of human resources and business. Since its establishment, the company has combined craftsmanship and “made in Italy” creativity with a modern production capacity and a continuous research in innovation. Today, Guardini s.p.a. has about 100 employees, nearly 50,000 pieces produced in house every day for an annual turnover of around 20 million euro. A number of 22 companies of the national and international large-scale retail sector entrusted Guardini with their private label, and the bakeware items produced in Volpiano are shipped to over 50 countries around the world.
The creation of the new building, crowning achievement of this process of growth and expansion, derives from the need to expand and move to larger headquarters meeting the new requirements. The mission has been enhancing Guardini’s tradition and designing the new business centre, annexed to the pre-existing production site, focusing on energy and sustainability in line with the green philosophy that has always characterized this company’s work.
This project, aimed at revising and transforming the headquarters, is even more important when we consider the new location inside the industrial centre of Volpiano. In fact, the recently opened building is unique as the company has chosen to invest in a project that integrates sustainability with architecture in an industrial area.
The idea of developing an environmentally sustainable building, shaped by the morphology of the places, has unmistakably influenced the design choices and their subsequent development. The challenge was creating an environment to be spacious but cosy; reserved but transparent; "heavy" but "light"; solemn but familiar; ecologically sustainable but with its own architectural language.
“The project - says Elena Guardini, CEO - is part of a business development plan that, by 2020, will lead us to optimize and transform our business with the objective of reducing our environmental footprint and achieving a “positive balance” between the value offered by our solutions and the impact of our production activities. Guardini attaches great important to having a corporate social responsibility policy, and our values bring us closer to some large companies with which we are proud to work."
Thanks to its social responsibility policy and to its ethical behaviour requirements applied to the company and to the entire production chain towards workers, Guardini has obtained the SA8000 "Social Accountability" certification (international standard that lists these requirements, mainly concerning the protection of human rights). For the company, this accreditation is aimed at pursuing continuous improvement in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The new building, designed by architect Paolo Alpe, from studio “Progetto architettura” based in Rivoli (To), sets new quality and environmental sustainability standards in an industrial context of the 1880s, in compliance with the bio-architecture protocol drawn up by the Municipality of Volpiano.
The external appearance represents the company’s rigour in opening to the international market. The interior, bright and transparent, is characterized by connection between the spaces, and expresses the familiar character of the company.
The systems installed are powered by alternative and sustainable energy sources.
The transparent building envelope consists of high energy performance mirrored doors, windows and shutters. The electrical system is fed through both the traditional mains connection and the on-site production of energy obtained from the installation of 20 kW photovoltaic panels on the roof.
The air conditioning and heating system consists in ceiling radiant panels, able to create comfort by radiation of the inner surfaces with which our epidermis exchanges heat. The passage of low-temperature hot water, or cold water, in pipework on the intrados, and the false ceiling in plasterboard panels enable the adjustment of the temperature in the different rooms.
The production of hot/cold water is ensured by a heating/cooling system utilizing an air-water heat pump capable of generating/dissipating heat, taking advantage of the temperature difference determined by liquid withdrawal from an underground pit in the site.
Finally, to complete the installations in the building, a controlled mechanical ventilation system with high efficiency heat exchanger was provided to ensure the correct air intake inside the premises, recovering substantial part of the energy transported by the discharge air to pre-heat the incoming air.
Great attention was paid also to the waste collection and recycling system and to the management of resources used for production.
By opening the new business centre in Volpiano, Guardini renovates itself through a project which reflects the mission and the company values in architecture: expressing itself by respecting and protecting the environment and its employees, the display of a clear green philosophy that Guardini has embraced for almost 70 years.