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Large photovoltaic “wings” help eliminate emissions from this Italian headquarters building

The wings have a surface area of over 1,100 sm.

February 19, 2018 |
Exterior of the Photovoltaic Bolt

Courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture

Arval, a long-term car rental company based in Italy, has recently received a new zero impact headquarters building on the outskirts of Florence. The Pierattelli Architetture-designed building, dubbed the “Photovoltaic Bolt” thanks to its arrow-like shape and large photovoltaic “wings,” is a Climate House Class A building without emissions and is self-sufficient thanks to geothermal pumps and a large array of photovoltaic panels.

The photovoltaic wings have a surface area of over 1,100 sm and comprise about 1000 panels. The flexible, high-efficiency panels are attached to a lightweight steel structure and are integrated with additional panels located on the roof. The bigger wing leans on the main entrance and has a dimension of 50 meters by 35 meters by 36 meters.


One of the photovoltaic wingsCourtesy of Pierattelli Architetture.


The smaller wing leans on the back elevation and measures 23 meters by 33 meters by 40 meters. The panels attached to the wings and the ones on the roof generate enough power to activate the geothermal pumps in the subsoil and make the building completely self-sufficient.


Underneath one of the photovoltaic wingsCourtesy of Pierattelli Architetture.


The buildings 7,000 sm of offices and common spaces are distributed over three floors and a basement. Each floor hosts about 200 employees. The spaces are articulated around a central dorsal on north-south axis to provide an east-west direction and guarantee a correct sunlight positioning.

Inside, a main hallway with a large glass wall across two of the floors fills the volume with natural light. Office floors are distinguished by colors so they can be easily identified by their function. The ground floor is ochre yellow for bureaucracy, the first floor is cobalt blue for managers and administrations, and the second floor is light green for the call center and learning center. The basement, meanwhile, hosts the technical spaces for energy control and a large break area made in a light brown color.


The break area located in the basement of the Arval headquarters buildingCourtesy of Pierattelli Architetture.


The Photovoltaic Bolt is one of the first directional buildings in Italy with zero environmental impact.


Office space in the new Arval headquartersCourtesy of Pierattelli Architetture.


The naturally-lit main hallwayCourtesy of Pierattelli Architetture.

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