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Zero carbon social housing project L’INNESTO wins international competition

Stantec, Fondo Immobiliare Lombardia and InvestiRE SGR with Fondazione Housing Sociale aim to create an urban showcase of Milan’s innovative sustainability strategies


L’INNESTO, the first zero carbon social housing project in Italy, has recently won the global competition C40 Reinventing Cities. The competition is part of Milan’s strategic plan to transform underused railway areas of the city on the site of a former freight terminal. The global competition is organized by C40, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, in order to drive carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration.

The project was proposed by the team of Fondo Immobiliare Lombardia (FIL or Lombary Real Estate Fund) – managed by InvestiRE SGR, with Fondazione Housing Sociale (FHS) as a strategic partner, Barreca & La Varra for architectural and landscape design and Arup Italia for urban and environmental design. Stantec, a top 10 global engineering and architecture design firm, delivered services focused on site remediation, wastewater and rainwater management and resilience, deploying its expertise in infrastructure design, environmental engineering, and sustainability. 

L'INNESTO will be Italy’s first carbon-neutral social housing project upon its completion. Located at Scalo Greco Breda, a former freight terminal site, the project proposes an innovative fourth generation district heating system connected to the neighborhood and powered by on-site renewable sources. The project also has a 60 percent green space target and an ambitious mobility strategy that limits space for cars. L’INNESTO will instead prioritize bike parking, electric car charging terminals, and a shared neighborhood car fleet.

“Projects like L’INNESTO are critical to the future design of our cities,” said Emanuela Sturniolo, Stantec Italy Operations Director. “Engineering design and smart sustainability are already providing the tools we need to make our cities better places to live, providing the foundation for strong communities, and combat climate change. We need more projects like L’INNESTO across the world.”

The project area is 62,000-square-meters, consisting of three parts: the former railway station next to the Greco-Pirelli station, a green area on Via Breda street, and an abandoned track overlooking the west of the Bicocca district, owned by the Italian Railway Company.

L’INNESTO’s winning design centers on responsible and resilient resource management, long-lasting spaces and community, and a Human Adaptive Zone – a collaborative neighborhood with an agricultural heart. The CO2 balance sheet takes into account the construction and the subsequent 30 years of management, and it has been designed to achieve a zero balance throughout its life cycle.

Stantec’s work centered on L'INNESTO’s design for sustainable water management, which features enhancing and reusing rainwater, avoiding saturation of sewerage networks, and minimizing the consumption and waste of drinking water. Rainwater is 100 percent reused, saving 30 percent on drinking water consumption, and 15 percent of wastewater is treated directly ion site.

Stantec also provided design concept and support for the sustainability of the energy district approach at L’INNESTO, solid and waste management during construction, and resilience analysis, including mitigation plans.

The project foresees a 30-year commitment to enhance district sustainability and facilitate community bonds, called a Human Adaptive Zone.

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

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Media Contact                                               

Gloria De Masi Gervais                                                                                 
Stantec Communications - Italy
+39 0294757186                                         

Colin Nekolaichuk
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: 416-542-6049

Image credit: Barreca & La Varra, Wolf Visualizing Architecture

Image credit: Barreca & La Varra, Wolf Visualizing Architecture

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