Retrofitting of Company Towns’ residential buildings: from international best practices to local implementations in Friuli Venezia Giulia region (NE Italy)


  • Maria Vittoria Santi University of Udine
  • Giovanna Saveria Laiola University of Udine



Company towns, Industrial heritage, Workers’ Housing, Conservation practices, Energy retrofit


The paper illustrates the retrofit of company towns’ heritage, focusing on energy efficiency strategies for residential buildings with the aim to highlight the best practices, the solutions and methodologies to be implemented for the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in NE Italy. The starting point is a comprehensive analysis of company town’s retrofit strategies featuring a comparison among relevant examples from Europe and Italy. Unesco industrial sites, sites by the Modern Movement, and Italian well-known workers’ villages are included in the analysis. The evaluation of the retrofit solutions takes into consideration aspects of protection and valorisation, functional renovation, and environmental sustainability upgrade. As a result, common strategies for the energy retrofit of company towns’ residential heritage are identified and summarised as the first step for their application at local level. In this sense, the study highlights that industrial villages are still inhabited and they require an upgrade according to the guidelines for architectural restoration, which meet the current standards of comfort. Moreover, the strategies drawn from the case-studies reveal an excellent potential of applicability for the local area and its company towns: Panzano shipyard village, Cave del Predil mining site, and Torviscosa factory town.


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Author Biographies

Maria Vittoria Santi, University of Udine

Architect, Ph.D., Research assistant for the sector ICAR/10 Architectural Engineering at University of Udine, Polytechnic Department of Engineering and Architecture

Giovanna Saveria Laiola, University of Udine

Polytechnic Department of Engineering and Architecture


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How to Cite

Santi, M. V. and Laiola, G. S. (2019) “Retrofitting of Company Towns’ residential buildings: from international best practices to local implementations in Friuli Venezia Giulia region (NE Italy)”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 4(2), pp. 13–29. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2019.11158.