1980s Solar Buildings Design and Planning
In the 1980s, SOFTECH’s main focus was the design and monitoring of solar buildings, the energy planning at regional and local level, the evaluation of innovative building technologies. They were involved in demonstration projects related to the energy retrofits of existing buildings. Research was also carried out on maintenance methods and tools for large public buildings, emphasising the synergy between maintenance and energy saving measures. The environmental compatibility of construction systems and their energy and economic efficiency have been a major focus.
SOFTECH has played an operational role in various national research projects and has been involved in European demonstration programmes since the early 1980s. The company’s main objective during these years was the experimental implementation of research proposals with the involvement of the building and construction industry. A key project coordinated by SOFTECH during this period was the integration of passive systems and solar technologies, which aimed to build 500 houses with high energy saving standards. This project was recognised as one of the most appreciated European demonstration projects of the 1980s.
1990s Renewable Energy Strategies
During the 1990s, SOFTECH broadened its influence by sharing insights from various European demonstration projects. The company was often invited to present at conferences and seminars across many countries.
In the latter part of the 1990s, SOFTECH engaged in extensive research and spearheaded significant European projects. Their advocacy for creating a network of cities and professional research entities led to drafting feasibility studies and action plans for emerging European initiatives. This advocacy resulted in the formation of RESET g.e.i.e., a European Economic Interest Group responsible for the Renewable Energy Strategies for European Towns. Participating cities in this initiative included Barcelona, Glasgow, Grand Lyon, Turin, and St. Petersburg.
By 1996, the network expanded further to encompass Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Porto, and S.Dublin. This growth paved the way for the launch of the RESTART project, a Targeted Demonstration Project, under the EU Directorate General for Energy with a vision to develop sustainable housing infused with cutting-edge technological innovation.
2000s Sustainable Urban Projects
In the early 2000s, SOFTECH pivoted to managing sustainable urban projects. One prominent project from this era was “The GATE, living not leaving”, an Urban Pilot Project championed by the City of Turin and supported by the EU’s FESR funds.
Throughout this decade, SOFTECH undertook diverse tasks. They developed tools to monitor the Environmental Quality of Buildings and teamed up with the City of Bologna. Together, they drafted a prototype for a Sustainable Building Regulation, giving rise to the BRICK project.
2010s Smart and Sustainable Cities
In the 2010s, SOFTECH embarked on the Concerto AL Piano project, a pioneering zero-energy urban settlement under the European CONCERTO Program. The company represented the EU Concerto Programme at the SET-Plan Conference in Stockholm and took the lead in overseeing the Italian Chapter of the Kyoto Club Smart Cities Working Group.
On the international front, SOFTECH initiated partnership in China. Here, they quickly established themselves as trusted advisor and consultant for several urban development endeavors. This collaboration in China spotlighted SOFTECH in initiatives like the Sustainable Zhangpu Project, located near Shanghai.
SOFTECH maintained its role in directing and orchestrating urban initiatives within collaborative European projects. The “smart city strategy” was woven into all urban and district-centered projects. Decision-making methodologies and techniques were honed to better manage these multifaceted urban endeavors.