The house that works with the weather

ROCKWOOL insulation is at the core of this ground-breaking Passive House renovation

Everyone wants a home that last forever. But today, sustainability has a more profound meaning. In housebuilding, it means not just long life, but also a home that makes minimal demands on the environment while creating a comfortable, safe space for a family to live in.

Originally developed in Germany, the “Passive House” standard is one of the leading techniques for achieving this. It uses the “passive” influences in a building – like sunshine, shading and ventilation – together with high levels of insulation and airtightness to achieve a pleasant interior environment that uses up to 90 percent less energy than a traditional building.

Owner and architect Maria Grazia Novo was motivated by “the desire to change and improve the family home”. The house she chose for her family dated back hundreds of years and needed to be totally renovated while staying in harmony with local building traditions. A concern for environmental impact (and the lack of mains gas for heating) led the architect to opt for a passive house build. In doing so, Maria became a pioneer, creating, in 2005, one of the first such projects in a Mediterranean climate.

Insulation is central to the passive approach, which aims to reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling to an absolute minimum. ROCKWOOL materials are perfect for sustainable standards like passive house because they offer excellent thermal insulation, are vapour-permeable and have a long lifespan. And because ROCKWOOL insulation can be easily fitted within a house’s roofs and walls, it has no impact on the building’s appearance.

Commenting on the partnership with the ROCKWOOL Group, Maria Grazia Novo said: “This was an ambitious project of a type that had not been attempted before, so we needed the cooperation of a leading company in the insulation sector. ROCKWOOL Group was the innovative partner we needed, with the sensibility and foresight to embrace this project.”

With the help of stone wool insulation, an old building can keep its traditional appearance but with 21st-century levels of energy performance and comfort, creating the perfect sustainable family home.

Cherasco, Italy

Project location

Province of Cuneo,

“The ROCKWOOL Group was the innovative partner we needed, with the sensibility and foresight to embrace this project.”

Maria Grazia Novo


Project Data

Year 2005
Building Type Single family house 
Application Roof and cavity walls insulation
Product type ROCKWOOL Insulation stone wool