I was recently in Milan for a conference. One day, while walking around one of the suburbs, I saw a new condo development. Near the street was a large billboard advertising the condos that were being built.
Here’s the billboard. The development is called ECOLife Nature. Just above the rendering of the building is a well-placed logo indicating that the building is certified by Klima Haus, a variation/combination of LEED and Passivhaus eco-construction methods.
To the right of the rendering is a list of key selling features. Translating:
- earthquake proof structure
- air-conditioned (because most buildings in Italy are so old they predate central A/C)
- PV solar generation
- Estimated power consumption 9.56 kWh/m2a (notice how precise they are, and how they expect their clients to actually understand units like kiloWatt-hour-per-metre-squared-year)
- heated access ways and garage
- remote-controlled shades and shutters
- electric automobile recharging stations
- green roof
- lots of green space
- guaranteed market value
- fully warrantied mortgages
- assumed land mortgage (i.e., the builder actually owns the land – there’s a bit of a problem in Italy of builders putting up homes on land they never actually bought….)
Notice the most important points – the points near the top of the list – regard safety, comfort, and sustainability. The economics and financial stuff is relegated to the bottom of the list of “features.”
Question: Look at an advertisement in Toronto for condominiums. Consider the differences. What do you think that says about the differences of culture?