As envisaged in the ‘Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism’, the adoption of a holistic and integrated approach and the use of the best available knowledge and technologies are key aspects to ensure sustainable tourism. In particular, policies and actions should be planned by considering the latest and best available knowledge, and, at the same time, analyzing all the related impacts on the area of intervention. In this context, this paper describes an approach to design sustainable tourist accommodations in areas characterized by high environmental value (e.g. natural protected areas) by minimizing the related impacts on the surrounding environment and sensitizing users towards preservation and conservation of natural resources. In fact, the aim of biodiversity conservation included in each rule for a natural protected area requires the application of eco friendly technologies and sustainable strategies for the protection of the natural heritage. In the proposed approach, three aspects of tourist accommodations have been considered: the system component, the building envelope and the integration between them. As a result, the architectural structures designed, including the materials, shape, energy efficiency, modularity and removability, are in line with the standards of bio-architecture. The materials used comply with the technical requirements and the technological needs of tourist accommodations, are mostly recycled or reusable and come from the surrounding area, so they can be easily integrated into the landscape. The components that make up the accommodations are easy to assemble and disassemble, making it possible for them to be reused in another area, without changing the environmental conditions at the new site. Some components are precast and prepared on-site using local materials whose modularity makes them highly suitable for use in different environmental and morphological conditions. To use these architectural structures in places without services and distribution networks for energy and water, special attention has been given to develop innovative and sustainable energy solutions: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been used as the only energy vector, in combination with a cogeneration plant, to provide heat and electric energy as well as with specific building envelopes that allow the transfer of LPG into the walls to provide energy to innovative gas appliances. The environmental impact of the proposed approach was assessed by analyzing the environmental application of these structures in tourist accommodations in the Circeo National Park in Italy.
Combined heat and power plant, environmental impact mitigation, innovative gas appliances, sus- tainable tourist accommodation
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