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Turin Shroud on display in Italy in a building using Portuguese cork

Turin 20/5/2015

The prayer space will welcome 4 million pilgrims and the visit of Pope Francis

Portuguese cork is the core material used in the construction of the new prayer space for pilgrims that will house the Turin Shroud Exhibition in Italy. This building, called the Penitenzieria, is located next to the Turin Cathedral. Amorim Isolamentos, in collaboration with Tecnosugheri, its distributor in Italy, has managed that expanded insulation cork board was used as a thermal and acoustic insulation solution and in the facade of the Penitenzieria.

The Penitenzieria is thus the result of a partnership between Amorim Isolamentos and Be-echo, a start-up set up by the Polytechnic University of Turin. The Penitenzieria is a sustainable architecture project designed for one of the events that draws a larger crowd of pilgrims worldwide. Four million pilgrims are expected to flock to Turin this year, a number greatly magnified by the fact that Pope Francis will be visiting the Penitenzieria in June. On 24 June 2015, at the end of the Turin Shroud exhibition, the building will become part of the 2015 City's Festival of Architecture, organized by the Association of Architects of Turin Foundation (FOAT).

According to architect A. Spinelli, CEO of Be-echo and a member of the Turin Shroud Commission, the option for using expanded insulation cork board was based on sustainable motivations and technical considerations: "We chose cork because of its natural characteristics and sustainable living cycle, which begins with a manufacturing process with reduced energy consumption". And he added: "Cork is a 100% recyclable material that has optimal thermal and acoustic insulation properties; it can be used in the outer walls of a building and has high durability."

The Penitenzieria building was built with a laminated wood structural frame which is insulated with expanded insulation cork board and covered externally with OSB boards. The combined use of these materials has even led Be-echo to take out a patent for NaturWall®, a vented panel system consisting of an almost infinite variety of cork wall panels (for thermal and acoustic insulation) combined with a laminate layer and a decorative layer.

Amorim Isolamentos' expanded insulation cork board was used in three different areas: 100 mm thick cork panels were used in the roof of the building; 60 mm thick cork panels were used in the lateral wood frame; and 40 mm thick cork panels were used in the outer walls of the building, where the ventilated facade system is installed. The building's entrance is lined with MD Facade to emphasize the sustainable eco philosophy that characterizes the whole project.

The building will be open to the public from the beginning of the Turin Shroud Exhibition, in San Giovanni Square, opposite the Cathedral, until the 24th of June 2015.