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The April 6 earthquake that struck the city and its surrounding villages caused more than 300 deaths and damaged as many as 11,000 buildings in L'Aquila alone. More than 65,000 people found themselves without a home.

The reconstruction is now picking up speed. In late July, the Civil Protection Agency presented an earthquake-proof prototype home to L'Aquila inhabitants and media. The prototype was a model of the residences that the so-called C.A.S.E. project will build in L'Aquila.

C.A.S.E. – an Italian acronym that stands for earthquake-proof, sustainable, eco-friendly compounds – will build innovative modular houses with steel structures, covered in wood. Aluminium building systems will also be in the picture, with Hydro.

Its systems brand Domal has been selected to deliver approximately 2,400 windows for the project. The windows will come from the Domal Extrathermic and Domal Sunny product range.

Earthquake-proof design

The modestly sized apartment houses are designed to suit the surroundings, and to withstand earthquake tremors. This is important because the history of L'Aquila, capital city of the Abruzzo region, is marked by earthquakes, the city having been built on a lake bed, on soil structure that amplifies seismic waves.

The region has had earthquakes dating back nearly 700 years, with one of the worst, occurring in 1703, killing around 5,000 people and largely destroying the city.

The Civil Protection Agency, in charge of the C.A.S.E. project, used an urgency procedure to call for bids, and 58 companies participated. Sixteen were selected, three based in Abruzzo. Malturo/Taddei, one of the Abruzzo-based companies, received the highest number of allotments in the project, and chose Domal Systems for its lots. They represent 625 residences in all.

The constructions will be completed by the end of this year. They will serve as temporary solutions for homeless, taking them out of campsites, prior to the rebuilding of their damaged homes.

"Once these homes are rehabilitated and their owners are able to move back, the C.A.S.E. buildings will be used either for student accommodation or in arrangements for tourists," says Augusto Caporrella, who leads Hydro's aluminium building systems organization in Italy.

Hydro's building systems brands – Wicona, Technal, Domal and Alumafel – offer a wide range of aluminium-based systems, such as for windows, doors, curtain walls, facades, railing, skylight and solar systems.

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