Santina Di Salvo on ResearchGate

My interests and scientific researches in the field of sustainable architecture, resilient materials, biomimetics, advanced buildings, eco-sustainable and zero energy have converged over the years in various publications, monographs, journal articles, communications, abstracts and participation in research groups and conferences of national and international relevance.

Mission. My activity and resilient technologies

Based on interdisciplinary research experiences, my interests are rooted and focus on studies of innovative materials for a resilient architecture. The resilient architecture enhances the architectural heritage, the built environment for the wellbeing of the users.

Below, what I do.

  • Study of the architectural structure, the layout of the exhibition areas, the display solutions,  in museums and archaeological sites.
  • Advice and research on new technologies in existing (cultural heritage) and new buildings, based on the exploitation of renewable resources and , where it is not allowed, reliable plant solutions, in order to achieve high energy efficiency goals, increasing the comfort and wellbeing of users / users, as well as the comfort and well-being of buildings.
  • Advice and support to design teams on the recovery and use of ancient contexts, archaeological sites, museums, shopping centers, new buildings, with attention to: 1) systems and components for natural and artificial lighting (light to show, light for staging, light to heal, light to contextualize, light to communicate); 2) thermo-acoustic energy and natural/artificial ventilation of the built environment.
  • Advice and research on the most up-to-date technologies on an integrated design approach, combining both aesthetic and technical aspects of ecologically responsible buildings (eg low energy consumption / low carbon solutions in the design of the building envelope and in the design definition of the system environmental).

About academic career

Since the cultural elaboration of my degree thesis, Il silenzio verde: contributo ai piani paesistici nell’area che va da Selinunte a Eraclea Minoa, in 1998, my scientific activity has been directed towards the emerging research lines in the field of enhancement of the landscape and cultural heritage, with attention to the complex relationship between the “new and ancient”.

Since then, I have carried out research and teaching collaboration at the Faculty of Architecture of Palermo, as a Honorary Fellow of Architectural Technology and Architecture Construction Laboratory.

In 2011 I got a PhD in “Recovery and Fruition of Ancient Contexts” with a thesis entitled Light and archeology: the European experience in indoor and outdoor sites, which analyzes the impact of lighting for the enhancement of archaeological sites, through experiences carried out in Italy and abroad.

My academic career then continued with the award of the research grant co-funded by the Ministry of Education, entitled “Cultural Heritage: Innovative Strategies for Training, for Participation, and for Governance in the Euro-Mediterranean Area”, carried out at the Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo, ICAR / 12 sector.

During my PhD and post doctorate, I participated in many research projects, including the International Project APER, Domestic Architecture, Punic, Roman and Hellenistic: Safeguarding and Value, funded under the Cross-Border Cooperation Program of the EU Italy-Tunisia 2007/2013.

The APER project was born on the initiative of the University of Palermo, through the Management Center of the Didactic Pole of Agrigento and in partnership with the University Pole of the Province of Agrigento (CUPA), with l’Institut National du Patrimoine di Tunisi and with l’Agence Nationale de Mise en Valeur du Patrimoine et de Promotion Culturelle of Tunis.

The APER project was attended by other subjects with interest in the promotion of activities aimed at conservation and enhancement of archaeological and architectural heritage: the Regional Center for Design and Restoration of Palermo, the Regional Province of Agrigento, the Park Instituiton of the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento, the École d’Avignon, the École National d’Architecture et Urbanisme of Tunis, the Italian Cultural Institute of Tunis.

The project APER has pursued objectives such as institutional and cultural integration and social and economic promotion, through the maturation of common experiences and creation of relationships among the project actors, aimed at the development of cultural tourism, with a positive impact on the wider socio-economic context.

Cross-border cooperation was aimed at encouraging the conservation, enhancement and knowledge of the archaeological site of the Utique and Kerkouane in Tunisia and of the Hellenistic-Roman Quarter of Agrigento, united by the exemplary overlapping of the Punic, Hellenistic and Roman cultures.

In this context, I was Leader of the group of 10 young researchers involved in the project (5 Italians and 5 Tunisians).

In 2015 I won the competition for Assistant Professor in Architectural Technology at the Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo.

Since then, I have been in charge of laboratories, seminars and reviews on issues concerning the technology of building consumption materials in architecture, with attention to the relationship between existing buildings, new buildings and innovative and eco-sustainable materials.


I am Member of ICOMOS (International Council of Museums and Sites) and of SiTdA (Società italiana dell’Architettura) and I am part of the clusters Nearly Energy Zero Building and Progettazione Ambientale within the SiTdA.

I am Member of International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM).

Editorial Board

I am part of the Editorial Board of various scientific journals, including: Agathon JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable and Green EnergyCivil Engineering and Architecture.

I am a member of the Editorial Staff for the Series Patrimonio Architettonico/ Architectural Heritage, edited by ETS Edizioni Pisa/A new Series ETS Editor Pisa.

Resilient architecture in my research activity

My attitude towards scientific and architectural research is supported by a focused knowledge of the history of architecture, considered a necessary and irreplaceable instrument of investigation in order to be able to dialogue correctly with the architectural artefacts and their past.

In this perspective, almost all the research experiences carried out at national and international level, such as the researches carried out on archaeological and urban contexts in Paris, London, Barcelona, and the study of problems related to nocturnal fruition in the archaeological sites of Catalonia. The key point of my research is the analysis of effective strategies for understanding  cultural and architectural heritage, even by an unskilled public.

At the same time, my cultural itinerary, both in the field of scientific research and teaching, focused on the study of the enhancement of architectural heritage and landscape, with attention to the search for effective strategies to improve environmental comfort and quality of well-being of users, as well as the comfort and well-being of buildings.