Ettore Zambelli (1940-2010) was a polyhedric figure, "poly-technic" in the true sense of the word: architect, researcher, professor, expert in technologies, innovator and exquisite draftsman. Graduated at Politecnico di Milano in 1964, he was full professor at the School of Architectural Engineering there. He contributed to the foundation of the Architectural Engineering programme in Lecco, serving as its Director for many years. He was a founder, with Giuseppe Turchini, Eric Dubosc and Marco Imperadori, the Premio Compasso Volante contest. Before academia, he worked for public and private research institutions, such as CNR (Italian Council for Research), ICITE, CIB and Tecnocasa. He had an expertise in technological design and construction, developing at the beginning of its career several researches in the field of self-construction and the optimisation of design and construction processes.

Starting from the Nineties, he developed an interest in lightweight construction technologies, contributing to the introduction of the Structure / Envelope concept in Italy. His research was then focussed on the evolution of construction technologies and their environmental sustainability. In parallel, he practiced as an architect, first on his own and later founding the AIACE company ("architecture and engineering for the sustainable built environment").

The results of his research and design activity are visible not only in several publications and books, but also in a number of buildings that anticipated today's requirements for energy efficiency: among them, the Versilia hospital, the Valdichiana Est hospital in Cortona, the extension of the Ceccarini hospital in Riccione, the design of "BIRD" low-energy housing in Brescia, the experimental building for the "Don Leandro Rossi" Foundation in Brescia and an energy-efficient school in Milan.