As the EU-funded project syn.ikia is well into its third year, partners gather on the 24-25 of March in Uden, The Netherlands, where the Dutch demo site is located, to witness its completion and to discuss the work progress. This is a significant event, as it is the first in person meeting after two years.
The agenda consists of six thematic workshops on the Design and Implementation of Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods (SPEN), with an active role for all the participants, to enhance the sharing of ideas, lessons learned, challenges and approaches. One highlight will be the presence on the premises of some future tenants, that will be able to move in their new homes in May 2022.
The first day will consist in a thorough tour de table of all the partners updates, that correspond to different areas of expertise and responsibility. Interactive activities will allow the partners to better understand the progress to understand what adjustments are needed in terms of scientific advancements and dissemination of the results.
Participants will have the chance to visit the demo site during the second half of the day. Located in Loopkantstraat, Uden, the new building is developed by Hendriks Coppelmans commissioned by the social housing provider Area Wonen and consists of 39 units. It includes state-of-the-art technologies, such as integrating sensors for smart controls and diagnostics, and innovative processes were engaged in its development, including a digital (predictive) twin of the building to optimise its performance.
Thijs van den Oord, Project Manager at Area, explains: ‘To this predictive twin we have added all physical characteristics, both the installation and insulation. On the basis of this, we can finally predict how much energy the building will be using at a certain moment. By doing so, we aim to find a balance between the energy generated by the solar panels and the energy usage of the residents.’
A very important aspect of this demo neighbourhood is the ‘social beautiful’ concept which is developed in collaboration between Labyrint (Support in sheltered housing), Area (housing company), the municipality of Uden, and Hendriks Coppelmans (developer). The concept aims to provide an answer to changes in various policy areas and the changing demands of society.
The second day will be dedicated to the decision-making process of the next steps for syn.ikia. The Norwegian demo site corresponding to the Subarctic climate will be replaced, thus its integration at this stage of the project needs to be carefully considered. Regarding the Dutch demo, the next phase will consist in monitoring and reporting the results once the building becomes functional.
Syn.ikia is an EU-funded innovation project under the As a Horizon 2020 programme that aims to enable the development of sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods in different climates, contexts and markets in Europe. Over the course of the project, four real-life plus-energy demo neighbourhood projects tailored to four different climatic zones will be developed, analysed, optimized and monitored, demonstrating the functionality of the plus-energy neighbourhood concept for the rest of Europe.
The project will encourage community engagement and will empower user’s control facilitated by digital platforms and driven by high architectural & spatial qualities, housing affordability, improved quality of life, and environmental consciousness to inform and enable behavioural change.