Our winter edition 2021

Dear friends and colleagues,

It is the time of the year for reflection and future casting, that is planning ahead and taking the steps to make the vision -in our case SPENs- happen.
Our newsletter is dedicated to our neighbourhoods. We know that focusing solely on individual buildings can lead to suboptimal solutions when aiming for a zero-emission target due to high power peaks and fast load fluctuations – which fails to achieve synergy effects between energy use and generation. Moreover, the concept of SPENs differs from zero energy buildings given its renewable energy contribution to the surrounding environment, subsequently reducing the carbon footprint from neighbouring buildings.

Starting with Design, how can we make SPENS i.e., neighbourhoods with resilient, sustainable and affordable living places reach climate neutrality and energy surplus?
Our report on design and performance prediction for the syn.ikia demo neighbourhoods in Norway, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands shares inspiring results of integrated energy and future proof design.

Looking into the regulations, what are the main challenges and possibilities of energy-plus neighbourhoods at the local, national and EU level?
The policy window of the Fit-for-55 package and related reforms of the EU climate and energy architecture, in particular the revision of the EPBD should utilise the synergies and potential of neighbourhoods and community approaches. Our report on current policies at European and national level identifies a trend to move towards an integrated and sustainable built environment supporting SPENs.

How can we voice our individual needs while at the same time enhancing healthy lifestyles, rational consumption behaviour, and strengthening the development of an equitable and climate neutral society?
With our SPEN community, educational and awareness raising campaigns, green ambassadors and through new forms of user engagement as digital tools, we invite residents and stakeholders along syn.ikia’s journey.

Finally, we are working systematically to develop and promote our innovative solutions across the European communities. During the first two years of the project, we have developed more than twenty reports, participated in a great number of events such as the Sustainable Places Conference, facilitated synergies with the ZEN Research Centre and the sister projects.

With best wishes for the new year!

The syn.ikia Coordinator
Niki Gaitani, NTNU


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