As the world debates actions to combat climate change, the success of reducing greenhouse gas emissions relies largely on the transition to a low carbon and energy-efficient built environment. Increasing population and economic growth also reveals a greater need for buildings. The challenge is how we boost access to affordable housing while at the same time reducing emissions.
The energy and building sector has an important role to play in progressing towards a zero emission society. Buildings represent 30% of global final energy consumption and 28% of energy-related GHG emissions worldwide (IEA, 2019).
The syn.ikia innovation project within the EU Horizon 2020 framework involves 13 partners from six countries and 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.
Syn.ikia’s concept relies on the interplay between novel technologies at the neighbourhood scale, energy efficiency of the buildings, energy flexibility, high architectural and spatial qualities, social sustainability and citizen engagement.
New designs and efficient operation of sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods through integrated energy design, energy- and cost-efficiency measures, local renewables, local storage, energy flexibility, and energy sharing and trading, will be conducted. The project will encourage community engagement and will empower user’s control facilitated by digital platforms and driven by housing affordability, improved quality of life, and environmental consciousness to inform and enable behavioural change.
Syn.ikia has already started its exciting journey. Welcome on board!
The syn.ikia coordinator
Niki Gaitani, NTNU
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