Designing sustainable plus-energy neighborhoods | video

  • Energy and environment
  • Smart energy management

The Thermal Energy and Building Performance group at IREC participates in the EU Horizon 2020 project syn.ikia, with other 12 partners across Europe. The mission of syn.ikia is to increase the share of sustainable neighborhoods with surplus renewable energy, resilient and affordable living places and communities in different contexts, climates and markets in Europe. Over the course of the project, four real-life plus-energy demo neighborhood projects tailored to four different climatic zones are developed, analysed, optimised and monitored, demonstrating the functionality of the plus-energy neighborhood concept to the rest of Europe.

The four demos are located in Spain, Norway, Netherlands and Austria. IREC participates more actively in the Spanish one located in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, this neighbourhood being representative of the Mediterranean climate. The Spanish demo is a typical newly built multi-family building, comprising 38 housing units. The apartments are developed and managed by the public housing provider INCÀSOL, while the regional housing agency (Agència de l’Habitatge de Catalunya) accompanies, communicates, and effectively engages residents with their new home, maintenance and rents. The building counts with local photovoltaic production (beyond the requirements of the building code) to make it plus-energy, and its facilities are shared at neighborhood level with a medical centre. An energy manager is in charge of monitoring and optimizing the energy needs and production of both buildings.

The other demos cover different types of environments found in Europe, such as subarctic, marine, or continental climates. IREC has notably collaborated with the other partners to define a common framework for evaluating these plus-energy buildings and neighborhoods from different perspectives (energy efficiency, sustainability, indoor climate, cost, and social sustainability), and also to characterize their energy flexibility potential. The information of the 4 demos is summarized in the following leaflet available in these languages:

In the framework of the project, several videos have been produced and can be accessed through the syn.ikiaEU Youtube channel of the project. This first video presents the general concept of the syn.ikia project (in English, subtitled in Catalan):

This other video presents more particularly the Spanish demo neighbourhood in Santa Coloma (in Catalan, subtitled in English):

Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 869918.