Innovative EU-funded project to create model green neighbourhoods

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Madrid Nuevo Norte is the largest urban regeneration plan in Europe, which will reshape the north of Madrid. (Photo: IDOM).

The EU-funded PROBONO project will create six European districts into net zero exemplar neighbourhoods.

Imagine a people-focused European construction industry that works with a community of stakeholders to create sustainable positive energy and zero-carbon emitting Green Buildings and Neighbourhoods (GBNs).

That is the vision of the EU-funded PROBONO project which brings together European multidisciplinary consortium of 47 partners, construction and consulting entities, public asset service managers, municipalities, technology solution providers and experts to transform six European districts into GBNs.

The project will provide strong examples of GBNs’ technological and social innovation implementation by focusing on building infrastructure and exploiting digitalisation and smart technologies. PROBONO will create GBN Strategic Planning Tools and provide evidence-based policy recommendations, standardisation actions and robust adoption and commercialisation strategies. Project work will also engage citizens in co-designing and co-delivering sustainable GBNs.

PROBONO will turn the six European districts (PROBONO´s living labs) into Green Buildings and Neighbourhoods, with positive energy balance and zero carbon emissions. The project consists of two large-scale demonstrators (Madrid and Dublin) and four living labs representing business/owner promoters of the green buildings and neighbourhoods’ transition (Porto, Brussels, Aarhus, Prague).

The innovative project, which aims to design and implement solutions for urban regeneration that are scalable and meet the sustainability standards set by the European Green Pact, is co-funded by the European Commission, within the H2020 programme.

At the end of last month, the first general assembly of the PROBONO project was held in Crete, Greece. One of the project partners is the consultancy firm IDOM, who are responsible for the design of the geothermal district network corresponding to the Madrid living lab in which ACCIONA, Crea Madrid Nuevo Norte, formerly Distrito Castellana Norte and the Madrid City Council, among others, also participate.

At the PROBONO general assembly, IDOM representatives presented their progress in the design of the network. The geothermal district network designed by IDOM is low-temperature and completely below ground, which makes it an environmentally friendly option, with no visual or acoustic impact on the city and with the capacity for organic growth. As part of the project, a pilot section is planned to be built based on the conceptual proposal IDOM presented for Madrid Nuevo Norte two years ago.

Madrid Nuevo Norte is the largest urban regeneration plan in Europe, which will reshape the north of Madrid. A surface area of 3.5 million square metres included in the project will be heated. One of the key objectives of the energy master plan, developed by IDOM, has been to design Madrid Nuevo Norte with the highest level of environmental and sustainability standards, making it an international benchmark.

The PROBONO project also involves the cities of Aarhus, Prague, Porto, Brussels and Dublin, making it a truly international and collaborative initiative, involving 13 different nationalities. The project has set out a highly ambitious impact strategy and has created the capability to deliver it with the support of leading-edge partners. Based on this impact strategy, the project will provide significant and measurable impacts not only in energy and construction fields, but also health, science and technology fields.

Click here to find out more about the PROBONO project.