Citizens Kanaleneiland visit model home of a near-zero energy building

Social housing corporation Bo-Ex invited its residents to take a peak into the near future and visit a decorated model home of their soon-to-be renovated apartments. Residents of an apartment building in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland-Zuid were able to feel what it’s like to live in an energy neutral building and be part of the process. With a high turnout, it proved a great opportunity for everyone to think about creating a smart and sustainable city district, together.

As part the IRIS project, social housing corporation Bo-Ex will refurbish 12 apartment buildings in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland-Zuid. Integrating technologies including solar PV, smart heat pumps and home energy management systems, the refurbished buildings are key to creating a near zero-energy district.

Above all, the refurbished apartments are being designed with their residents in mind: meeting their needs and combining comfort with reduced energy bills. To inform them of the latest developments and to learn about their needs and wants first hand – Bo-Ex set up a model home. Here, citizens can take a peak into the near future, seeing what their new apartments will look like, submit their preferences and provide suggestions for improvements.

On 8-10 April 2019 Bo-Ex invited the citizens of the first apartment building on the agenda – due to  be refurbished later this year – to come and take a look. It proved a success, with many citizens dropping in to help shape their new surroundings.

Visitors enjoyed seeing the contours of their future apartments, including a brand new front door and a renovated bathroom. They saw IRIS-partner Eneco’s ‘HeatWinner’ in action, a hybrid heat pump that works together with the intelligent thermostat Toon. Some citizens were particularly enthusiastic about the soundproofing, noise-resistant and thermally insulating glazing units.

During their visit, the citizens gladly made use of the opportunity to ask questions to the housing corporation and to the building contractor of the renovation, who was present for this purpose. Many visitors also used the occasion to submit their preferences on the new color scheme of the building’s common stairwell.

Further Reading:

Utrecht has been a hive of activity as they tackle our 5 key areas of transition. More technically minded readers should consult a report on the city’s actions.

This public deliverable, gives insights on the coordination structures and procedures concerning governance, communication, monitoring and impact analysis, local risk assessment, periodic reporting, and planning of Utrecht integration and demonstration activities aligned between Utrecht IRIS ecosystem partners.

A local language website also provides regular updates from the ground.

14 May 2019

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