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The Integrator-centric approach for realising innovative energy efficient buildings in connected sustainable green neighbourhoods


The PROBONO project, coordinated by ACC (Ingenieria Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial, S.A.), brings together a European multidisciplinary consortium of 47 partners, construction and consulting entities, public asset service managers, municipalities, technology solution providers and experts, to turn the six European districts (PROBONO´s Living Labs) into Green Building Neighborhoods (GBN), with positive energy balance and zero carbon emissions: two large-scale demonstrators (Madrid and Dublin) and four living labs representing business/owner promoters of the green buildings and neighborhoods’ transition (Porto, Brussels, Aarhus, Prague). 

PROBONO will provide strong examples of how GBN's technological and social innovations can be applied, with a vision focused on building infrastructure and a renewed focus on people and sustainability, taking full advantage of digitalization and smart technologies for the benefit of society. The adoption of the PROBONO approach and innovations will be proposed through a range of participatory methods that promote stakeholders (including citizens) partaking in co-designing and co-delivering a sustainable GBN.

PROBONO - as displayed in Figure 1 - will provide GBN Strategic Planning Tools in spatial, economic, technical, environmental regulatory, and social context aligned with city and urban masterplans and policy frameworks. PROBONO will create evidence-based policy recommendations, standardization actions, and robust adoption and commercialization strategies supported by a capacity-building program and a European Alliance of GBN Innovation Clusters.

PROBONO will provide a GBN Digital Twin (DT) implemented across the LLs as a virtual representation of associated GBN including operational assets that implicate environmental and efficiency KPI. A cloud-based decision support-planning tool will be created to develop an optimized design for carbon-neutral energy GBN systems incorporating PROBONO innovative solutions on GBN demand and response dynamics. The technological developments will include metering different utilities with electricity, gas, warm energy, cold energy, and water linked to Smart IoT gateway and Energy Optimisation middleware, all this combined with geothermal, PV, micro-turbines, efficient HVAC technologies, green roofs, custom insulation, and GB energy optimization, efficient energy storage and integrating EV charging value chain.

Through PROBONO, AU and AU Estates will work towards developing and piloting (1) new renovation decision support tools for refurbishing "Universitetsbyen", the University City being constructed from a former hospital over the next 5 years, and (2) a "toolkit" for producing tender-ready proposals for constructing Solar Panel Parks, which will be piloted at AU Foulum. The project will illustrate how innovative, smart technology and digitalisation can be used to benefit society.