The new research centre, which was recently announced by Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien, is called FME ZEN (Zero Emission Neighbourhood) and will be hosted by NTNU and SINTEF. The research centre will seek to develop solutions to enable the buildings and urban areas of the future to be part of a zero emission society.
The research centre will collaborate with 35 different partners, one of whom is Multiconsult. Multiconsult has extensive experience of participating in research programmes, and its involvement in ZEN will follow on naturally from ZEB (Zero Emission Building), which is now in its final stages. ZEN fits in well with the Group’s focus on sustainable urban development.
Building up expertise
Multiconsult’s strong technical expertise in green and sustainable building is precisely the reason why ZEN chose Multiconsult as a partner.
“Multiconsult wants to contribute to the research centre through pilot projects and to play an active role in the development of the centre. We also see an opportunity to build relationships with students contributing Master’s and PhD projects,” says Stein Christiansen, Multiconsult’s Director of Environmental and Specialist Consultancy.
The big picture
Participating in prestigious innovation and research programmes gives Multiconsult access to the very best research. Multiconsult wishes to use ZEN to build up its expertise and further develop its own products and services related to sustainable urban development. This will allow it to add greater value for its customers and the users of the neighbourhoods being developed.
“In ZEB we have looked at the possibilities for individual buildings, but in ZEN we will go beyond that by looking at the whole challenge of developing new sustainable districts and neighbourhoods. We believe that this must be done by combining green building with good infrastructure and smart energy control systems / Smart Grids,” says Christiansen.
The centre’s vision is to develop sustainable areas with zero greenhouse gas emissions. The centre will help municipalities, businesses, government agencies and researchers to work closely together on planning, developing and managing zero emission neighbourhoods. ZEN will be funded by the Research Council of Norway and the partners, who will provide half of the budget through their own financial resources and work.
The new research centre has big ambitions and will amongst other things:
- Develop tools for designing and planning zero emission neighbourhoods
- Develop technologies and tools for designing and operating flexible energy areas
- Develop cost and resource effective buildings using green materials, technologies and construction processes.
Seven so-called zero emission neighbourhoods have been defined in different parts of Norway, including in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. Other important project partners include Statsbygg, NVE, and Energy Norway.