oPEN Lab

Open innovation living labs for Positive Energy Neighbourhoods

Project activities: The aim of the oPEN Lab is to identify replicable, commercially viable solution packages enabling the achievement of positive energy neighbourhoods within existing urban contexts that are seamlessly integrated into the local energy system as an active micro-energy hub, and to test these technologies and package as an integrated solution at neighbourhood scale.

Three open innovation living labs in the cities of Genk (BE), Pamplona (ES) and Tartu (EE) will test combinations of different close-to-market ready technologies and services and study their performance as a unique operating system. Focus is on demonstrating innovations in an integrated approach combining sustainable design tailored to the local context, seamless industrial renovation workflows, renewable energy generation combined with energy storage systems, urban service facilities and smart operation, life cycle thinking and circularity, and this across the whole value chain, targeting the whole life cycle of the building and its neighbourhood, in view of scaling up and wide replication. A user driven and participatory approach with the neighbourhood?s community will be rolled out for a holistic and positive energy vision for the neighbourhood, going beyond citizen awareness raising activities.

oPEN Lab is a unique collaboration aligned with the Open Innovation quadruple helix model where a) industry (SMEs, large companies, start-ups and scale-ups in both construction and energy value chains), b) government (local public administration), c) academia/RTOs and d) civil participants (end users, NGOs) work together to co-create and drive structural changes that will result in high TRL levels, with great focus on exploitation of results and wide replication.

Project is supported by Horizon 2020.

Project budget: 21 949 812,50 € 
TREA budget: 288 750 €

Project duration: 01.10.2021-31.10.2026  (54 months)

Project aims: To redesign and retrofit our existing buildings and neighbourhoods, making them future-proof, with a positive impact on Climate change mitigation and a minimised environmental footprint.

Project home page:

Project activites and goals:

  • 3 demonstration sites that go beyond NZEB with 1 large commercial building and 325 dwellings = 45,640 m2. High energy performance: all buildings within the living labs will be brought to NZEB
  • Reduction of embodied energy in buildings by 50%
  • The living labs renovation approach will target a 50% primary energy demand reduction, resulting in 3926 MWh/y savings in gross primary energy demand. Additionally, local RES generation will provide 4389 MWh/y primary energy gains, resulting in a net realisation of 8315 MWh/y primary energy savings compared to the current 8826 MWh/y in the three living lab neighbourhoods.
  • Reduction of embodied energy and operational energy (demand), full penetration of local RES and optimised energy management will reduce oPEN Lab living lab GHG and air-pollutant emissions towards zero, for total life-cycle compared to current situation.
  • oPEN Lab organisational models, digital tools and modular renovation workflows will enable reduction of construction / retrofitting time and cost by >35% to allow market uptake and social affordability of deep renovation towards PEB.
  • oPEN Lab construction / renovation and energy value chains actors are qualified and will integrate the innovative technologies in their business models and operations by project end (see individual exploitation plans).
  • Strong innovation clusters are able to accelerate the spread of green building and renovation concepts to provide momentum to the “renovation wave” that will be politically underpinned
  • oPEN Lab will demonstrate high potential for replicability of its PEN designs and technical/business models innovations working with 10 existing innovation clusters that integrate both energy and construction value chain
  • oPEN Lab will mobilise >€30M of sustainable investments during the project, >100€ for local upscaling on the short-term and €>400m by 2030.
  • oPEN Lab renovation workflows and processes will demonstrate a reduction of dust and noise during retrofitting of the living labs by at least 40% leading to higher users’ satisfaction
  • oPEN Lab demonstrators will improve final indoor environment quality >50%

Project partners:

  • Coordinator: Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek NV (VITO) (Belgium);
  • Flux 50 (F50) (Belgium);
  • Steinbeis Innovation Ggmbh (SEZ) (Germany);
  • Alonso Hernandez & Asociados Arquitectos SL (AHA) (Spain);
  • Bax Innovation Consulting SL (BAX) (Spain);
  • Building Performance Institute Europe ASBL (BPIE) (Belgium);
  • Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum (IMEC) (Belgium);
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) (Belgium);
  • Ayuntamiento de Pamplona (PAMPL) (Spain);
  • Sympraxis TeamC. (SXS) (Greece);
  • Tartu Linn (TARTU) (Estonia);
  • Gren Tartu AS (GREN) (Estonia);
  • Institute of Baltic Studies (IBS) (Estonia);
  • Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA) (Estonia);
  • Tallinn University of Technology (TALTECH) (Estonia);
  • Fundación CENER (CENER) (Spain);
  • Obras Especiales edificacion e Infraestructuras (OBENASA) (Spain);
  • Stad Genk (GENK)(Belgium);
  • Stebo (STEBO)(Belgium);
  • Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU) (Spain);
  • European Network of Living Labs IVZW (ENoLL) (Belgium);
  • Ifok GMBH (IFOK) (Germany);
  • Tartu Ulikool (TU) (Estonia);
  • Nieuw DaK (NIEUW) (Belgium);
  • Daikin Europe V. (DAIKIN) (Belgium);
  • FUTECH (FUTECH) (Belgium);
  • Cast4All (CAST) (Belgium);
  • Dcinergy (DCIN) (Belgium);
  • Litobox BV (LITO) (Belgium);
  • Groep Van Roey (GVR) (Belgium);
  • Eesti Energia As (EESTI) (Estonia);
  • Haute Ecole Specialisee De Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO) (Switzerland);
  • Habenu-van de Kreeke Vastgoedservice BV (HVDK) (Netherlands).

Projekti koduleht:  (inglise keeles)

Projekti kontaktisik TREAs: Kalle Virkus,

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