Construction News

Thu April 02 2020

VolkerWessels to build 100-home ‘living lab’

22 Jan Two VolkerWessels companies have been appointed by UNSense to build a Dutch housing scheme billed as a ‘living lab’.

UNSense has been commissioned by the Brainport Smart District Foundation to develop the neighbourhood of ​​100 homes in Helmond.

The project has recently been approved by the foundation, enabling UNSense to take the next steps toward realising the ‘smart’ neighbourhood. The aim is to apply and test data and technology at a neighbourhood level with the aim of creating a positive impact on the well-being of residents, both socially and economically.

UNSense will orchestrate the application of its ‘living lab’ concept at n Brainport Smart District, directing public private collaborations and partnerships between the different parties. Over the coming months, it will put in place three contracts. The first is for VolkerWessels companies SDK Vastgoed and VolkerWessels Telecom to develop and build the 100 houses and the underlying infrastructure - energy, telecoms, water and sewerage. A tech consortium will be appointed for the construction of an urban data platform and a third will develop services related to the areas of living, mobility, food and health. The urban data platform is intended to ensure that data ownership is not controlled by one single tech company, or by a handful of them, but by the citizens themselves.

UNSense is has already brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including local governments, research institutions, potential service and building partners.

It said that the ‘smart homes’ will form the basis for the operation of the urban data platform and that VolkerWessels aims to learn and develop in an innovative way, contributing positively to current and future quality of life.

The 100 Homes project is part of the UNStudio masterplan for the expansion of the Brandevoort neighbourhood, which will eventually have 1,500 permanent and 500 temporary homes, greenery and 12 hectares of business park. The ambition is to make it the ‘smartest neighbourhood in the world’. The masterplan is designed around key pillars such as aiming for self-sufficiency through joint energy generation and local food production, future-proof water management, joint data management and groundbreaking mobility services.

“Research shows that technological progress has always had a direct influence on our daily lives – and that earlier industrial revolutions have often led to saving time, energy and money, and to an overall increase in comfort levels,” said UNSense. “The same mechanism now applies to the 4th industrial revolution. Our goal is that, by developing intelligent services that connect and adapt to the needs and consumption habits of residents, basic services will become manageable and fixed costs will be reduced, while (net) income will increase. Based on our research, it is clear that technology within the urban landscape can lead to time, energy and financial savings associated with housing, mobility, food and health. As a result, more time and energy can become available for people to spend on more meaningful, pleasant and healthier activities. This will increase their sense of quality of life, well-being, happiness and health.”

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