Green Architecture News: Innovative Self-Sustaining Village to Break Ground in 2016

For the Dutch who want to adhere to a diet of locally grown food, a new settlement breaking ground this summer in Almere, Netherlands, could be their ideal destination. The first project of ReGen Villages, a self-sustaining community designed in partnership with Effekt Studios, integrates attached greenhouses with a series of buildings where families live and grow food. Using a fully sustainable model, they will also create their own power and recycle their waste.

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The project uses existing technologies to create integrated, self-reliant communities completely off the grid but with the luxury of modern conveniences.

Investing in Green Technologies
Startup funds for the villages are coming from wealth funds seeking to divest of fossil fuels and transition into impact investments, according to Gizmag. State investment is also an important part of the business model. Pilot communities are planned for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, with possible expansions into the UAE, China and African countries. The Almere settlement will start with 100 homes.

Image courtesy
Image courtesy

Part of the focus is on renewable energy creation using photovoltaic solar panels and natural ventilation. The prefabricated homes make heavy use of glass because of the material’s unique ability to manage a range of weather conditions. The village’s communal areas will feature electric car charging stations. Food will be grown organically in vertical aquaponic and aeroponic systems, adhering to a model of doorstep food production.

ReGen Villages also have sustainable water and waste management systems. Composted household waste feeds flies, who then feed fish. This fish waste provides fertilizer for food plants. Household waste that is not compostable can be converted to biogas to generate power. The cycle approach is used throughout the village’s sustainable design.

Long-Term Management
ReGen Villages have established blueprints that are modified to suit the local community. The company runs the village once it is functioning and inhabited, managing and improving on the village infrastructure. Public squares for community gathering are part of the plans. In addition, residents take on community roles, relieving strain on existing municipal governments.

While food production and transport causes massive environmental damage, projects as innovative as ReGen Villages might become a model of new developments to come, in all corners of the world.