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NTNU will lead European sustainability project

At Ammerud in Oslo, the housing project Oen is planned; a circular building with 150 apartments and solar cells on the roof. The apartment building is built according to international plus house standard (ZEB-O) Ill.: Code
Through the Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (FME ZEN) in Smart Cities, NTNU has received funding from the EU to research sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods in Europe. SINTEF and OBOS are partners.

The Syn.ikia innovation project aims to increase the proportion of neighbourhoods with surplus renewable energy in Europe.

The name syn.ikia, which comes from Greek, means "neighbourhood," "plus," and "home." The name reflects the main goal of the project, namely developing sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods, i.e. highly energy efficient neighbourhoods with a surplus of energy from renewable sources.

Four demonstration projects in four different countries

Syn.ikia will develop solutions for how such neighbourhoods can be realized. With the help of four demonstration projects in four different climates and countries (Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and Hungary), new technology and new solutions will be tested. The final product will be four real neighbourhoods that will represent four ways of realizing the future of residential areas in Europe.

The four demonstration studies in numbers:

  • 4 different types of climate in Europe
  • 24,000 m2 with new and upgraded buildings
  • 860 residents
  • 1 250 000 m2 total area
  • 58 600 000 € invested in the neighbourhoods

An ambitious project

The syn.ikia concept relies on the interplay between novel technologies at the neighbourhood scale, energy efficiency and flexibility, energy sharing among users, good architectural and spatial qualities, sustainable behaviour and citizen engagement. It is an ambitious project, says Niki Gaitani who is coordinating on behalf of NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

Many partners involved

The project budget is € 7,435,279. It involves 13 partners from a total of six countries: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Hungary and the Netherlands. The Norwegian partners are SINTEF and OBOS in addition to NTNU, which is the coordinator.

Syn.ikia comprises a number of innovations including innovative strategies, processes and technologies. Our contribution will be to facilitate the use of these innovations. Plus-energy neighbourhoods will soon become a reality, says Ann Kristin Kvellheim from SINTEF, who is leading the research activities on innovation and exploitation.

OBOS is participating with the new housing project Oen at Ammerud in Oslo.

– Oen will consist of around 150 apartments, and is a zero emission building in the ZEB-O category. We are looking forward to working with NTNU and the other partners in Syn.ikia, says Birgitte Molstad, environmental director in OBOS.

The project is part of EUs framework programme "Horizon 2020" and will start in January 2020 with a duration of 4,5 years.

The ZEN Research Centre (The Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities) is a centre for environment-friendly energy research. The centre was established in 2017 by the Research Council of Norway. Our goal is to develop solutions for future buildings and neighbourhoods with no greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby contribute to a low carbon society. The ZEN Research Centre is working closely with municipal and regional governments, private businesses and researchers to plan, develop and operate neighbourhoods without greenhouse gas emissions. The centre has nine demonstration projects located around Norway that function as arenas for innovation. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) hosts the centre and leads it together with SINTEF.


Project Information

Project name:


Project duration:

01/01/2017 - 31/12/2024

Contact person:

Ann Kristin Kvellheim

Contact person