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View Full Version : ReGen Village (Almere, the Netherlands): a completely self-sustained neighborhood



Aragorn
22nd June 2016, 03:23
Source: fastcoexist.com (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060167/this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself-and-handle-its-own-waste)



"If you live inside one of the houses in a new neighborhood being built in an Amsterdam suburb, your dining room might be next to an indoor vegetable garden. Outside, you'll have another seasonal garden. And down the street, almost everything you eat will be grown in high-tech vertical farms.

The neighborhood will be the first ReGen Village, a new type of community designed to be fully self-sufficient, growing its own food, making its own energy, and handling its own waste in a closed loop. Any household waste that can be composted will feed livestock or soldier flies. The soldier flies will feed fish, and fish waste will fertilize an aquaculture system that produces fruit and vegetables for the homes. Seasonal gardens will be fertilized by waste from the livestock.

By using the most advanced methods for growing food — a combination of aeroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, food forests, and high-yield organic farming — the neighborhood will grow many times more food than a traditional farm of the same size, with fewer resources. Aquaponics, for example, can produce 10 times as much produce on the same amount of land, with 90% less water.



http://c.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/slideshow_large/slideshow/2016/05/3060167-slide-1-this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself.jpg


"We anticipate literally tons of abundant organic food every year — from vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, chicken, small animal dairy and protein — that can continually grow and yield in the vertical garden systems all year long as supplement to the seasonal gardens and farming adjacent," says James Ehrlich, CEO of ReGen Villages, the California-based developer, which will also manage the neighborhood-slash-farm. The company partnered with Effekt, a Danish architecture firm, on the design.

The community will also produce its own energy, using a mixture of geothermal, solar, solar-thermal, wind, and biomass. "We're looking at some very interesting technologies for small-footprint biomass that can take surrounding farm waste and turn that into a consistent energy source in a way that can power these communities in northern Europe even in the dead of winter," Ehrlich says. A smart grid will distribute power efficiently, sending it to a carport to charge shared electric cars as needed.

A biogas plant will turn any non-compostable household waste into power and water. A water storage system will collect rainwater and graywater and redistribute it to seasonal gardens and the aquaponic system.



http://a.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/slideshow_large/slideshow/2016/05/3060167-slide-3-this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself.jpg


It's the first of a network of similar communities that ReGen plans to build around the world. "We're really looking at a global scale," he says. "We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there."

The first 100-home village is on the outskirts of Almere, a quickly growing town 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Inside Almere, the company is also building a scaled-down version with 35 condo units. The company also has more projects planned in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany, but plans to expand everywhere.



http://a.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/inline/2016/05/3060167-inline-4-this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself.jpg


"We're really looking at starting off as the Tesla of eco-villages," Ehrlich says. "That's the idea. So we're coming out as a little bit higher-end for Northern Europe." Next, the company wants to adapt the system for arid climates such as the Middle East.



http://b.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/inline/2016/05/3060167-inline-1g-this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself-and-handle-its-own-waste.gif


"We tackle the first two hardest climate areas," he says. "Then from there we have global scale — rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know that the population is going to increase and also be moving to the middle class. If everybody in India and Africa wants the same kind of suburbs that we've been building so far, the planet's not going to make it."

Ehrlich, who also works as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford University and as a senior technologist there, was inspired by a 2013 UN report that argued for the creation of self-sufficient communities.

In Almere, the village is likely to grow about half of the food that the community eats — it won't grow coffee or bananas, for example. It will also feed energy back to the local grid. But in some locations, the company believes that the neighborhood could be fully self-sufficient.

The community in Almere will break ground this summer and be completed in 2017."


Source: fastcoexist.com (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060167/this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself-and-handle-its-own-waste)

ZShawn
22nd June 2016, 03:56
Projects like this ought to be the norm globally, with all kinds of collaboration and competitions for creativity and technical innovation.......sadly this has not been our history....good to see producer level changes in the script.

modwiz
22nd June 2016, 04:01
I am happy to see these kinds of projects but, since they are starting from the ground up, more bio-friendly geometry would be really thinking ahead. Anyone who has looked into the effects of geometry and the human energy (auric and subtle) body fields knows that square housing and right angles are not biology friendly. Dragging old paradigm architecture into the future is not conducive to higher consciousness. Humanity's biggest hurdle is its psychology.

sandy
22nd June 2016, 05:17
Looks like they are taking a page from the The Venus Project. Albeit, the Venus housing is varied in stucture and stylish in design bringing new paradigms in housing, transportable living enviornments and eco systmes.....Very innovative and proactive for both projects in building for the future. :thup:

Aragorn
22nd June 2016, 19:28
I am happy to see these kinds of projects but, since they are starting from the ground up, more bio-friendly geometry would be really thinking ahead. Anyone who has looked into the effects of geometry and the human energy (auric and subtle) body fields knows that square housing and right angles are not biology friendly. Dragging old paradigm architecture into the future is not conducive to higher consciousness. Humanity's biggest hurdle is its psychology.


Looks like they are taking a page from the The Venus Project. Albeit, the Venus housing is varied in stucture and stylish in design bringing new paradigms in housing, transportable living enviornments and eco systmes.....Very innovative and proactive for both projects in building for the future. :thup:

I agree with modwiz on account of the geometry of the buildings — it is a rather conservative design, and I'm not sure whether I myself would ever be able to feel at home there. As Sandy says, the Venus project is indeed much more innovative in that regard, but on a somewhat smaller scale, I personally find the McLaren Technology Centre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLaren_Technology_Centre) in Woking (Surrey, UK) very inspiring.

The main building — which entered construction in 1999 and was completed in 2003 — currently houses several departments of the larger McLaren Group. Initially, it was also where the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_SLR_McLaren) was produced, but more recently, the production of McLaren's own road-going cars has been moved out of the main building and into a second, rectangularly shaped but similarly styled building, called the McLaren Production Centre.



http://cars.mclaren.com/files/live/sites/mclaren/files/cars-mclaren-com-Main/Our%20Home/Chapter3_OneRoof.jpg


The main building was designed by architect Norman Foster (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Foster,_Baron_Foster_of_Thames_Bank), and makes up for slightly more than half of a circular shape, with the other half taken up by one of several artificial lakes. Seen from the sky, the whole outline roughly resembles the Yin/Yang symbol, although that was probably not the intent.

Even though this is not a fully self-sustaining community, it is still a very futuristic and eco-friendly environment. There is a lot of glass both on the inside and on the outside. Most of the light in the building during daytime is brought in and distributed through optic fibers, and the air conditioning system — which faithfully holds the temperature inside the entire facility at a constant 22°C all year long — is integrated with the artificial lakes; it uses the water from the lakes as well as geothermal solutions for temperature regulation. There are also water recycling stations, et al.

I'm not going to get into too much detail here — see the Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLaren_Technology_Centre) for more information — but I'll just let the pictures speak. Opinions may differ, but I personally find this a really beautiful and inspirational environment to dwell in, and one of the most beautiful pieces of modern architecture I've ever seen. ;)



http://c1038.r38.cf3.rackcdn.com/group1/building7138/media/chmd_0995_fp58062.jpg


http://media.f1i.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/f1-mclaren-33.jpg


http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/england/mclaren_technology_centre_fp270509_ny_2.jpg


http://eartheducationproject.org/content/uploads/2013/10/maclaren-cropped.jpg


http://c1038.r38.cf3.rackcdn.com/group1/building7138/media/qnto_0995_fp47432.jpg


http://cars.mclaren.com/files/live/sites/mclaren/files/cars-mclaren-com-Main/Our%20Home/MTC_Hero_Bg.jpg?t=w1440

modwiz
22nd June 2016, 20:57
LOL. Nice pictures until the "compensatory" car was shown. I guess it is a place for those of means. Another important part of proper housing is affordability and a real community and not just a neighborhood.

Aragorn
22nd June 2016, 22:08
LOL. Nice pictures until the "compensatory" car was shown. I guess it is a place for those of means.

It is not a housing facility but a corporate building where technological research is done, primarily on account of the McLaren Formula One Racing Team and McLaren Automotive — currently located in the more rectangular building "next door" — but the McLaren Group has in the meantime also gotten involved with various other (related and unrelated) corporate sectors. For instance, McLaren has already partnered up with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, and more recently even with CNN International. ;)

I am by no means a supporter of corporatism or of corporations in general. I have merely posted the above pictures in order to illustrate that eco-friendliness, efficiency, advanced technologies, aesthetics and a spiritually/intellectually inspiring environment can go hand in hand, and that such architectures have already been constructed.


Another important part of proper housing is affordability and a real community and not just a neighborhood.

That goes without saying, and the abolition of the barter-based society model — which we're not even remotely headed towards — should make that possible. The key factor here is for humanity to start regarding spiritual and intellectual development, aesthetics, sustainability, social interaction et al as far more important than the acquisition of material wealth. The latter is of course something which is artificially kept high on the agenda as the primary interest of human beings because it is a tool of power and control.

For that matter, and just as superfluous information, McLaren has not published any figures on account of what they paid for the construction of the McLaren Technology Centre, but several educated guesses have put the number somewhere in the vicinity of UK £ 300'000'000. Hardly an amount of money available to us, mere mortals. ;)

In addition to that, the yellow car in that one picture is also McLaren's flagship model, the P1, which was a limited edition hypercar, combining a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with a Formula One-derived kinetic energy recovery system for a total power output of slightly above 900 brake horsepower. Only 375 (road-going) P1s were made, at a starting price of about UK £ 1'000'000, and all of those were already sold before the first one ever went into production. There will likely be a few around in the West — e.g. Jay Leno bought one and you might also see one or two of them in Monaco — but you'll probably find most of them somewhere in Abu Dhabi and similarly decadent regions of the planet. :p