An amazing new housing development is due to rise in Almere, Netherlands this summer. A self-sufficient village with aquaponics and organic food production at it’s core. It’s a world’s first in truly sustainable living that surpasses all other attempts at green living communities to date by using already available technology to create off-grid living on the edge of the city… a modern development where your home works for you, rather than you working for it. And it’s designed to work in any climate – not just places where it’s always warm and sunny. To prove that, they chose a cold, wet location to build the first neighborhood of its kind.
Imagine a home in a neighborhood that generates the daily needs of a household, regardless of the climate you live in. From the food that your family eats to the energy that powers your home is produced in the community, and through solar collection. Each home is passive – protected from the elements by being enclosed inside it’s own greenhouse, or ‘glass envelope’. Green space in your ‘yard’ when the snow is piling up beyond the glass? Yes, that is very possible in a controlled environment, as is having lush greenery surrounding your home in the desert.
No need for a city water, electricity, or sewer hookups. The rain water is harvested, and more water is generated by the biogas facility, which regenerates sewage and other non-compostable household waste into energy for the village as a solar energy collection supplement. The neighborhood organic farm will grow most of the food the village needs. Compostable waste will be put to use feeding the soldier flies raised on-site as fish food, and the livestock; sheep, chickens, and rabbits, which will provide fertilizer, additional sources of protein, and it looks like gas-free lawn mowing service too. The aquaponics greenhouse will produce fruits, vegetables, and fish in all seasons, while the outdoor crop space will grow many more foods during the summer and fall seasons. In addition to all it’s other amenities, the village will have a resident’s electric car park facility that includes battery recharge hookups.
Green technology exists that can remove the strain on the planet. Technology that does away with our reliance on 20th century utilities and the modern food system. It is possible to live without the grid, without imported food, and create everything you need within a small community. They call this new community ‘regenerative’ – it is designed to recycle the outputs of one system as the inputs of another. There is no waste, no transporting things out and in via vehicles, pipes, and wires. It’s called ReGen Village, the ReGen referring to it’s fully regenerative technology. It pretty incredible the way they’ve planned this development; renewable energy generation and energy storage, vertical farming aquaponics and aeroponics, heated and unheated greenhouses, energy positive homes inside a controlled environment, water management and waste-to-resource systems. The features listed here are briefly touched on, to get the full impact, one needs to visit the architects’ site linked at the bottom of this article.
ReGen Village in Almere, just 33 kilometers from Amsterdam, is the pilot community for ReGen Village Holdings, B.V., a real estate development company with a focus on integrating technology in a way that allows us to live in an environment that works with Nature, rather than against her. They’ve teamed up with the Danish architectural firm, EFFEKT to bring their ideas to life.
It’s more than just a concept, the land-grant was signed this week, so ReGen Village will soon become a reality. And there are already several more in the planning stages for other European locations, and taking a hint from the residency questionnaire and a second corporate name registered in Delaware – plans for a ReGen Village in the U.S. might also be underway.
ReGen Village at Almere will have 100 homes when construction is completed. They’re breaking ground this summer, and the first 25 homes will be built in phase one. Other ReGen communities will soon follow in: Denmark, Germany , Norway, and Sweden. With any luck we’ll have a peek at actual homes and village structures before winter descends again. A new development that will be very interesting to watch rise out of the ground.